The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to AdaCore to deliver a qualified multitasking solution for its spacecraft software development efforts.

AdaCore’s selection is expected to assist various ESA satellite mission projects.

The company is involved in software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical and security-critical systems. The Ada programming language supports the development of secure critical software.

ESA software engineer Mark Dean said: “Reliability of mission-critical software is a key factor for ESA satellite missions.

“We are confident that AdaCore’s tools and runtime environment are able to provide a solid base for the development and qualification of such applications.”

Under this contract, AdaCore employed a pre-qualified version of the Ravenscar Small Footprint (SFP) library.

The implementation has resulted in a pre-qualified, multitasking runtime known as Ravenscar SFP QUAL. This targets Ada development on LEON2 and LEON3 boards, which are synthesisable VHDL model of a 32-bit processor.

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AdaCore noted that its solution is ‘pre-qualified’ according to the ‘European Cooperation for Space Standardisation’s (ECSS) Criticality Level B for software’.

Dean added: “The recent cooperation between ESA and AdaCore to pre-qualify the generic elements of AdaCore’s Ravenscar SFP run-time towards the ECSS software standards ensures these tools are readily available to the European space industry and offers a clear path towards software qualification on a number of upcoming missions.”