Space-Qualified Hypervisor Supports Virtualization of Satellite Payloads

Posted on July 1, 2015 by DornerWorks Ltd.

Grand Rapids, MI – DornerWorks has successfully completed the initial capability demonstrations for a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) funded Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project under topic SB131-009 “Satellite Hypervisor” and continues to advance its hypervisor solutions as part of the DARPA SBIR Phase II research. The DARPA program manager gave high marks to the level of sophistication for meeting the project requirements at this stage of the development.

Figure 1: CubeSat

The study focuses on the development of a space-qualified hypervisor designed to support the virtualization of satellite payloads, such as the CubeSat shown in figure 1, and is a natural extension of DornerWorks’ ARINC 653 Real-time Linux on Xen (ARLX) open-source, safe and secure, embedded hypervisor. DornerWorks developed Virtuosity (formerly ARLX) by extending the Xen open source hypervisor to include an ARINC 653 scheduler and other related functionality. DornerWorks began the project with internal research and development funding, and further development followed with the award of multiple US Navy SBIR contracts under the topic N102-184, “Isolation Techniques for Untrusted Software.”

The evolution of Virtuosity into a serious open-source solution for safety-critical systems continues with additional development and research funding under the DARPA SBIR. This award provides further opportunities to showcase the innovation of DornerWorks and the flexibility of Xen by expanding its use onto multiple hardware platforms and running on a space-based system.

DARPA has been a leader in encouraging fundamental research in both large and small companies, resulting in many technological improvements throughout the years. From the creation of the Internet to stealth technology, DARPA’s mission focus has been to maintain the technological superiority of the US military by sponsoring high-risk, high-payoff research. Under the current SBIR, DornerWorks is proud to be part of that mission, providing a more secure and reliable software environment for space vehicles.

About DornerWorks
DornerWorks is a premier provider of embedded electronics, FPGA, and software engineering services and solutions; providing expertise for safety-critical aerospace, defense, medical, security, automotive, and industrial markets. Founded in 2000, DornerWorks has grown into one of the largest embedded engineering design services firms in the country with AS9100, ISO 13485, and ISO 9001 certifications. Let the innovative team at DornerWorks provide solutions for your most demanding projects.

DornerWorks Ltd.
by DornerWorks Ltd.
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