Embedded Systems & Real-Time Computing
Many systems require a rapid response to a stimulus, with rapidity being just as important as the accuracy of the results. In other words, a late response is invalid even if accurate.
These systems are found in a wide range of sectors, from the aeronautical industry (e.g. in autopilots) to the motoring industry as well as trading floors, automated TGV train systems, nuclear plants, washing machines, international aircraft routing systems and a variety of other applications. We work on electronics, low-level software, middleware and applications.
Astek is an expert in these systems, whether strict real-time (hard)/less strict (soft) or time constrained
Astek brings its experience in designing and creating real-time systems and works on software, electronics and more broadly on low-level software:
- Multithreaded development
- Base software development
- Hard/soft integration
The field of embedded software and connected smart objects is now seen as a priority by public authorities for future investments. This is why our Lab and its innovation unit invest in this area, particularly in connected headsets and remotes.
Astek also helps create embedded applications using middleware such as DDS and CORBA and which can manage operational constraints and run on real-time operating systems.
- Needs analysis, specifications, development, integration, validation, certification
- Development: Java, Assembler, C++, C
Astek has gained a wealth of knowledge in running automated and semi-automated test benches:
- MMI management
- Instrument control (RS-232, GPIB, Ethernet, etc.)
- Instrumentation boards used to simulate external environments for the system under test
- Test engine, automated test scenario execution and automatic report generation
Astek test bench teams are trained in National Instruments products, including LabWindows/CVI, LabVIEW and TestStand.
For more demanding applications, the teams use LabVIEW Real-Time technologies and LabVIEW FPGA:
- Parallel processing (multi-tasking)
What the experts say
In ten years at Astek, I have worked with all the biggest aeronautical and defence groups, both civilian and military. Navigation systems, electrical power centres, fuel management, missile systems, radars and more… All this on-board equipment requires specialist expertise in real-time software to ensure product reliability and passenger security.
I now head a team of Astek staff working with a major client developing military transponders and friend/foe identification systems.
Astek Project Manager
Real-time for military aircraft
Astek helped create a GPS module for a military transport aircraft inertial unit developed to civilian standards.
- Decided on processor core architecture for GPS board with a GPS component
- Study and design of processor core (MPC8270, 450 MHz CPU, 64-bit bus at 100MHz)
- Hard/soft interface
- U-Boot boot loader porting (developed in Assembler and C) used for:
- Testing and validating all board functions
- Environment testing
- Production testing
- PowerPC processor
- PSpice simulation, Hyperlynx
- Cadence, C, PowerPC Assembler
Missile seeker test benches
Astek created control software for a semi-automated test bench intended to automatically perform certain actions required to integrate and validate a missile seeker on behalf of a major French defence manufacturer.
- Developed control software modules (AD, I/O, power supply, laser, engine control unit, variable attenuator, IT, auto testing, configuration files, results files, calculations, checking)
- Application MMI created
- Developed test sequencers (gain and offset calibration, probability of detection, angular offset characteristics, sensitivity, satuC, LabWindows/CVI
- C, labwindowsCVI
Embedded software for a friend/foe responder
Astek helped create the shared core software for a friend/foe responder designed to be put into all latest-generation responders made by this major French defence manufacturer.
Our configuration skills mean we can adapt to different target digital maps and a variety of external interfaces as well as work with a wide range of different aircraft platforms.
Astek worked to DO-178C and DAL B standards and used agile methodology to develop the embedded shared core software.
- Software specifications (HLR) and detailed design (LLR)
- Development, RTRT unit testing and function testing using RTRT SystemTest
- Peer review
- Audit and quality control
- OS preparation