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Open-Source Software Stack for High-Assurance Autonomous Vehicles

Project: DARPA HACMS Program and the SMACCMcopter project

The DARPA HACMS Program aims at developing open-source systems and tools for protecting autonomous vehicles from cyber attacks. Specifically, a team comprising NICTA (Australia) and Rockwell Collins and Galois (US) is developing SMACCMcopter, a complete open-source software stack for flying a quadcopter. We are developing new code-synthesis and verification tools, also open-source, which allow us to architect the system for maximum resilience, and produce a large amount of high-assurance software at affordable cost. The software stack is based on NICTA's formally-verified seL4 microkernel and the NICTA and Breakaway eChronos RTOS, also being verified. Flight-control software is generated from high-level specs by Galois' Ivory/Tower tools.

The technology developed for SMACCMcopter is being transferred to an optionally-piloted helicopter developed by Boeing, as well as an open reference platform for military ground vehicles.

Gernot Heiser

Gernot is the microkernel dude, having led the development of various L4 microkernels for 20 years. With is group he has produced the L4 kernels that have shipped on billions of Qualcomm mobile modem chips, and are shipping on the security processor of all recent iOS devices. His team has developed the seL4 microkernel, the world's first OS kernel that is mathematically proved free of implementation bugs, and that was open-sourced in July'14.

Gernot is a professor at UNSW and leader of software systems research at NICTA. In 2014 he has been recognised as a Fellow of the ACM. He is listed in Engineers Australia's Top-100 list of most influential engineers, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by Engineers Australia, and New South Wales Scientist of the Year 2009 (Category Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science).

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