New industry collaboration aims to build sustainable tool chain

Eclipse Foundation announces Polarsys open source safety-critical software project

Chris Mayer

Aerospace, healthcare and defence companies already signed up

The Eclipse Foundation has unveiled its plans to create Polarsys
– an open source industry colloboration that will focus on building
and maintaining tools for safety critical and embedded system
development, with the first edition expected in mid-2012.

The project’s aim is to create and sustain an open source tools
chain for industries reliant on safety-critical and software
intensive systems such as those within aerospace, defence, energy
and healthcare. These industries have stringent requirements, which

  • that they require advanced certification of their developmental
    tools to adhere to government and international regulations.
  • that they must support for full development lifecycles – from
    requirements capture through to system verification, deployment and
    in-field support and maintenance.
  • that they must last a very long time – in some cases between
    30-70 years.

The venture has already attracted global reach with interested
parties including Airbus, Ericsson, Astrium Satellites
and Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Polarsys participants
will collaborate to ensure that the tool chain meets their

Polarsys will improve upon the already highly successful Frence
aerospace valley TopCased project as key contributors and
source code from it will crossover into the project. With 20 active
associates, the TopCased open source project has already been
downloaded in excess of 10,000 times in the last year alone,
showing its worth.

Head of Software Development Methods for Avionic Software at
Airbus, Patrick Farail explains:

“Since 2004, industrial and academics partners from aeronautic,
space and automotive industries have developed Topcased as our
platform for Model Based System Engineering. Now, we need to
enlarge our ecosystem, so Airbus has joined the Eclipse Foundation
Polarsys industry working group to ensure the long term support for
our tool chain and to foster collaboration with other industry

Polarsys will operate under the Eclipse Foundation banner, a
fact that Executive Director, Mike Milinkovich is particularly
proud of.

“Polarsys is going to solve some very important challenges for
large organizations that rely upon open source tools chains for
developing long-lived, safety critical software. This is a great
example of how industry collaboration in open source can solve
complex industry requirements.”

More information about the initiative can be found here.

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