SYSGO's PikeOS Kernel Enables Integrated Military Avionic Systems

SYSGO, the European vendor for safety critical COTS software, facilitates a new system architecture for an open and modular platform for FMS/MMS (Flight Management System/Mission Management System) avionic systems which will be used in future Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). SYSGO’s real-time operating system PikeOS will be used as an integration platform in order to integrate various existing avionic systems, formerly based on other safety critical commercial operating systems, with a single COTS hardware running PikeOS.

The main project objective is the integration of applications with different levels of criticality on a single COTS hardware. This will be realized by using SYSGO’s microkernel based, COTS real-time operating system, PikeOS. The ‘New Avionics Structures’ department of EADS Military Air Systems leads the project. The resulting system is meant to be used in future UAVs.

The project is financed by the German Ministry of Defense’s Research and Procurement Agency BWB, supporting research projects in the field of safety critical systems.

The major objective of this project is to reduce the overall costs for avionic systems, by integrating several existing systems on just one platform. Additionally, the new platform architecture opens the door to use Linux based open source components for non-critical applications, which is another important step towards significant cost savings. Using the partitioning concept of PikeOS, safety critical real-time applications can co-exist with Linux, guaranteeing that the Linux applications are not able to compromise the execution of the critical tasks.

The critical legacy applications are based on Ada. These applications will run on top of PikeOS using ObjectAda, the Ada runtime environment from AONIX, which is already available for PikeOS. Other legacy components, which previously were based on other COTS operating systems, will be migrated to a PikeOS API, which emulates the system calls of the legacy RTOS.

The reference implementation is based on a 3U cPCI Board which integrates IBM’s 750FX PowerPC.

About PikeOS
PikeOS is a real time operating system supporting the principle of software partitioning.

The foundation of PikeOS is a powerful microkernel, a genuine development of SYSGO AG, developed according to the highest safety standards. Therefore, PikeOS is meant to be used in safety and mission critical systems as well as standard embedded systems for which hard real time is mandatory.

Each software partition of PikeOS can run an entire operating system such as Linux, POSIX and ARINC-653 or native application programs. Several of these heterogeneous partitions can co-exist. Fault containment is one of the features of software partitioning, enabling the use of critical and non-critical software on the same hardware platform. PikeOS is the ideal choice for legacy code migration, using embedded Linux in a hard real time environment or for platform consolidation. To support PikeOS customers, SYSGO included CODEO in the PikeOS suites. CODEO is the Eclipse-based development environment from SYSGO, offering additional plug-ins for system configuration, validation and analysis as well as comfortable application development.

SYSGO is specialized in design, implementation and configuration of system software for the embedded market with a special focus on the operating system environment. SYSGO develops device drivers, board support packages and firmware and supports its international customers with products, services and support for Embedded Linux, real time and certification for safety-critical applications. The target markets are automotive, electronics, board vendors and semiconductors, engineering and medical technology as well as aerospace. SYSGO customers include DaimlerChrysler, EADS Airbus, EADS Military Air Systems, Honeywell, IBM, Raytheon, Rheinmetall, Rockwell-Collins, Rohde & Schwarz, or Siemens VDO. SYSGO AG was founded in Mainz, Germany, in 1991 and was reincorporated as a joint stock company in October 2002. Today, the company employs more than 70 people and has six facilities in Germany and Europe.

About EADS Military Air Systems
Military Air Systems (MAS), the centre of competence for all manned and unmanned combat aerial vehicles within EADS, is an integrated part of the EADS Defence & Security Systems Division (DS). With revenues of about € 5.6 billion in 2005 and roughly 23,000 employees across nine nations, DS forms the defence and security pillar within EADS. As a Large Systems Integrator, it offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and global security. It is active in the areas of manned and unmanned integrated combat and mission air systems, including related training services, and in missile systems, battlefield management systems for all branches, global security solutions, secure networks, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, as well as related services.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of € 34.2 billion and employed a workforce of about 113,000.