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MARTe: A Multiplatform Real-Time Framework

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10 Author(s)
AndrĂ© C. Neto ; Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Associação EURATOM/IST, Lisboa, Portugal ; Filippo Sartori ; Fabio Piccolo ; Riccardo Vitelli
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Development of real-time applications is usually associated with nonportable code targeted at specific real-time operating systems. The boundary between hardware drivers, system services, and user code is commonly not well defined, making the development in the target host significantly difficult. The Multithreaded Application Real-Time executor (MARTe) is a framework built over a multiplatform library that allows the execution of the same code in different operating systems. The framework provides the high-level interfaces with hardware, external configuration programs, and user interfaces, assuring at the same time hard real-time performances. End-users of the framework are required to define and implement algorithms inside a well-defined block of software, named Generic Application Module (GAM), that is executed by the real-time scheduler. Each GAM is reconfigurable with a set of predefined configuration meta-parameters and interchanges information using a set of data pipes that are provided as inputs and required as output. Using these connections, different GAMs can be chained either in series or parallel. GAMs can be developed and debugged in a non-real-time system and, only once the robustness of the code and correctness of the algorithm are verified, deployed to the real-time system. The software also supplies a large set of utilities that greatly ease the interaction and debugging of a running system. Among the most useful are a highly efficient real-time logger, HTTP introspection of real-time objects, and HTTP remote configuration. MARTe is currently being used to successfully drive the plasma vertical stabilization controller on the largest magnetic confinement fusion device in the world, with a control loop cycle of 50 ?s and a jitter under 1 ?s. In this particular project, MARTe is used with the Real-Time Application Interface (RTAI)/Linux operating system exploiting the new ?86 multicore processors technology.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 2 )