Aitech Defence Systems ports Linux OS to its Ai-RIO RIU

Open source Linux operating system (OS) has been ported by Aitech Defence Systems onto its intelligent Ai-RIO remote I/O interface unit (RIU).

The modular, small form factor (SFF) RIU internally networks up to eight expansion modules (or ‘slices’) for extremely high density and low power in a compact physical space.

According to George Romaniuk, director of space products, for Aitech Group: “By increasing the available OS options on the Ai-RIO, we’re providing customers with technology advantages to ensure their systems are developed on-time and on-budget, while incorporating the needed processing speeds and real-time functionality of critical embedded systems.”

The Linux-based software development kit (SDK) for the Ai-RIO is available to develop applications with ease. The combination of the new SDK and the SFF’s modular expansion design, means that the Ai-RIO provides the ability to create custom-tailored embedded systems that offer high performance, design flexibility and low-cost development. It is available in both ruggedised military or space-qualified versions.

The Linux board support package (BSP) is delivered as a virtual machine (VM) with the complete source code and build environment. The VM has a pre-configured trivial file transfer protocol (TFTP) server to boot the kernel and a network file system (NFS) server to be used for storage and file sharing during the development.

All Ai-RIO units are tested and characterised directly by Aitech for radiation effects over 25krads (Si) TID.  The dual-core, high performance, low power NXP P1020 processor is used; it was selected because it is immune to latch-up, with other components chosen to meet the heavy ion linear energy transfer threshold (LETth) of at least 37MeV-cm2/mg for latch-up.

The Linux-based RIU platform also provides a low-cost path to leverage the flight-proven NASA Core Flight System (cFS) when implementing new mission critical systems, observes Aitech.

Using Aitech’s RIO-NET client/server software, the unit can also serve as a standalone command and data handling (C&DH) platform or media converter, or as a networked remote command/response I/O data concentrator.

The modular subsystem features onboard temperature sensors as well as A/D voltage and current monitoring with built-in test (BIT) for high reliability and a base configuration weight of only 3.75lbs with a power dissipation of less than 12W.

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