Kaiser aircraft displays use Ada tool from Green Hills

Engineers at Kaiser Electronics in San Jose, Calif., needed an Ada tool to help them develop Ada 95 software programs for their tactical aircraft cockpit display systems.

Sep 1st, 1999
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Kaiser aircraft displays use Ada tool from Green Hills

Engineers at Kaiser Electronics in San Jose, Calif., needed an Ada tool to help them develop Ada 95 software programs for their tactical aircraft cockpit display systems.

They found their answer with the AdaMULTI tool from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The software will run on Pentium and PowerPC microprocessors under the VxWorks real-time operating system. It converts raw data captured from radar, video cameras, and other I/O devices into display images for head-up, head-down, and helmet-mounted displays.

"Efficient compilation, tight integration with the VxWorks operating system, and the ability to support several different target architectures were all key factors in our decision to go with AdaMULTI," says Mark Smead, software manager at Kaiser Electronics.

"AdaMULTI is ideal for developing real-time embedded Ada95 software for mission-critical applications like aircraft displays," says John Carbone, vice president of marketing at Green Hills Software. The strictly defined features of Ada are well suited to an integrated display environment, that is part of a larger application, he says.

The U.S. Department of Defense does not require Ada anymore, but companies that have always used Ada are continuing to do so, Carbone says. Also, the same companies are using Ada for new projects as well, he adds.

Systems designers in the automotive industry are also looking to Ada, Carbone says. Not only mission-critical applications, but other applications and industries as well, need a language that is well defined with narrow guidelines for real-time control, he explains.

The C and C++ languages are better suited for system management than they are for real-time control, Carbone claims, because the guidelines for these languages are so broad. Programmers are not strictly required to stick to guidelines which makes for a more complicated system, Carbone says.

However, Green Hills is providing solutions that use Ada and C++ together, taking the control advantages of Ada, and merging them with the broad management capabilities of C++, he adds.

The AdaMULTI software-development environment automates all aspects of Ada 95 software development. Integrated with the Wind River Systems Tornado framework, AdaMULTI features a validated Ada 95 optimizing compiler, source-level symbolic debugger, and automated program builder. AdaMULTI also features a version-control system, a code-performance and coverage profiler, a source-code navigation and cross reference browser, text editor, and call graph display.

The Green Hills Ada 95 compiler family implements the enhancements defined in the ANSI/ISO/IEC-8652: 1995 Ada 95 specification, including: object-oriented programming, hierarchical library organization, type extensions of tagged types and child library units, and new task and synchronization features such as protected types.

The compiler also implements two optional Ada 95 annexes, systems programming and real-time systems, and provides specialized VxWorks, Solaris, and Win32 support that enables Ada 95 tasks to be implemented as VxWorks tasks or Solaris threads for self-hosted Unix applications and Win32 tasks for self-hosted Windows applications. — J.M.

For more information on AdaMULTI and Green Hills Software contact Pat Rodenbeck by phone at 813-781-4909, by e-mail at sales@ghs.com, or on the world Wide Web at http://www.ghs.com.

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The AdaMULTI tool from Green Hills Software helps develop Ada95 software programs for tactical aircraft.

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