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  • 21-Mar-2012 10:01 EDT

How to Address the Existing and Future Requirements of ASFC: The Safe and Secure Virtualization RTOS Approach

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With the increase of functions in the next generation of aircrafts, it has become very important to address reconfigurability. The bottom line is that space and weight available for critical computers in an aircraft remain mostly unchanged. These new functions imply more computation power and so more redundant elements for safety. CPU power has been increased but the latest evolution with the new multi-core CPU's introduces additional difficulties in terms of certification. IMA first generation was the first answer to address some of these problems by enabling the concentration of several certified critical functions in the same physical computer. However, up to now, such implementations were very static and did not scale very well with the increase of functions need for the next generation aircraft. That?s why the avionics industry is looking for improvement of existing solutions and must work on what would be the next generation of IMA (IMA-NG). Some effort in this area already exists, such as SCARLETT, a European FP7 funded project, referring to IMA second generation (IMA2G), to go even further by introducing dynamic reconfiguration features. In this context, ASFC platforms can very rapidly take advantage of these new technologies, by using a Safe and Secure Virtualization (SSV) technologies like PikeOS, a commercial implementation selected for the SCARLETT project. PikeOS already provides today a number of basic blocks that will be used as the foundation for the future ARINC standard which will support next generation IMA such as capability to stop/restart/reload partitions, even if they are not yet standardized, are already used in projects like FSA-NG (Fly Smart with Airbus Next generation) ASFC platforms. As a result of the different projects and efforts in this area, these features will become standard in future aircraft computer. The paper describes what these reconfigurability requirements imply in terms of basic layers of software support, especially regarding the RTOS, and how the SSV approach can help in solving this problem

Presenter
Jacques Brygier

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