Train manufacturer partners with Green Hills for safety system

Bombardier is partnering with Green Hills Software to develop the safety platform for its next-generation Train Control Management System (TCMS).

Bombardier, which has over 100,000 rail vehicles currently in operation around the world, is developing a TCMS that will be more flexible and easier to upgrade than existing systems. This capability is particularly valuable given the long lifecycle of railway rolling stock.

The TCMS will use the Green Hills Platform for Industrial Safety, which incorporates the IEC 61508 SIL3 safety-certified Integrity real-time operating system (RTOS) and the Multi integrated development environment (IDE). Green Hills Software will also develop and conduct the EN 50128 safety certification for a board support package for Bombardier’s system.

A derivative of IEC 61508, EN 50128 is the European standard for railway applications – communications, signalling and processing systems. As system safety monitoring increases, the task of certification can become increasingly complex. This is due to the manner in which individual functions are handled by separate computer boards, in order to prevent a failure in a non-safety element compromising a safety-critical element of the system. The outcome of this traditional approach is that each carriage on a train might require up to 50 boards in its control system.

By adopting the Integrity RTOS, developers can run applications containing software of multiple levels of safety criticality concurrently on a single processor. The Integrity secure separation kernel enables applications to be partitioned in such a way as to ensure that an error or failure in one application cannot impact negatively on another. Using Integrity, Bombardier will be able to maintain the highest safety certification standards while significantly reducing the number of boards in the TCMS. This change will simplify future system upgrades and maintenance; result in better use of space and lower energy consumption.

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