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D-MILS: Distributed MILS for Dependable Information and Communication Infrastructures

Project Description

Modern critical systems bear great responsibilities and face escalating challenges. Distributed systems for critical applications are costly and time-consuming to develop and to certify. Since there is little automated support for early assurance that a system faithfully implements its architectural design and satisfies its requirements, qualification testing and certification processes often reveal deficiencies that require costly late changes.

MILS provides compositional system construction and assurance, leveraging individually developed and assured components to predict and assure the properties of composite systems. It offers a modular high-assurance platform and a framework for the certification of systems that are built on the platform. MILS reduces the cost and time for development, certification and maintenance of dependable systems. Distributed MILS relies on extensions to a MILS separation kernel and the addition of a MILS network subsystem, using a hardware-based, Time-Triggered Ethernet (TTEthernet) “backplane”. Using D-MILS technology, it will be possible, for the first time, for an application architecture to seamlessly span multiple computer systems with scalable deterministic operation over a set of nodes, opening many new practical application areas for MILS.

Automated assistance, as being developed and applied in this project, is indispensable for the development and verification of dependable distributed systems. System architects, developers, integrators, installers, operators and particularly the organizations and populations that depend on critical systems will benefit from the resulting assurances that many of the sources of errors leading to added cost and dangerous failures of critical systems can be eliminated.

Results of the Distributed MILS project will establish a common framework for critical system construction and certification, encouraging innovation among component and service suppliers and leading to improved dependability while reducing the cost to develop, certify and deploy trustworthy critical systems in the EU.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 318772.

The networking functionality of Distributed MILS is implemented based on the TTEthernet technology. TTEthernet natively provides determinism features such as full separation of concerns on the network and is thus a logical candidate for extended MILS technology to distributed applications. In D-MILS, extensions and modifications to TTEthernet and the related configuration tools are made to ensure seamless support of MILS features on the network. To meet the high requirements of MILS systems in terms of security, also a security extension for the network based on MACsec is researched and prototypically implemented. TTTech acts as the platform provider for the MILS network system and supplies the TTEthernet platform and equipment to the industrial use case partners, strongly supporting the integration of their applications in real-world demonstrators as well.


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