Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Member of the TOPCASED project
Article Type: News and views From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 2.
AdaCore, a provider of the high-quality Ada tools and support services, recently announced its participation as a member of the Toolkit in Open Source for Critical Applications & System Development (TOPCASED) project.
Initiated in 2004, the TOPCASED Project brings together a consortium of commercial, scientific, and academic partners, ranging from consulting companies to large industrial groups, including Airbus, Thales, Siemens VDO, CNES, Rockwell Collins, EADS Astrium, CS, Atos, SOPRA, and many more. Its goal is to provide an open-source development environment for producing software that meets the requirements of safety- critical embedded systems. This major co-operative project, which will produce an environment covering the full spectrum of software development, from requirements specification to implementation, is being funded with the help of the French General Business Directorate, or DGE.
The complexity of embedded systems used in the avionics, space and transportation industries places unique demands on development tools, which the traditional off-the-shelf software market alone cannot fulfil. For example, the lifetime of aerospace products can often be as long as 10-30 years and, currently, no software products company can commit for such a prolonged period of time at a realistic cost.
To reach the necessary quality levels of safety-critical embedded systems and increase the productivity of developers, system engineering methods and tools need to be improved. By using an open- source approach, the TOPCASED project hopes to ensure the availability of reliable tools over a long period of time, to share the development costs among all those involved, and to make use of valuable tools already available.
AdaCore is leveraging its experience in safety-critical and embedded software engineering to bring TOPCASED users an advanced eclipse-based environment for developing Ada applications.
“AdaCore's reputation in the open- source industry meant that we were keen to secure its participation in TOPCASED,” said Patrick Farail, Head of Software Development Methods Support, Airbus France. “We felt that AdaCore's approach to embedded development for avionics, its history of working on large-, complex- and safety-critical projects, and the company's impressive list of commercial and military avionics customers made it the perfect partner for the project,” he added.