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SPACE TRAVEL
MDA Selects AdaCore's GNAT Pro Assurance Development Platform for ISS Software
by Staff Writers
New York NY (SPX) Nov 16, 2017


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AdaCore reports that MDA, a business unit of Maxar Technologies, has selected the GNAT Pro Assurance Ada development environment for the LEON3 target processor, to produce the software for a Ku-Band communication subsystem that will replace the current version.

This critical International Space Station (ISS) subsystem has to work reliably over the long term, a requirement that led MDA to maintain Ada as the implementation language.

With GNAT Pro Assurance, a service known as sustained branches allows MDA to continue developing and maintaining their software over the long term using a specific version of the GNAT Pro technology, with access to code generator updates to correct critical issues.

The replacement Ku-Band subsystem, known as the Space to Ground Transmitter Receiver Controller (SGTRC) will interface with the existing International Space Station (ISS) Space-to-Ground Antenna, previously provided by MDA. The project includes a prototype and test unit.

The new SGTRC communication subsystem will support the long-term mission of the ISS and ensure the reliability and availability of high speed data connections between the ISS, Mission Control Centers and science laboratories on the ground.

A number of tools in the GNAT Pro Assurance product can help MDA meet their project's goals.

These include the GNAT Programming Studio (GPS) tailorable Integrated Development Environment (IDE), static analysis tools for stack usage computation (gnatstack) and code metrics calculation (gnatmetric), an emulator (gnatemulator) that in effect executes LEON3 target code on the host, a testing harness generator (gnattest), and many others, backed by expert support provided by the AdaCore product developers themselves.

"We have elected to reuse the majority of the original source code for the SGTRC replacement in its original language of Ada as a conservative design choice," said Bryan Tracy, Software Lead for the SGTRC Replacement program. "Partnering with AdaCore enables us to do this with increased confidence and efficiency."

"Ada and AdaCore have a long and successful history in space applications in general, and with MDA in particular," said Jamie Ayre, Commercial Team Lead at AdaCore. "We're pleased to see that history continued with MDA's selection of GNAT Pro Assurance for their critical ISS communication subsystem."

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