Framework accelerates safety-critical defence systems development

Manufacturers and academics are collaborating in a 3.5 million project to create a software modelling framework that will speed up the development and certification of safety-critical systems used in aerospace and defence.

Manufacturers and academics are collaborating in a €3.5m project to create a software modeling framework to accelerate the development of safety-critical systems in aerospace and defence.

The European Commission (EC) is backing the project to make it easier for manufacturers to re-use hardware and embedded software components in different safety-critical applications.

Ian Gray, research associate at York University, one of the partners in the project, said the framework will make it possible for manufacturers to prove the reliability of their systems before they go into production.

“It will be much easier to certify against avionics safety cases. Certification is an onerous process, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money. We will be trying to hammer that down,” Gray said.

The framework, dubbed Methods and Tools for Avionics and Surveillance Embedded Systems (Mades), will give developers a high-level language to describe components in critical systems, which could be developed either in software or hardware.

The Open Group – a standards group made up of users and suppliers, engineering companies, TCT e-solutions, Cassidian, and Softeam – are partnering with the University of York and the Polytechnic University of Milan in the project.

The group aims to publish the framework as an open standard. They expect to complete the framework in the second half of next year.

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