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 are: 

  • 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 demands.

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 domains.”

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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