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eXtremeDB Embedded Database Chosen for Tornado GR4 Combat Jet

September 29, 2009 — In a major military/aerospace design win, McObject® announced that global defense contractor BAE Systems has chosen McObject’s eXtremeDB™ in-memory embedded database running on Wind River’s VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) as part of an avionics upgrade for the high-profile Panavia Tornado GR4 multi-role combat jet.

eXtremeDB will help the aircraft improve on what it already does extremely well: succeed in a wide variety of missions, during day or night, through advanced radar, mapping and navigation technology that allows low-level flying even when poor weather prevents visual flight.

Within the Panavia Tornado GR4, eXtremeDB is part of a new embedded software system that adds Tactical Data Link capability to the Tornado Advanced Radar/Map Display Information System (TARDIS). The TARDIS displays a moving digital map overlaid with radar and tactical data. The eXtremeDB embedded database manages tactical information such as aircraft/ship/vehicle positions, and is updated in real-time from multiple sources, including GPS receivers. (More information on BAE Systems’ TARDIS program can be found in a Wind River case study at: http://www.windriver.com/customers/customer-success/documents/BAE_Systems_TARDIS_0608r.pdf.)


Panavia Tornado GR4 combat jet. This photo is the property of BAE Systems (Copyright© 2005 BAE Systems. All rights reserved).
BAE Systems chose to use McObject’s eXtremeDB commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) database rather than developing data management code from scratch in order to reduce costs and shorten time-to-completion. Selecting the eXtremeDB database proved to be more cost-effective and “allowed us to develop the application for the customer within a shorter timeframe,” said Alex Payne, Engineering Project Manager, BAE Systems.

Real-time responsiveness is critical for the application. As an in-memory database system (IMDS) designed for embedded systems, eXtremeDB stores records entirely in RAM, eliminating I/O, caching and other performance overhead imposed by traditional disk-based databases. A RAM-based IMDS coupled with Wind River’s VxWorks RTOS enabled BAE Systems to rapidly integrate and deploy the TARDIS update. “We are pleased to see another successful customer using VxWorks and eXtremeDB in a critical avionics system,” said Rob Hoffman, vice president and general manager, Aerospace and Defense, Wind River. “Our pre-integrated software solutions continue to remove risk, time, and costs from our customer’s programs.”

Engineers tested several COTS databases and found that eXtremeDB provided better performance and ease of integration, as well as reliable support, Payne said. “Among other benefits, eXtremeDB makes it simple to configure databases and tables using the product’s schema compiler,” he said.

The schema compiler processes a database definition, contained in a text file, to produce C/C++ header files for the application along with a set of interface functions that are specific to that database. The functions are type-safe, adding to reliability by ensuring that any data typing errors are caught and corrected when the application is compiled.

“McObject is pleased by eXtremeDB’s role in the Panavia Tornado GR4 aircraft’s critical radar and mapping capabilities. Defense and aerospace companies choose the eXtremeDB embedded database for its reliability, industry track record, and the performance lent by its streamlined, all-in-memory architecture. An additional benefit is shorter time-to-market through the use of a proven embedded software component,” Chris Mureen, McObject’s chief operating officer, said.

McObject’s eXtremeDB provides a highly portable database management system that meets the unique performance requirements and resource constraints of embedded systems and intelligent, connected devices. eXtremeDB provides critical data management features—-including transactions, concurrent access, and a high-level data definition language—-while maintaining a code footprint as small as 50K. It is available as a standard in-memory database system and in editions offering high availability, hybrid in-memory/on-disk data storage, kernel mode data management, 64-bit support and more. McObject’s Perst™ is an open source, object-oriented embedded database, available for Java and .NET, including Java ME and .NET Compact Framework.

About McObject

Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes applications and devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such as Chrysler, Maximizer Software, Siemens, Phillips, EADS, JVC, Tyco Thermal Controls, F5 Networks, DIRECTV, CA, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first-rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit www.mcobject.com.

McObject and eXtremeDB are trademarks or registered trademarks of McObject LLC. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.