Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has marked the first flight of the locally-assembled Hawk-i trainer jet with an indigenous Real Time Operating System (RTOS) developed by it.
It is the first RTOS that has been developed in the country and certified by CEMILAC, the Indian military aviation certification agency, says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
The RTOS is the system software which provides a standard run-time environment for real-time applications execution in a safe and reliable manner. “The RTOS is a key technology for concurrent execution of multiple applications and optimal use of hardware resources which is of paramount importance for increased complexity of modern avionics software”, adds Mr. Raju.
Advanced modules like network stack and file system have been co-developed with IIT- Kharagpur which also carried out formal method based verification of the RTOS kernel.
Currently, avionics systems in India are developed using commercial RTOS procured from foreign suppliers. The import of technology leads to high cost, provides very limited flexibility in incorporating new features and adaptation to new hardware platforms.
The imported RTOS may also be vulnerable to cyber-attacks which may compromise the safety and security of the avionics system. To overcome this dependency and achieve self-reliance, HAL had taken up the onus of designing an indigenous RTOS for safety-critical and mission-critical avionics systems.
The HAL-RTOS provides a comprehensive feature set based on international specification - ARINC-653 - to support Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture. Key features include address, space and time partitioning, priority pre-emptive process scheduling and health monitoring.
The RTOS performance has been validated on the Mission Computer of HAL’s Hawk-i trainer aircraft. The complete Operational Flight Program, which includes real-time sensor data processing, navigation algorithm computations, controls and display management and interface management was ported and the RTOS was able to meet all its design requirements during the flight.
With this development, the HAL-RTOS can be made as a standard Real Time Operating System for any future avionics systems development in the country.