Reference Architecture Tools Support (RATS)

Period of Performance: 11/17/1999 - 11/17/2001

$729K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CHI Systems, Inc.
2250 Hickory Road Suite 150
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Next generation embedded software systems for fire control applications will become extremely costly without a means to promote software reuse. In the Joint Technical Architecture-Army (JTAA), there is little guidance concerning this issue. To forestall costs resulting from failure to reuse software in embedded system applications, a generic "Reference Architecture" (RA) is required to allow design, development, implementation, and simulation of software to maximize reuse of previously developed components. To address this problem, CHI Systems will develop an RA and RA toolset. The RA will use an abstract description language to unite the conceptual notion of software components with instantiations of physical components in order to form a specific application. Tools will be required to support the RA. The RATS tools include a repository browser to identify existing software objects, validation of object integrity, a simulation environment for design testing, design pattern recognition, and RA compliance checking. The Phase I effort produced a limited implementation of the RA and RATS tools to demonstrate the utility of the concept. The Phase II effort will result in a well-defined RA for embedded weapons system software to promote reuse, and a robust toolset for using the RA to design reusable components. BENEFITS: RATS is a highly commercializable technology. Just as the military must avoid or reduce software implementation costs, so must the commercial software development sector. RATS in its commercial version will be similar to Microsoft's Visual Studio, and will allow non-programmers to develop complex software designs which maximum software reuse. RATS offers a significant cost reduction for development of complex software systems.