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University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics adopts Ada and GNAT Pro for NASA project

Ada selected over C to run on a Cortex M1 core

PARIS & NEW YORK, May 22, 2018 – AdaCore today announced that the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) has selected the Ada language and the GNAT Pro for the ARM Cortex product for NASA’s Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder mission. CLARREO Pathfinder will deploy a Reflected Solar spectrometer on the International Space Station (ISS) starting in 2021 that will detect the complete spectrum of radiation from the Sun reflected by Earth.

LASP has selected the Ada language over C, to develop the orchestration and interface portions of the CLARREO Pathfinder flight software, which is responsible for controlling the instruments and interfacing with the ISS. The application will run on an ARM Cortex M1 FPGA board, using a bare metal configuration together with the Ravenscar micro-kernel provided by the GNAT Pro toolchain.

“We selected Ada and the Ravenscar micro-kernel for several reasons: it is as efficient as C, allows object-oriented design, will increase reliability, and provides a tasking system without introducing a great deal of complexity like many of the other options we considered,” said Mathew Merkow, CLARREO Pathfinder flight software lead at LASP. “Ada provided an extremely robust and efficient foundation for our framework, Adamant. We partnered with AdaCore to port Ravenscar to the Cortex M1; they have been a great partner, and we are excited to continue our relationship with them on this and future projects.”

“The CLARREO Pathfinder project represents a new generation of applications developed with Ada, in areas where C has been the traditional choice,” said Quentin Ochem, lead of business development at AdaCore. “We are excited to support the usage of our technology to meet the ever-increasing reliability requirements and challenges of space missions.”

About AdaCore

Founded in 1994, AdaCore supplies software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical and security-critical systems. Four flagship products highlight the company’s offerings:

  • The GNAT Pro development environment for Ada, a complete toolset for designing, implementing, and managing applications that demand high reliability and maintainability;
  • The CodePeer advanced static analysis tool, an automatic Ada code reviewer and validator that can detect and eliminate errors both during development and retrospectively on existing software;
  • The SPARK Pro verification environment, a toolset based on formal methods and oriented toward high-assurance systems; and,
  • The QGen model-based development tool suite for safety-critical control systems, providing a qualifiable and customizable code generator and static verifier for Simulink® and Stateflow®models, and a model-level debugger.

Over the years, customers have used AdaCore products to field and maintain a wide range of critical applications in domains such as commercial avionics, automotive, railway, space, military systems, air traffic management/control, medical devices and financial services. AdaCore has an extensive and growing worldwide customer base; see www.adacore.com/industries/ for further information.

AdaCore products are open source and come with expert online support provided by the developers themselves. The company has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris. www.adacore.com/

About the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) was established in 1948, a decade before NASA.  It is the world’s only research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto.

LASP combines all aspects of space exploration through its expertise in science, engineering, mission operations, and scientific data analysis. As part of CU Boulder, LASP also works to educate and train the next generation of space scientists, engineers, and mission operators by integrating undergraduate and graduate students into working teams. Students take their unique experiences with them into government or industry or remain in academia to continue the cycle of exploration.

LASP is an affiliate of CU Boulder’s AeroSpace Ventures initiative, a collaboration among aerospace-related departments, institutes, centers, government labs, and industry partners.

For more information about LASP, please visit: http://lasp.colorado.edu.

About CLARREO

In 2016, CLARREO received authorization to conduct a Pathfinder mission called CLARREO Pathfinder (CPF). Its goal is to reduce risk, demonstrate essential techniques and technologies, and advance the science for a full CLARREO mission.

The CPF instrument is a reflected solar spectrometer that measures energy from the sun reflected back from Earth. Benefits of CPF include demonstrating improved measurement accuracy by factors of 5-10 and demonstrating the ability to inter-calibrate with other Earth-observing sensors.

CPF is scheduled to launch to the ISS in the 2021 timeframe.For more information, please visit: http://clarreo.larc.nasa.gov.

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