HITACHI Rail STS Chooses AdaCore’s GNAT Pro Software Development Environment for New Rail Safety Platform

AdaCore, a trusted provider of software development and verification tools, today announced that HITACHI Rail STS (Signaling and Transportation Systems) has selected AdaCore's GNAT Pro Ada development environment targeting ARM processors for the modernization of its CSD (Calculator of Available Safety) rail safety platform, to ensure the safe circulation of trains on railway lines and metro networks.

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(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

Read the full case study

Technical challenges of modernization
In March 2017, HITACHI Rail STS rolled out the interlocking management system of the Gare de Lyon in Paris as part of a renovation project commissioned by the French national rail company SNCF. The system, supported by a single safety platform, commands 170 switches, 115 light signals and 800 routes at any time and simultaneously, and thus requires a secure, reliable platform.

In 2018, facing the problem of obsolete equipment and the need for ever greater computing power, HITACHI Rail STS decided to further modernize its safety platform with the ambitious goal of developing a single platform that is also compatible with the constraints of rolling stock and ground signalling.

The first targets were the renovation of the metro lines in the city of Brussels with a Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, and the renovation of the interlocking systems of the first 280 mile-long high-speed rail line in France between Paris and Lyon.

HITACHI Rail STS identified 2 key areas of focus in order to achieve its goal:

  1. Conduct logic synthesis on the 68K CPU in order to house the “voter” function of the CSD in the Processing System part of this component, thus making it possible to reuse the coded monoprocessor production chain of the existing voter software,
  2. Port the existing application software, developed in Ada 95, to an ARM Cortex-A53 processor in the Programmable Logic part.

Choosing AdaCore’s solutions
The constraints imposed by porting the application software to an ARM processor led HITACHI Rail STS to contact AdaCore for possible solutions, including the choice of an Ada runtime and compiler targeted to ARM.

HITACHI Rail STS chose AdaCore's Linux-hosted GNAT Pro Ada development environment, combined with a Ravenscar SFP runtime, based on several factors:

  1. The possibility of certifying the runtime according to the railway standard EN 50128;
  2. Access to a POSIX/Linux development environment that, when combined with Ada compilation tools, offers easy implementation of binary generation processes;
  3. The possibility of reusing Linux tools; and
  4. Access to various AdaCore tools, including:
    1. GNATcheck for coding standard application and verification, including complexity metrics, and
    2. GNATemulator, making it possible to emulate an ARMv8 processor on a host system.

The new safety platform for the Wayside and On-Board projects
Development of this platform began in 2017 with the design of a new circuit board. The porting of the CSD software components came next, along with risk analysis and validation.

The current goal of HITACHI Rail STS is to obtain EN 50128 certification for this new platform by the end of 2020. Going forward, it will be the universal safety platform for use on all HITACHI Rail STS’s “Wayside” and “On-Board” projects.

About HITACHI Rail STS France
Hitachi Rail STS France manages the regional operations for Hitachi Rail STS across Northern and Western Europe, Northern Africa, China and Korea. Roughly 800 engineers and technicians are involved in R&D, Engineering, Project Management, Manufacturing and Maintenance.

Founded in 1902, Hitachi Rail STS France has developed the signaling and train control systems that contribute to the constant improvement in railway safety and capacity on main lines and mass transit railway systems all over the world.

In major international railway projects, in particular in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, clients have called on Hitachi Rail STS France for its ability to deliver fail-safe systems on time and on budget. Being in close proximity to its clients, relying on an international presence in Western and Northern Europe and Asia, Hitachi Rail STS France can manage projects efficiently and accept their challenges, anticipating needs and offering innovative solutions.

About AdaCore
Founded in 1994, AdaCore supplies software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical and security-critical systems. Four flagship products highlight the company’s offerings:

  • The GNAT Pro development environment, a complete toolset for designing, implementing, and managing applications that demand high reliability and maintainability,
  • The CWE-Compatible CodePeer advanced static analysis tool, an automatic Ada code reviewer and validator that can detect and eliminate errors both during development and retrospectively on existing software,
  • The SPARK Pro verification environment, a toolset providing full formal verification oriented toward high-assurance systems with stringent safety and/or security requirements, and
  • The QGen model-based development tool suite for safety-critical control systems, providing a qualifiable and customizable code generator and static verifier for a safe subset of Simulink® and Stateflow® models.

Over the years customers have used AdaCore products to field and maintain a wide range of critical applications in domains such as commercial and military avionics, railway, automotive, space, defense systems, air traffic management/control, medical devices, and financial services. AdaCore has an extensive and growing worldwide customer base; see for further information.

AdaCore products are non-proprietary open technology and come with expert online support provided by the developers themselves. The company has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.