RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Germany


The  RheinMain University of Applied Sciences was founded in 1971 by merging three former engineering schools and one art school located in the Rhein-Main area in the federal state of Hesse, between the cities of Frankfurt, Darmstadt and the capital of Hesse, Wiesbaden. With about  12, 800 students, 250 professors and four campuses in Wiesbaden and Rüsselsheim, it is among the 15 largest universities of applied sciences in Germany. There are five faculties offering more than 70 different degree programs , both Bachelor and Master in various disciplines from Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science to Graphic Design, Social Studies and Business Administration. Eight degree programs in Computer Science are offered by the department of Design Computer Science Media which is located in Wiesbaden. There are currently approximately 1000 computer science students at the university.Within the department of Design Computer Science  Media (DCSM), the Distributed Systems Lab (DOPSY) has worked and still works on research projects revolving around the issues of safe and secure operating system software for automotive systems with limited resources, embedded cryptography, cyber-physical systems, IoT, Industry 4.0  and ambient assisted living (AAL). Typically, such project are nationally funded cooperations with German SMEs.

Prospective researchers of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences working on AQUAS offer expertise in real-time operating systems, hardware-level programming and verification.

Relevant expertise

·       Project „Dynamotive“ – this project focused on novel OS concepts and mechanisms for dynamic resource re-usage in mixed-criticality systems, mainly (but not exclusively) in automotive applications.

·       Project AUTOBEST – this project aimed at separating memory management from memory protection in  OS kernels, offering a statically configured, AUTOSAR-compliant kernel with memory isolation based on low-profile MCUs with memory protection units.

Main tasks

RheinMain University of Applied Sciences provides the AQUAS project with its expertise in the design of safe real-time operating systems platforms. Involvement with the project will allow application and evaluation of the SPARK technology in order to determine whether it is a viable technology for improving performance in the process of developing safe system-level software.

As a proof of concept, this technology shall be applied to the development of a small microkernel. Properties such as isolation through address spaces and also timing behaviours shall be proven correct in an automated (or semi-automated) way by applying SPARK’s intrinsic verification facilities.  If the SPARK technology can be shown to be amenable to the design and development of a microkernel and if the development process can be shown to reduce the effort in development and –specifically- proof, then also other, possibly less critical software components can be expected to benefit from these improvements. Therefore,  experience made during this development shall  lead to a more efficient development process for highly safety-critical software with a need for formal verification.

Matching the microkernel’s functionalities to the specific requirements of space applications in cooperation with partners experienced with space technology (for example the LEON3 architecture) shall deliver a functional and formally proven solution readily usable  in this challenging field.