Section: Contracts and Grants with Industry
Thales Avionics Electrical Systems S.A.
Thales Avionics Electrical Systems designs and produces electrical power generation systems for aircraft and is a world leader for both commercial and military applications. They are using softwares (i.e. Mathworks' Matlab/Simulink, Synopsys' SABER) in order to model and simulate electrical power systems in different critical conditions. The contract aims at using ObjectWeb ProActive in order to speed up simulations that can last several hours.
Modelica Interface Feasibility Study
The feasibility study focused on the options available for interfacing ProActive with the Modelica language (and some Modelica implementations). Modelica is a language describing simulations in the same way Simulink(Matlab) or Scicos(Scilab) do. It defines a standard for such simulation modelization that many different softwares (open-source or commercial) implement. The study chose the Open Modelica Compiler (an open-source implementation of Modelica) as a reference implementation. It analyses how the compilation and the execution of a modelica model can be automated using the ProActive Scheduler. The study realizes as well the transcription of a Simulink model given by Thales to Modelica. The study concludes first that even though adaptation of models from Simulink to Modelica are feasible, some specific Simulink blocks don't have equivalents in Modelica, and therefore, adaptation techniques need to be implemented. Secondly, the study warns about the numerical stability issues faced when using the Open Modelica Compiler. In regard of these issues, it recommends taking into consideration other commercial implementations, to achieve a better stability.
Installation of a ProActive Matlab toolkit
The ProActive Matlab toolkit developed during last year contract was installed at Thales offices in Chatou. It allows the run Simulink simulation in parallel on a couple remote machines. A week was spent working with the engineers, to understand their everyday computation problems. The ProActive Scheduler and ProActive Matlab toolkit were installed. The ProActive Agent (a daemon program) was installed too.
It allows using machines as computational engines when the engineer usually working on the machine is not there (i.e. at night, during the weekend, etc...). A formation about the usage of ProActive Scheduler was done to Thales IT department. A formation about the usage of ProActive Matlab toolkit and the ProActive Agent was done to the engineers.
This contract started in November 2008 for 14 months, and has a budget of 120 kEuros. The partners are Thales Avionics, Digiteo, and ActiveEon.