DornerWorks is seeking to enhance the capabilities and ecosystem of the open source Xen Project hypervisor, targeting full integration with the High Performance Space Computing (HPSC) platform’s High Performance Processing Subsystem (HPPS) through this project. There will be several tangible benefits stemming from this Phase I project.
This project will show the Xen Project hypervisor to be a viable, open source, bare metal, hypervisor solution for the HPSC. Embedded hypervisors have been ported to hardware similar to the HPSC-HPPS, like the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC and the NXP i.MX 8, for products in several different commercial markets to:
This project will also add capabilities and make improvements to the Xen Project hypervisor to better suit it for use with the HPSC hardware and software components. A gap analysis between the Xen Project hypervisor’s capabilities and HPSC requirements will have been performed, identifying remaining improvements or new feature to be implemented in Phase II. This project will also substantively improve the Xen ecosystem with regards to space programs and missions by adding Xen support of a real time operating system (RTOS), like RTEMS, on A53 processors. This will be of value to future programs targeting the HPSC, and of immediate value for programs currently developing software on similar hardware available today, such as the Xilinx MPSoC used on platforms like Innoflight’s CFC-400 Compact Hybrid Architecture for Multi-Parametric Sensing (CHAMPS) Flight Computer.
This project provides open source contributions to the developing HPSC ecosystem by enabling use of a hypervisor, or by providing another hypervisor to use, and by adding support for another RTOS on the HPPS. The HPSC platform is targeted for Rover, Landers, High Bandwidth Instrument, and SmallSat/Constellation missions. This project also provides benefits to current missions targeting similar hardware, like the MPSoC, to host multiple instances of core Flight Software System (cFS) to help provide redundancy on a single chip.
Improvements to the Xen Project hypervisor and ecosystem benefit NASA and non-NASA applications alike. Improving real time capabilities will benefit customers in a variety of markets with real-time requirements. Increasing the number of operating systems that can run on Xen virtual machines is also valuable to the larger market, e.g., a RTEMS/Xen configuration is of interest to several parties.