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Real-Time Linux Inside Defense Industry

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Lockheed Martin Space Systems is going open source for simulation testing.

The defense contractor will use Concurrent’s real-time RedHawk Linux operating system for the U.S. Army’s Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program, a strategic missile defense subsystem simulation testing program.

Financial terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

Lockheed Martin will use RedHawk in hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation testing, which allows for testing of components in a, “closed loop that is reproducible, systematic, fast and more reliable than actual bench testing.”

RedHawk is not a new Linux distribution, but rather a series of enhancements on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that provides real- time “deterministic” capabilities to the OS.

Concurrent’s director of real-time marketing, Gary Beerman, defined deterministic as the ability for a user to run an application or scenario in the same time and be able to repeat the same scenario without anything else interrupting it.

He said that almost everything in the RedHawk OS is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, albeit booted with the RedHawk kernel and its extensions.

RedHawk’s Linux kernel includes a priority preemptive scheduler, a higher level of real-time determinism and capability to do process shielding. The RedHawk extensions also enable users to partition applications to run on a particular processor inside of multi-processor systems.

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