Safety-BSP simplifies MCU deployment in safety-critical applications

June 03, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Embedded Office, along with other partners, is taking part in the fourth civil aviation research programme (LUFO IV.4) funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

With LUFO IV.4, the BMWi is providing support from 2007 to 2015 for research and technology development projects with an application in civil, commercial aviation in Germany. This research project is designed to strengthen the technological basis of aviation research in Germany and underscore the significance of aviation as a high-tech sector.

The project aims at finding a European solution for a certified real-time operating system for the aviation industry that is both affordable and attractive in terms of what it has to offer for small and medium-sized enterprises. Working together, the project partners have the task of testing and evaluating the real-time operating system within a realistic application environment. Embedded Office’s specific task was to adapt the real-time operating system along with the associated board support package (BSP) to the hardware platforms used and to develop the software framework for this, thus establishing the basis for its commercial use.

Micrium’s µC/OS-II real-time kernel, with a partitioning extension, served as the real-time operating system. This system has already been used and certified by various manufacturers engaged in the aviation industry. As hardware platforms, application processors from the i.IMX6 series from Freescale, PowerPC architectures and the STM32 microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics were available. For the BSP, Embedded Office has drafted software lifecycle documentation according to the aviation standard DO-178B/C and transferred this into a Safety-BSP.

The research findings will in future also help to support new modular hardware platforms efficiently, so that these are certified more quickly, and the requirements of the aviation industry implemented faster. In addition, they make it possible to use these in other industrial sectors that require certifiable hardware and software such as industrial automation, automotive and medical technology.

“We have used software lifecyle documentation to transfer the BSP into a Safety-BSP”, explains Michael Hillmann, Managing Director of Embedded Office. “This Safety-BSP encompasses all the information, the source code, documents and test cases necessary for a successful certification.