Category Archives: Open Source

NASA’s drive towards open source

An excellent interview in Military Embedded Systems this week looking at NASA’s drive towards open source software. Sharon Hess interviews Ray O’Brien, Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology at NASA Ames Research Center. In it, O’Brien discusses NASA’s OSS policy, projects, and the advantages they are seeing from interacting with the OSS community.
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Slides from the Couverture project conclusion meeting

Below are the slides from the recent Couverture project conclusion meeting. Cyrille Comar presented the original needs and goals of the project, the challenges the team came across a long the way, and the main results.
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FLOSS for Safety-related Systems

At the upcoming Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany, there will be a days conference on the use of freely-licensed open source software (FLOSS) to build safety-critical systems. Presentation topics include:

Validation of Linux for Safety-Related Systems
Linux as a real-time Hypervisor for the automotive industry
Efficient Safety Critical Systems Development – Is FLOSS the only answer?
Finding Misuses of Unsigned Integers in Linux Device Driver Code
“Open Proof” for Railway Safety Software A Potential Way-Out of Vendor Lock-in Advancing to Standardization, Transparency, and Software Security
Improved Redundancy and Consistency beyond RAID 1
Utilizing security methods of FLOSS GPOS for safety

A full program description can be found here.

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OpenUP and DO-178B development processes

In a paper first published in 2008, Christophe Bertrand and Christopher P. Fuhrman from the Department of Software and IT Engineering, ÉTS, Montreal, Canada, discuss how OpenUP (”a minimally sufficient software development process – meaning that only fundamental content is included”), could be adopted for use in the context of building high-integrity (DO-178B) software.


“Civil avionics software must be certified according to standards mandated by governmental agencies, such as the Federal Aviations Administration in the United States. Typically the certification is done in the context of the DO-178B standard. For companies seeking a first-time certification, preparation for DO-178B can be a daunting challenge. The documentation and planning of high-integrity software is therefore a software engineering problem. As a solution, we consider an open-source derivative of the Unified Process, called OpenUP, as a base process model from which to begin. Because of their importance in the DO-178B standard, software requirement activities are the focus of our study. We show that most of DO-178B’s objectives in this dimension could be supported with activities in OpenUP.”

Full paper:

Towards Defining Software Development Processes in DO-178B with OpenUP

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Hi-Lite project officially launched

Yesterday saw the official launch of the Hi-Lite project. Financially supported by French national and local government agencies, Hi-Lite aims to increase the use of formal methods in developing high integrity software, particularly to meet the forthcoming DO-178C avionics standard.

Hi-Lite is completely based on libre software. The project is structured in two different toolchains for Ada and C based on GNAT/GCC compilers, the SPARK verification toolset and the Frama-C platform. The integration of these toolchains inside two industrial IDEs offers to the user a common interaction on Ada and C programs. In particular, mixed Ada/C programs can be verified against a common specification.

The project partners are AdaCore, Altran Praxis, Astrium Space Transportation, CEA-LIST, the ProVal team of INRIA and Thales Communications. AdaCore is the project leader. For more information please visit and to subscribe to the public mailing list please send email to

We will be reporting on its progress here as it reaches major milestones throughout the evolution of the project.

Also posted in Certification, Related Initiatives | Leave a comment

HiberSource project joins Open-DO

We are pleased to welcome the HiberSource project to Open-DO. This configuration management system is used to manage project data in accordance with DO-178B and supports the full software life cycle.

There are many free version control systems (such as SVN) but there are no free configuration systems to support projects (like Razor or PVCS). HiberSource was started to be a configuration system to support full software life cycle with developing, verification and other certification activities.

For more information, please visit the project on the Open-DO forge.

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Lean Principles in Open Source (Roberto di Cosmo)

Here’s the sixth and last in a series of videos shot at the recent “Lean, Agile Approach to High-Integrity Software” Event. In this talk, Roberto di Cosmo, Professor of Computer Science at the Paris Diderot, presents his observations and research on the realities and challenges of building open-source communities.

(Viewing tip: click the ‘HQ’ button on the video controller for better image quality, it helps a lot for the slides) The talk is presented here is 4 parts.

Part 1 of 4

To view parts 2-4 of this talk click the ‘Read More’ link just below…

Read More »
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Interesting open-source partitioning kernel

I attended the DASIA 2009 conference las week, and I discovered a really nice open-source initiative targeting the high-integrity real-time community. The Real-Time Systems Group of the University of Valencia has developed an open-source hypervisor (partitioning kernel) called XtratuM, which is not ARINC compliant, but it provides temporal and spatial partitioning. It currently works on x86 and LEON2. I know personally the people behind this project, and I can encourage you to keep an eye on it.
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Albatross or the meeting of Open Source and Air Traffic Management

Albatross is the Open Source ATM community according to founders Skysoft-ATM. The vision is to tackle vendor lock-in and offer “easier access to technology to small and medium size airports and centers in emerging markets.”

One of the projects they (currently 39 members) are working on is the Albatross Display which is described as a “open source Air Traffic Controller environment to provide a full Controller Working Position.” with the first release planned for the end of this month (June 2009). The certified version of the project is planned for Q4 2009.

Their blog can be found here.

Also posted in Certification, Open-DO News | 1 Comment

Lean Event Videos – Open-DO (Cyrille Comar)

As promised, here’s the first in a series of videos shot at the recent “Lean, Agile Approach to High-Integrity Software”. We start with Cyrille Comar from AdaCore presenting the concepts around the Open-DO initiative. Each week we will post a new talk from this event. Enjoy! (Viewing tip: click the ‘HQ’ button on the video controller for better image quality, it helps a lot for the slides) The talk is presented here is 5 parts. You can also download the presentation slides if you want to follow along. Part 1 of 5 To view parts 2-5 of this talk click the ‘Read More’ link just below… Read More »
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