Space as the final frontier? Simulate for safety!
By Michel Genard
Mythology tells the tale of Icarus burning his wings while flying too close to the sun. In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci sketched a flight machine, and flight became a reality in the 20th century. We have always looked up into the sky for new frontiers. The US government alone plans to invest $20 billion by 2027 for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, infrastructure like the ISS, planet exploration and other deep-space missions.
Space programs demand that the architecture, design, development, testing and deployment meet the highest levels of quality and accuracy. Not only is space equipment expensive, but once launched, it is challenging to fix and repair. It’s no surprise that VxWorks®, the long-standing RTOS market leader, has been deployed for decades in numerous programs. In addition, our simulation tool, Simics, is the preferred option for space agencies and OEMs to develop and validate their software before it leaves Earth’s atmosphere.
Another complexity related to the operation of space devices is radiation. Not many CPUs are resilient enough to survive such an environment, two popular platforms that can include the PowerPC based BAE RAD 750 and Sparc based LEON.
We’re pleased to release two new Simics virtual platforms for the PowerPC-based BAE RAD55xx and Sparc LEON4.
Simics simulates systems—from the smallest to the most complex—so teams can adopt new and agile development approaches that aren’t possible with physical hardware. It can allow for techniques you may not have even thought of in your wildest dreams. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our Simics page.