In case you missed it, yesterday Wind River announced that VxWorks has been selected for the European Geostationary
Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), and has been chosen to run the Integrity Processing Facility (IPF) check set.
The IPF, developed and delivered by Logica, is the crucial element that
validates the information broadcast by the satellites to safety-critical users
such as aircraft in flight or ships navigating through narrow
channels. This is essential, because satellite navigation systems alone do not provide sufficient positional accuracy to be used in safety-critical applications.
The IPF is really good example of a critical system which needs to consistently provide hard real-time performance and total reliability, and this posed some interesting challenges for development and safety certification to the joint avionics software safety standards RTCA
DO-178B and EUROCAE ED-12B at Level B.
Logica and the European Space Agency (ESA) have kindly allowed us to produce a case study which discusses the development and certification challenges and how they were successfully overcome, and this has just been published on the Electronics Weekly website. (Update: the case study can now also be downloaded in PDF from the Wind River website)
I hope you'll find this interesting, and the next time you are on a European flight on a landing approach in very poor visibility conditions, you'll know how VxWorks is helping to guide the aircraft to a safe landing.