Rheinmetall selects DO-178B certifiable PikeOS from SYSGO for A400M Project.

Rheinmetall Defence has selected SYSGO to participate in developing the Loadmaster Workstation equipment.

Due to its long-standing experience, Rheinmetall is the 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’s responsibility for developing, manufacturing, and supporting 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 these elements help the loadmaster perform its primary 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 workplace 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 can operate the crane or winches needed to stow heavy loads. The A400M is one of the world’s first aircraft with such a sophisticated system.

As part of the LMWS development, SYSGO supplies the DO-178B certifiable O.S. 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 various 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 demonstrated 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 with Linux. The PikeOS microkernel architecture will enable it to be used in cost-sensitive, resource-constrained devices and large, complex systems. The simplicity and compactness of the PikeOS design have resulted 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.”

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