Altran, Rapita Systems and the University of Oxford have been granted National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) funding for AUTOSAC – a project that promises to automate the testing of aerospace software using SPARK. The project is set to combine the expertise of each of the three partners to reduce the effort involved in the development of unit tests for ED-12C/DO-178C applications, resulting in significant cost savings for end users. NATEP is a £40m technology development programme that seeks to support the UK aerospace supply chain, with an emphasis on developing innovative new technologies to enhance UK productivity and competitiveness.
SPARK is a programming language and verification toolset used in the development of high-integrity software. Notable applications of SPARK in recent years have included the EuroFighter programme and the iFACTS Air Traffic Control tools. The automation technology proposed has the potential to be applied wherever the SPARK language can be used, extending the scope beyond the aerospace industry with potential application in the rail, medical and automotive sectors.