FALK - Fault Aware Light Weight Micro Kernel
The control of electronic platform equipment or of instruments on satellites usually requires the use of microprocessors. If the applied control algorithms are more complex, the use of a real- time operating system facilitates the concurrent execution of the different tasks and thus the coding of the necessary software.
The need to qualify any software used in space missions asks for the source code of the used operating system. Existing non- space operating systems rarely follow strict coding standards (which is state of the art for space applications). Furthermore, the underlying program codes are usually very large, which requires a tremendous qualification effort.
For these reasons RUAG Space GmbH (RSA) decided to design its own small operating system, called ARTOS, a kernel, that covers all basic functions of an operating system and that can be easily qualified. The features of the operating system are that test coverage of 100 % is made possible and that defensive programming is heavily used in order to meet the requirements for mission critical software. On top of that the design should be such that data races cannot occur in the operating system code (see picture 1 race conditions test setup).
The market potential for the kernel consists in its use in RSA on- board electronic equipment, which facilitates the programming of microprocessors (see picture 2, target processor) for RSA, and in the promotion of the kernel to other space companies. The code will be made available to the space community free of charge as open source, support for the programming of the board support package and the qualification of the software will be offered by RSA.
RUAG Space GmbH - Stephan Grünfelder
Gaisler Research AB, Göteborg, Sweden - Jiri Gaisler