Thales R&T, France


hales is a world leader for mission critical information systems, with activities in three core businesses: aerospace (with all major aircraft manufacturers as customers), defence, and security (including ground transportation solutions). It employs 68000 people worldwide (50 countries). It provides its customers with all the key functions in the critical information loop, from detection and processing to transmission and distribution. Thales develops its strategic capabilities in component, software and system engineering and architectures through its R&T organisation. Designing and developing the mission/safety-critical information systems that underpin the company’s leadership in aerospace, defence and security markets calls for comprehensive expertise in increasingly sophisticated technologies and the ability to integrate these technologies with large-scale software driven systems.

THALES Research & Technology (TRT), a network of corporate research laboratories of the Thales group, coordinates these activities at the global level. TRT’s primary mission is to forge links between the company and leading scientific bodies in each area of expertise in order to monitor the latest advances, develop disruptive technologies and expertise in new areas, attract talented science graduates and provide a platform for innovation and knowledge sharing to support company-wide projects. Most of these corporate laboratories are located on university campuses in immediate proximity to the company’s research partners.  

Relevant project xpertise

The ITEA 2 project MERgE, developed and demonstrated innovative concepts and design tools to address multi-concerns interactions in systems, targeting the elaboration of effective architectural solutions with a focus on safety and security.  TRT led the project and the French Consortium. They were also main author of several significant deliverables, and were responsable for Exploitation. (Completed Mar. 2015)

An Artemis project boosting Europe’s leadership in high-quality embedded systems. The MBAT project provided European industry with a new leading-edge affordable and effective powerful validation and verification (V&V) technology in form of a Reference Technology Platform (the MBAT RTP). TRT are task leader for temporal analysis and performance. (Completed Dec. 2014)

VERDE is developing and industrialising a solution for iterative, incremental development and validation of realtime embedded systems (RTES) in aerospace, software radio, railway and automotive domains. TRT was involved in and led several tasks including the advancement of model-driven engineering techniques and the evaluation of scheduling and performance. (Completed Nov. 2012)

 Used standards and guidelines

OMG (Object Management Group):  An international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium, founded in 1989. OMG standards are driven by vendors, end-users, academic institutions and government agencies.

ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardisation):  Principal set of standard used by the European Space Agency for most factors of system development.

 RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics): Provides the foundation for virtually every modern technical advance in aviation.

IPXact: an XML format that defines and describes electronic components and their designs. IP-XACT was created by the SPIRIT Consortium as a standard to enable automated configuration and integration through tools.

ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated): A major provider of transport communications and systems engineering solutions for eight industries: aviation, airports, defense, government, healthcare, networks, security, and transportation.

CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization): Responsible for standardisation in the electrotechnical engineering field. CENELEC prepares voluntary standards, which help facilitate trade between countries, create new markets, cut compliance costs and support the development of a Single European Market.

DO : Design Assurance for Airbourne Systems.  The leading organisations are RTCA SC-180 and EUROCAE WG-46.

Main tasks

WP3 – In Task 3.1TRT will contribute to the specification of models, metrics and evaluation methods particularly in relation to performance and safety. Bandwidth of the architecture and occupancy ratio in the FPGA will be considered and programmed rules of this architecture defined. The SotA in MERgE will be used with a focus on information pertaining to associated use cases. TRT will contribute in Task 3.2 to the investigation on interaction point development. In particular the co-engineering results from the MERgE project will be drawn upon with further refinement and testing of the “Common Model”, “Independent Engineering Processes” and “Conditions for successful cross-fertilisation” propositions. Feedback will be provided internally and to the public.

WP4 – For Task 4.1 the TEMPO Framework and the open source MDE Thales tool Capella will be assessed in terms of functionalities/capability desired to be put in place in order to implement the WP3 CE processes for performance-safety. TRT will also specify the functions to be added to spearDE to allow the performance evaluation. Concerning the network architecture, TRT will specify the interfaces with the proposed embedded logic functions in the case study. TRT plan to investigate in Task 4.2 the application of WP3 performance-safety results to their Tempo design building block and report findings. This tool draws on previous work in the MBAT project. The work will also result in proposed prototype updates to the open source MDE Thales tool Capella.

Within Task 4.3 will enhance the simulation element of their framework, TEMPO Analysis, with respect to functionality for performance-safety. TRT will also develop a simulator of the architecture to evaluate the performance and the band width. This along with a tool to evaluate the occupancy ratio in the FPGA, will be linked to spearDE. The interfaces between common network and embedded logic functions will be developed to ensure programmability by code generated by spearDE.

TRT will release updates of their tools via Task 4.4 to be tested with the use cases at agreed points during the project – at least 3 for Capella, the Tempo Framework, spearDE and the network architecture.

WP5 – TRT is involved in scientific dissemination of its results in various conferences, workshops participation or organization. TRT is involved in the OMG consortium for modeling standards definition and improvement. TRT is also the MDA Users SIG Chair at OMG and will disseminate the results of the project inside this group. TRT is the corporate research laboratory of the Thales group. TRT’s mission is to provide short and long term competitive advantage to the Thales Group by transferring leading edge technologies and skills to the operating units and by injecting innovation. The MERgE project will enable the development of technologies that aim at being deployed on a large scale. In this context, the experience gathered by TRT will facilitate dissemination and transfer to the different Thales divisions.

TRT will be identifying co-engineering issues and working on prototype development through their assistance with use case extension. They will also be contributing to the standards evolution activity. Both of these activities will be continued after the project completes, with results from the methodologies being integrated into Thales processes. The results of AQUAS will aim to reduce the effort of engineering non-functional properties by at least 10% (with a much greater benefit as co-engineering technology further matures). Thales has a technology evaluation and industrialisation process for the transfer of research where technology is presented to Divisions and must pass an “initial gate” and “main gate” before complete transfer.