EADS CASA is one of the Spanish branches of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space company (EADS), the largest European aerospace company and the second largest worldwide.
EADS/CASA's Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD) is responsible for all the company's military transport aircraft, including the new A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Derived from the successful Airbus A330 commercial airliner, the MRTT is being developed with sophisticated control software that enables it to refuel other aircraft in the air through a new tail boom system.
Already selected by the Royal Australian Airforce, the A330 MRTT is the world's most capable and flexible tanker transport aircraft. It combines the qualities of the Airbus A330 with a state of the art in-flight Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) from EADS.
EADS CASA therefore required a programming environment that combined the highest levels of safety with development speed and flexibility. The complex nature of the system required RTCA DO-178B level A safety certification, while the foundation operating system needed to be ARINC 653 compliant.
To meet these needs the MTAD project team chose a combination of AdaCore's GNAT Pro development environment with Wind River's Platform for Safety Critical ARINC 653 to control the tail boom system. Working in partnership, this solution provides a fully integrated platform that meets stringent safety certification while retaining flexibility and ease of development.
Ada was selected due to its unparalleled record in safety-critical software solutions. It provides a high-integrity, high-quality development environment with a well defined structure that is designed to produce highly reliable and maintainable real-time software. AdaCore has been closely involved with the Ada language since its inception, meaning it provides the strongest level of expertise in Ada software and the best technical support for Ada users.
AdaCore and Wind River have been working in partnership for over 7 years. In 2001 Wind River selected AdaCore as its preferred Ada technology supplier, bringing together their best of breed tools to enable the development of reliable applications with fast, predictable performance. AdaCore's GNAT Pro High Integrity Edition for AE653 was developed specifically for Wind River Platform for Safety Critical ARINC 653. By building GNAT Pro High Integrity Edition into Wind River's Platform users benefit from the power and reliability of Ada 95, and now Ada 2005, combined with a familiar tool suite, interoperability with other languages, and easy interfacing to third-party tools such as configuration management systems.
Since the tail boom project began in 2003, development has been remarkably fast with a demonstration prototype expected to be flying by the end of 2005. EADS CASA believes that much of this progress has been due to its previous experience of Ada and the flexibility and support of AdaCore.
"The complex nature of air-to-air refuelling meant that we needed a solution that would meet the highest levels of safety. The combination of AdaCore and Wind River has provided us with the safest possible solution for our critical systems," said Carlos Fernāndez de la Hoz, SW Engineering Manager, EADS CASA. "The flexibility and ease of use of GNAT Pro has enabled us to develop the project quickly, enhanced by the high levels of support we've received from AdaCore."
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