Due to its long-standing experience Rheinmetall is acting as prime contractor for Airbus and is responsible for the Loadmaster Control System for the new A400M military transport aircraft.
Rheinmetall’s role in this program is the system responsibility for the development, manufacture and support of the Loadmaster Control System as the electronic brain of the entire cargo hold. It essentially consists of the following components:
- the Loadmaster Workstation (LMWS)
- the Loadmaster Control Panel (LMCP)
- eight Sidewall Lock Panels (SWLP)
- a Remote Control Unit (RCU) for the cargo winches and the crane
- the Entrance Area Light Panel (EALP)
All of these elements help the loadmaster to perform its main task: on the ground, it is responsible for loading/unloading operations and for mission adaptation of the cargo hold; in flight, it oversees everything that is not cockpit-related. In addition to the loadmaster workstation’s primary work place positioned in the forward area of the aircraft, a loadmaster control panel is provided in the ramp area. This panel offers largely the same functions as the LMWS. A remote control unit is available for operation of the crane or winches needed to stow heavy loads. The A400M is one of the world’s first aircraft to be equipped with such a sophisticated system.
As part of the LMWS development, SYSGO supplies the DO-178B certifiable OS platform, PikeOS, and assists the development team in porting legacy code initially implemented for a former RTOS. SYSGO’s safe and secure multi-partitioning is necessary to manage the different levels of certification corresponding to the different applications running on top of PikeOS. These applications have a scope of functionality that goes from secure networking to safe support of graphical capabilities.
"The LMWS project is very important and strategic for our company", states Mr. Bäcker, LMC Project Manager at Rheinmetall Defence. "We had precise criteria for the selection of our supplier: the high quality and the robustness of the technology of course, but also the experience in DO-178B certification, the knowledge of the type of application we develop, and a good track record of performance and commitment in supporting customers. The selection of SYSGO was therefore consistent. Besides, SYSGO was able to demonstrate their competency in assisting us in migrating from a previous solution."
PikeOS is an innovative product providing an embedded systems platform where multiple virtual machines can run simultaneously in a secure environment. The secure virtualization technology allows multiple operating system APIs to run concurrently on one machine, e.g. an ARINC-653 application together with Linux. The PikeOS microkernel architecture allows it to be used in cost sensitive, resource constrained devices as well as large, complex systems. The simplicity and compactness of the PikeOS design results in real-time performance that competes head-to-head with conventional proprietary RTOS solutions. PikeOS is certifiable to the DO-178B standard, and is also MILS compliant.
"We are very proud to see the level of trust Rheinmetall puts into our company", said Michael Tiedemann, CEO of SYSGO. "We know that our success relies on the combination of two factors: the excellence of our PikeOS product and the excellence of our engineers in their support and participation in the development of the project. Our selection for this project is another important milestone in PikeOS acceptance in the very demanding avionics market."
SYSGO excels in providing operating system technology, middleware, and software services for the real-time and embedded device market. A differentiating capability of SYSGO is the secure PikeOS™ paravirtualization operating system which is built upon a small, fast, and safe microkernel and supports the cohabitation of independent operating system personalities on a single platform, including ELinOS™, SYSGO’s embedded Linux development environment. SYSGO supports international customers with services for embedded Linux, real-time capabilities and certification for safety-critical applications. Target markets include Aerospace & Defense, Industrial Automation, Automotive, Transportation and Network Infrastructure. SYSGO customers include Airbus, Honeywell, Thales, Daimler, Raytheon, Rheinmetall, Rockwell-Collins, Siemens and Rohde & Schwarz. Today, the company has six facilities in Europe, including Germany, France and The Czech Republic and offers a global distribution and support network, extending to North America and the Pacific Rim.