Java in Space: Real-Time Java to Power Eye-In-the-Sky
The Java Real-Time specification has been chosen to be launched into space to provide a reliable platform for the Eglin Space Surveillance Radar as part of it's upgrade from legacy components.
Java Real-Time, a high-level development platform for creating applications that require unprecedented execution predictability, will be running on Solaris 10 enabling the radar to move from legacy, one of a kind software to a more standard platform.
"Our comprehensive tests have proven that Sun Java RTS running on Solaris 10 OS meets the real time behavior and throughput requirements for Eglin Space Surveillance Radar," said Matt Prechtel, ITT's Software Lead for the project. "We are looking forward to moving to a software platform based on the Real-Time Specification for Java and are actively evaluating Java RTS for other projects. Compliance with this open standard enables us to use off-the-shelf hardware and operating systems plus offering us a lot more flexibility in terms of solution design."
I find it very interesting that Java has been chosen for this project. Don't forget that section 3 of the licence agreement outlines that the software is not designed or intended for use in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of any nuclear facility. Sure, this isn't a nuclear space surveillance system, but is it at the boundries of the licence agreement?
The selection of the Java RTS for this job is big news - as a specification it never really seemed to get off it's feet. I wonder why Scala wasn't chosen, as it boosts an impressive, easy to use concurrency API.
If you were developing a time critical application, what would you choose? Is that Java RTS enough for a full modernization of such a sytem, or should they go a step further?