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The goal of the Securely Partitioning Spacecraft Computing Resources project is to substantially contribute to the technological foundation for Earth observation, telecom and navigation missions as well as new ESA initiatives in the dual-use, civilian and defense sectors. The project will explore an approach to the implementation of secure partitioning for ESA projects.
"SciSys has a long track record of successful projects achievements for ESA," says Roger Ward, Head of On-Board Software at SciSys. "We found SYSGO to be the ideal partner to work with us on this new project because their focus on both security and safety issues perfectly matches our needs for spacecraft on-board software."
The objective is to ensure that on-board software applications to be hosted on a single platform are provided with security guarantees of non-interference and resilience against malicious actions (as ensured by Common Criteria's EAL conformity, for example), while still maintaining the mission safety needs (i.e. resilience against accidental failures) as described in the avionics DO-178B standard, for example.
The technology developed in this project will enable missions to be suitable for multiple uses, providing service for commercial, scientific, civilian and defense utilization simultaneously from a single platform.
"We are honored to be selected as part of this very important ESA project", declares Jacques Brygier, Vice-President of Marketing at SYSGO. "Using new partitioning technologies to address cost reduction and still guarantee safety and security is a growing trend for most of the mission-critical applications in general, and for space systems in particular. The fact that our product PikeOS will be used to validate some of the key goals of the project is more evidence of the increasing recognition by the experts of the unique value brought by this innovative technology from SYSGO."
About the consortium
SciSys is a leading supplier of solutions to the Space sector, from bespoke system development to manpower services and consulting. With 25 years of experience in the industry, SciSys' Space Division has over 180 highly skilled engineers specializing in a wide range of leading-edge technologies. SciSys has expertise in all key space markets, including navigation, science, military/telecommunications, earth observation and smallsats.
Astrium Satellites constitutes the Business Unit in charge of satellites (space and ground segments) of the Astrium Company, gathering space activities of the EADS Group. Astrium Satellites Business Unit has been continuously engaged for decades in all levels of satellite engineering, ranging from overall system responsibility and management to engineering, design, manufacturing and verification in all subsystems.
University of York is involved through two major contributors, Andy Wellings and Neil Audsley, both members of the Real-Time Systems Research Group, regarded as one of the leading centers for real-time systems research in the world.
PikeOS is a ground-breaking product providing an embedded systems platform where multiple virtual machines can run simultaneously in a secure environment. This secure virtualization technology allows multiple operating system APIs to run independently and concurrently on one machine - for example an ARINC-653 application together with Linux - which makes PikeOS the only RTOS providing a comparable field-proven solution today. The PikeOS safe and secure virtualization RTOS platform provides the widest range of operational guest operating systems or run-time environment "personalities" on the market. The PikeOS microkernel architecture is ideal for cost sensitive, resource constrained devices as well as large, complex systems. The simplicity and compactness of the PikeOS design results in real-time performance that competes head-to-head with conventional proprietary RTOS solutions while offering innovations in platform independence. PikeOS is certifiable to the DO-178B avionics safety standard, and is also compliant with the Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) standard.
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