AMSTERDAM, 11 Mar. 2009 The European Space Agency (ESA) selected SYSGO to participate to a project called "Securely Partitioning Spacecraft Computing Resources." It is a part of a consortium lead by SciSys, a leading supplier of solutions to the space sector, and EADS Astrium, a company gathering the space activities of the EADS Group.
SYSGO made the announcement at the Avionics 2009 Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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.
"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," says Jacques Brygier, Vice-President of Marketing at SYSGO. "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."
PikeOS provides an embedded systems platform where multiple virtual machines can run simultaneously in a secure environment, SYSGO officials say. 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. PikeOS is certifiable to the DO-178B avionics safety standard, and is also compliant with the Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) standard.