New Lunar Lander Project relies on Spark programming language
UK-based Altran Praxis, an international specialist in embedded and critical systems engineering and assurance, today announced that its SPARK language has been selected by a new, NASA-funded US lunar mission.
SPARK is a high level programming language and toolset designed to support the development of software where correct operation is vital, for example in safety, security or other ?must work? applications. It will be used to develop the software behind a CubeSat project being developed by a consortium comprising Vermont Technical College, Norwich University, St. Michael?s College, and the University of Vermont.
A CubeSat is a miniaturised satellite with dimensions of 10x10x10cm that can be doubled or tripled in length. Its combination of size and standardised components make it a much cheaper method of space research than traditional satellites. Consequently, it has been rapidly adopted by universities and research institutions around the world for projects covering areas as diverse as earthquake detection and wildlife tracking.
?The Vermont CubeSat project, led by Professor Carl Brandon of Vermont Technical College, aims to launch by 2015. It is developing the first CubeSat that can be launched from a geostationary orbit to successfully land on the moon.
?The scale and simplicity of the CubeSat concept opens up space to innovative projects such as ours,? said Professor Carl Brandon, Professor of Physics, Vermont Technical College. ?However, the small size of the CubeSat shouldn?t mask the ambitious scope of what we are aiming to do. This means we needed to develop software that met the highest standards of integrity ? you simply can?t fix software problems in space. SPARK was therefore the perfect choice for this project and is an integral part of our goal to land the first CubeSat on the Moon.??
Added the 10 June 2010 in category Innovation News