LYNX MOSA.ic supports Gray Eagle UAS software modernisation

27th August 2020
Alex Lynn

Lynx Software Technologies has announced that General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has adopted the LYNX MOSA.ic software framework for the Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

LYNX MOSA.ic is aligned with GA-ASI’s objectives to meet software-modernisation targets for the GE-ER program that include safety and cost efficiency, as well as introducing new features, increasing system robustness and securing future flexibility.

The GE-ER is a multi-mission UAS including surveillance and other intelligence gathering. The air vehicle carries sensors including color and thermographic cameras, and is piloted remotely from a ground-control station via satellite data link or optionally by line-of-sight data link. An early goal of the software modernisation sought to integrate a new and advanced video codec implemented on the Zynq UltraScale+ adaptable multiprocessor system on chip (MPSoC) from Xilinx.

The modularity of LYNX MOSA.ic enabled the team to achieve an efficient and robust solution in a mixed criticality environment including both Linux and a deterministic real-time operating system. LYNX MOSA.ic securely partitions networking, security, safety and multimedia domains from each other with prescriptive, defined and immutable allocation of hardware resources to each. This allowed the incorporation of the Xilinx hardware without compromising hardware dependencies or the performance and determinism of other time-critical processes.

Although DO-178 certification isn’t an immediate requirement for the system, GA-ASI views the fact that Lynx provides a proven DO-178 certified OS with a path to DAL-A support as a significant advantage.

“The video codec on the Zynq UltraScale+ supports concurrent 4K 60 fps  video encoding, decoding and transcoding, is extremely efficient and will extend the capabilities of GE-ER, leveraging features of LYNX MOSA.ic to ensure reliability and system safety,” said John Blevins, Senior Manager, Embedded Software and Ecosystem, at Xilinx.

“GA-ASI is a recognised innovator and leader in its field of unmanned aircraft, so Lynx is naturally excited to be entrusted to supply technology for this software modernisation program,” said Pavan Singh, VP Product Management, “our focus now is on ensuring the successful execution of this program through the development and into deployment”.

GA-ASI identified LYNX MOSA.ic as the best platform to satisfy current and future demands for GE-ER modernisation. Supporting today’s computing trends moving towards multicore processors and hardware acceleration leveraging complex programmable SoCs, LYNX MOSA.ic enables real-time operating systems (RTOS), commercial OSes, and bare-metal software to coexist on the same platform and maintain robust separation.

The platform’s open integration framework promotes safe software re-use to help realise cost efficiencies and shorten development and integration cycles. With features to optimise hardware on boot-up and securely lock-down the configuration to prevent unintentional modification or malicious interference, LYNX MOSA.ic aims to ensure operational safety and robustness and provide cybersecurity.

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