Historic mission in search of the Origin of the Solar System
With a go-ahead in 1993, the Rosetta ESA mission was finally launched in March 2004. After a 10 years journey through our solar system, it has finally arrived and made rendez-vous with the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Comet. The first high resolution pictures are stunning. Later on a robotic lander will touchdown on the comet itself and start taking pictures from the surface, a feat never done before.
Rosetta has several other scientific instruments on-board. The main processor for processing on-board data is a SEU and radiation tolerant version of the 21020 floating point DSP, used in a parallel configuration on boards developed by EADS. The RTOS used is Virtuoso, developed by Eonic Systems whose technology was later on acquired by Wind River to disappear from the market three years later. Altreonic’s OpenComRTOS Designer is the 4th generation of Virtuoso. Redeveloped from scratch using formal techniques, OpenComRTOS offers more scalability, portability and modularity than ever before but with a code size that is about 10 times less. Work is underway for a new branch codenamed VirtuosoNext.
Just like for Rosetta, a long journey will have preceded OpenComRTOS Designer and VirtuosoNext. It started in 1991 when the first parallel RTOS for the transputer was released. Still unique, it represents accumulated years of experience in combination with a formal approach. Keeping it simple but smart has been one of the foundations of its design. It results in a unprecedented performance and ease of use specifically for (heterogeneous) parallel or distributed systems. Yet, today it also replaces more traditional POSIX-style RTOS that require 50 times more memory. Code size still matters!
The Rosetta mission is an unprecedented scientific and technical achievement. It required the cooperation of several nations and 1000’s of scientist and engineers. We are proud to have made our small contribution.
Ada and SPARK-Ada interface for OpenComRTOS Designer
Ada has a long history. Originally developed in the late 70's on request of the US DoD, it became available with a certified compiler in 1983. While the language had as goal to improve the quality of software, in its striving to be complete (procedural, object-oriented, modularity, concurrent tasking and many more features), it was complex and fairly heavy to use. Nevertheless, it was and still is the language of choice for large safety critical applications, especially when large teams are involved. Its complexity, the steep pricing for the tools and its lower performance inhibited its wider use. Hence C compilers offering often better performance and more control over the hardware gradually became the compiler of choice even if the language has many safety issues. Ironically, VHDL which is a widely used programming language to develop hardware circuits heavily borrowed from Ada.
New release of GoedelWorks 2.0
Altreonic has the pleasure to announce the new v.2.0 release of its GoedelWorks portal. It inherits from v.1.0. the "systems grammar" that with 16 core concepts allows to define any systems engineering project. It keeps the view that a system is the end-result of a development project whereby a chosen process (often domain and organisation specific) is followed.
Some update on recent events:
Altreonic has started to create a workshop under the title "Accessible trustworthy systems engineering with OpenComRTOS Designer and GoedelWorks."
The workshop aims to show how Embedded Systems and Software Engineering can be made easy, yet trustworthy. Through the adoption of a formal development process and a qualifiable toolsuite, one can go from requirements to implementation in a systematic and traceable way.
Continue reading to see the program:
Altreonic will be present at following events:
1. FISITA 2014 (Maastricht, 2-6 June 2014), the World Automotive Congress
2. The ESA Industry Space Days, taking place at ESTEC - Noordwijk, on June 3rd & 4th, 2014
3. ANTIFRAGILE 2014 workshop (Hasselt, 3rd June 2014)
Read further for details:
Altreonic has now developed a first port of its OpenComRTOS Designer™ to the ARC family of processor cores of Synopsis, extending further the range of supported processors. This work was done in the context of the Artemis CRAFTERS project that focuses on the design and programming challenge of developing applications with many- and multicore architectures.
This is the third publication in the Gödel Series. The publication was written as an application note and shows how OpenComRTOS Designer can be used as a simulation as well as a development environment while keeping the source code. This is achieved by way of the transparent programming model that allows considering a network of processors as a virtual single processor one. The application note applies it to the development of a skid steering controller.
The application note demonstrates how Altreonic's OpenComRTOS Designer allows for embedded software developers of heterogeneous distributed systems to cross develop and simulate their application on a PC environment and seamlessly transfer their code to the target hardware. To this end a Microsemi Evaluation Kit is utilised as the target hardware for a hub motor skid steering based speed controller of an Electric Personal Mobility Device.
Visit and meet us at this biennial show, the only event in South Africa that is dedicated to the electronics production, components, systems and applications sector. Booth 4/51.
Attend our presentation "Systems Engineering for the masses with GoedelWorks and OpenComRTOS"
The novel topic of antifragility could initiate a paradigm shift on how we think about systems engineering, especially in a societal context. For those following the ARRL LinkedIn group, our paper on the antifragility concept in systems and safety engineering was accepted. It was a good exercise. Relevant conclusions:
- We need an ARRL-6 and an ARRL-7 level. ARRL-7 is the actual antifragile level. ARRL-6 is halfway (monitoring and preventive maintenance with immediate repair).
- For ARRL-7, we need to consider the environment with its processes and stakeholders as well as a supervising independent regulating authority as part of the system. Some might call this a "system of systems".
- Antifragile systems actually exist. Examples are the aviation industry, telecommunication networks, and other. Most of them have a societal importance.
- We can consider adaptive biological systems as ARRL-8 systems.
It was nice to see that the ARRL criterion scales so easily and is in line with what actually exists in the real world. We are currently in the process of investigating what this means for mobility and transport. This system is currently more or less at ARRL-3. Bringing it to ARRL-7 will require a serious effort and paradigm shift, but this could well be the only way to keep it sustainable.
Links to the workshop here.