EC invests in aerospace and defence software framework

€3.5 million funding goes towards framework development for complex real-time industry systems.

plane cockpit

The Open Group has announced a partnership to develop a new, regional, model-based software development framework for complex real-time systems in aerospace and defence.

Supported by the European Commission, the Methods and Tools for Avionics and Surveillance Embedded Systems (MADES) project is investing 3.5 million (2.25 million) to develop the framework, covering the design to code generation and deployment of real-time embedded industry systems.

Led by aerospace and defence engineering company TXT e-solutions, the investment will support the MADES project's strategic objective of developing new model-based verification and simulation methods, along with new model-based code generation methods and tools that will address both conventional programming languages and hardware description languages.

"Embedded systems developers require new tools and methods based on recognised standards to design complex applications utilising model-driven development methods," stated Flavio Fusetti, director of aerospace and defence business at TXT e-solutions.

The MADES tools will also provide developers the ability to more easily reuse existing software components, ensure consistency of complex systems, as well as exploit advanced multicore hardware platforms.

The project is also timed to capitalise on the imminent arrival of the new avionics Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification standard DO-178C later this year to enable embedded systems developers to adopt model-driven methods that are intended to improve the way safety-critical systems are developed.

The MADES consortium includes The Open Group, which represents over 300 technology member organisations and is the certifying body for the UNIX trademark; University of York; Polytechnic University of Milan; Cassidian, a EADS global security systems company; and Softeam, an embedded systems technology supplier specialising in advanced model-driven architectures.

David Lounsbury, chief technical officer at The Open Group, added: "We're confident the powerful model-based tools already being evaluated by industrial partners will allow applications developers to be more productive and manage expected increases in system complexity."

The MADES project is partly financed by the 7th Framework Programme, a European Community initiative created to foster European research and development of new technologies, applications and industries.

The project will run until the middle of next year and is expected to contribute to ongoing standards development activities related to unified modelling language (UML) and modelling and analysis of real time and embedded (MARTE) systems used so heavily in aerospace and defence industries.

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