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Electronics Production | May 03, 2011

Thales chose AdaCore for the Argos satellite project

AdaCore today announced that Thales Airborne Systems has selected the GNAT Pro High Integrity Edition to develop onboard instrument software for the next generation of the Argos satellite project. Argos is a unique, satellite-based worldwide location and data collection system dedicated to studying and protecting the environment.
In addition to these core tasks, the Argos satellite family is also known for its safety and security-related applications, including boat localization, territorial security, and law enforcement. The GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition, which encompasses AdaCore’s development environment and accompanying support services, is focused on Ada systems that need to achieve the highest levels of safety and/or security certification.

In its new mission, Argos will face several challenges. In particular, Argos-4 will simultaneously handle three times as many transmitters as Argos-3 and provide these transmitters with increased operational flexibility. Thales chose AdaCore because of AdaCore’s ability to provide a complete solution that includes an efficient development environment (GNAT Pro), a LEON 2 emulator (GNATemulator), and a code coverage tool (GNATcoverage) that does not require code instrumentation. This combination streamlines the development, testing, and validation of the software as all these tasks can be performed on the host development platform.

Operational since 1978, Argos enables scientists across the globe to gather information on any object equipped with an appropriate transmitter. Messages from these transmitters are recorded by a series of satellites carrying Argos instruments and then relayed to dedicated processing centers.

By measuring temperature, pressure, humidity and sea levels, Argos transmitters provide invaluable information on the planet and Earth’s atmosphere. Argos is used for a variety of applications, including volcano monitoring, ship and expedition tracking, fishing management, tracking animal migration, and geophysical data collection. Begun jointly by France and the United States (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA), Argos is operated globally by Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), a subsidiary of the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and Ifremer, the French institute of marine research and exploration.

Thales will be using GNAT Pro for LEON ELF and the LEON 2 simulation platform. The LEON2 processor was commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA), and is designed specifically for use in satellite systems. The 18 month project is expected to be completed in mid-2011, and is estimated to require approximately 25,000 lines of code. The Argos-4 contract is covered by the Thales corporate-wide software licence with AdaCore.

“The Argos project is an exciting addition to our ongoing work in the space and satellite sector,” said Michael Friess, Sales and Business Development Manager, AdaCore. “This new program extends our existing long term relationship with Thales and highlights our ability to provide innovative solutions for our space customers.”

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