RTEMS Qualifies for the Space Domain

The European Space Agency ESA certifies the open-source real-time operating system RTEMS in the SMP configuration for ECSS Criticality Category C and D.

This is based on an ESA-founded project performed by Edisoft, embedded brains GmbH, the Trinity College Dublin, and Jena Optronik between 2018 and 2021. During this project, a largely automated qualification environment including test suite and toolchain has been developed which covers documentation, testing and evaluation summary.

The qualification was carried out for the Cobham-Gaisler processors GR740 and GR712RC (which are widely used in the space domain), and for a reduced subset mainly used in space flight. A further qualification for category B is envisaged. The documentation and tests for this are already in place (100% code and branch coverage), and the necessary independent verification is underway with ESA. Further certifications of other processors as well as extensions of the functional scope can be performed on the basis of this infrastructure.

The coming RTEMS 6 is mostly compatible to RTEMS 5, but will include the modifications and enhancements resulting from this qualification process.

More information on https://rtems-qual.io.esa.int/.

Two presentations on this effort were given at the Flight Software Workshop:

Most of the work is already submitted to the RTEMS Project and is available from the RTEMS Source Code Repository (https://git.rtems.org). The intention is to submit all the documentation and test software to the RTEMS Project.