Section: Application Domains

Automotive and Avionics

From our continuous collaboration with major academic and industrial partners through projects TOPCASED, OPENEMBEDD, SPACIFY, CESAR, OPEES, P and CORAIL, our experience has primarily focused on the aerospace domain. The topics of time and architecture of team TEA extend to both avionics and automotive. Yet, the research focus on time in team TEA is central in any aspect of, cyber-physical, embedded system design in factory automation, automotive, music synthesis, signal processing, software radio, circuit and system on a chip design; many application domains which, should more collaborators join the team, would definitely be worth investigating.

Multi-scale, multi-aspect time modelling, analysis and software synthesis will greatly contribute to architecture modelling in these domains, with applications to optimised (distributed, parallel, multi-core) code generation for avionics (project Corail with Thales avionics, section 8) as well as modelling standards, real-time simulation and virtual integration in automotive (project with Toyota ITC, section 8).

Together with the importance of open-source software, one of these projects, the FUI Project P (section 8), demonstrated that a centralised model for system design could not just be a domain-specific programming language, such as discrete Simulink data-flows or a synchronous language. Synchronous languages implement a fixed model of time using logical clocks that are abstraction of time as sensed by software. They correspond to a fixed viewpoint in system design, and in a fixed hardware location in the system, which is not adequate to our purpose and must be extended.

In project P, we first tried to define a centralised model for importing discrete-continuous models onto a simplified implementation of SIMULINK: P models. Certified code generators would then be developed from that format. Because this does not encompass all aspects being translated to P, the P meta-model is now being extended to architecture description concepts (of the AADL) in order to become better suited for the purpose of system design. Another example is the development of System Modeller on top of SCADE, which uses the more model-engineering flavoured formalism SysML to try to unambiguously represent architectures around SCADE modules.

An abstract specification formalism, capable of representing time, timing relations, with which heterogeneous models can be abstracted, from which programs can be synthesised, naturally appears better suited for the purpose of virtual prototyping. RT-Builder, based on Signal like Polychrony and developed by TNI, was industrially proven and deployed for that purpose at Peugeot. It served to develop the virtual platform simulating all onboard electronics of PSA cars. This `hardware in the loop” simulator was used to test equipments supplied by other manufacturers with respect to virtual cars. In the avent of the related automotive standard, RT-Builder then became AUTOSAR-Builder.