Wind River Customers
Gran Telescopio Canarias
"Wind River’s VxWorks because we needed a sufficiently stable and high-performance real-time operating system so that we were free to concentrate on developing applications."
—Martí Pi i Puig, Head of the Control Group, GTC Project
Looking Up: Wind River Powers One of the World’s Largest Telescopes
Since 2008, scientists have been exploring the deepest reaches of space through the Gran Telescopio Canarias. Situated on La Palma in the Canary Islands, the GTC stands 89 feet high with a 34-foot diameter lens, making it one of the world’s largest telescopes, capable of bringing the farthest and palest cosmic bodies in the universe into view. When the developers began searching for an operating system that would support the telescope’s stringent real-time operational requirements, they quickly trained their focus on VxWorks®.
VxWorks Frees Engineers to Focus on New Applications
The telescope’s computerized onboard system is extremely sophisticated. Because it uses diverse equipment and instruments, the GTC’s software architecture must be open, flexible, and object-oriented. The main control system operates in real time, with a hierarchy of control layers and inter-processor communications. Real-time guarantees are required in the communication networks, operating systems, and underlying middleware components. VxWorks provided a sufficiently stable, high-performance real-time operating system that freed the project team to concentrate on developing applications rather than managing components. Today, scientists can spend their time looking for comets, asteroids, and supernovas instead of system bugs.