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When you are running computers many millions of miles from earth you need reliability. NASA shuns Redmond's Windows. The Operating System of choice is VxWorks from Wind River. All of NASA's assets on and around Mars are powered by VxWorks.
Wind River's Mke Deliman will be discussing the unique challenges of creating software for use in hostile environments. Reboots, safe modes, on the fly patches, and a high degree of fault tollerance and self preservation are needed. Even the hardware platform must be special, needing to be hardend to survive intense solar radiation and huge temperature swings. Curiosity sports a screaminf fast 200mz RAD processor. That might not sound very fast, but it is 10 times faster than the ones used on Spirit and Opportunity. You can do a lot with just a little, if you plan carefully.
Please join us, for what will be a very insightful program about the subject.
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It's good to talk.