skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on May 1, 2023

Title: FLYOS: Integrated Modular Avionics for Autonomous Multicopters
Autonomous multicopters often feature federated architectures, which incur relatively high communication costs between separate hardware components. These costs limit the ability to react quickly to new mission objectives. Additionally, federated architectures are not easily upgraded without introducing new hardware that impacts size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) constraints. In turn, such constraints restrict the use of redundant hardware to handle faults. In response to these challenges, we propose FlyOS, an Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) approach to consolidate mixed-criticality flight functions in software on heterogeneous multicore aerial platforms. FlyOS is based on a separation kernel that statically partitions resources among virtualized sandboxed OSes. We present a dual-sandbox prototype configuration, where timing-and safety-critical flight control tasks execute in a real-time OS alongside mission-critical vision-based navigation tasks in a Linux sandbox. Low latency shared memory communication allows flight commands and data to be relayed in real-time between sandboxes. A hypervisor-based fault-tolerance mechanism is also deployed to ensure failover flight control in case of critical function or timing failures. We validate FlyOS’s performance and showcase its benefits when compared against traditional architectures in terms of predictable, extensible and efficient flight control.
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
IEEE 28th Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
68 to 81
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Modern automotive systems feature dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) for chassis, body and powertrain functions. These systems are costly and inflexible to upgrade, requiring ever increasing numbers of ECUs to support new features such as advanced driver assistance (ADAS), autonomous technologies, and infotainment. To counter these challenges, we propose DriveOS, a safe, secure, extensible, and timing-predictable system for modern vehicle management in a centralized platform. DriveOS is based on a separation kernel, where timing and safety-critical ECU functions are implemented in a real-time OS (RTOS) alongside non-critical software in Linux or Android. The system enforces the separation, or partitioning, of both software and hardware among different OSes. DriveOS runs on a relatively low-cost embedded PC-class platform, supporting multiple cores and hardware virtualization capabilities. Instrument cluster, in-vehicle infotainment and advanced driver assistance system services are implemented in a Yocto Linux guest, which communicates with critical real-time services via secure shared memory. The RTOS manages a real-time controller area network (CAN) interface that is inaccessible to Linux services except via well-defined and legitimate communication channels. In this work, we integrate three Qt-based services written for Yocto Linux, running in parallel with a real-time longitudinal controller task and multiple CAN bus concentrators,more »for vehicular sensor data processing and actuation. We demonstrate the benefits and performance of DriveOS with a hardware-in-the-loop CARLA simulation using a real car dataset.« less
  2. The increased ubiquitousness of small smart devices, such as cell- phones, tablets, smart watches and laptops, has led to unique user data, which can be locally processed. The sensors (e.g., microphones and webcam) and improved hardware of the new devices have al- lowed running deep learning models that 20 years ago would have been exclusive to high-end expensive machines. In spite of this progress, state-of-the-art algorithms for facial expression recognition (FER) rely on architectures that cannot be implemented on these devices due to computational and memory constraints. Alternatives involving cloud-based solutions impose privacy barriers that prevent their adoption or user acceptance in wide range of applications. This paper proposes a lightweight model that can run in real-time for image facial expression recognition (IFER) and video facial expression recognition (VFER). The approach relies on a personalization mechanism locally implemented for each subject by fine-tuning a central VFER model with unlabeled videos from a target subject. We train the IFER model to generate pseudo labels and we select the videos with the highest confident predictions to be used for adaptation. The adaptation is performed by implementing a federated learning strategy where the weights of the local model are averaged and used bymore »the central VFER model. We demonstrate that this approach can improve not only the performance on the edge device providing personalized models to the users, but also the central VFER model. We implement a federated learning strategy where the weights of the local models are averaged and used by the central VFER. Within corpus and cross-corpus evaluations on two emotional databases demonstrate that edge models adapted with our personalization strategy achieve up to 13.1% gains in F1-scores. Furthermore, the federated learning implementation improves the mean micro F1-score of the central VFER model by up to 3.4%. The proposed lightweight solution is ideal for interactive user interfaces that preserve the data of the users.« less
  3. During the operation of many real-time safety-critical systems, there are often strong needs for adapting to a dynamic environment or evolving mission objectives, e.g., increasing sampling and control frequencies of some functions to improve their performance under certain situations. However, a system's ability to adapt is often limited by tight resource constraints and rigid periodic execution requirements. In this work, we present a cross-layer approach to improve system adaptability by allowing proactive skipping of task executions, so that the resources can be either saved directly or re-allocated to other tasks for their performance improvement. Our approach includes three novel elements: (1) formal methods for deriving the feasible skipping choices of control tasks with safety guarantees at the functional layer, (2) a schedulability analysis method for assessing system feasibility at the architectural layer under allowed task job skippings, and (3) a runtime adaptation algorithm that efficiently explores job skipping choices and task priorities for meeting system adaptation requirements while ensuring system safety and timing correctness. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in meeting system adaptation needs.
  4. Despite advances in network security, attacks targeting mission critical systems and applications remain a significant problem for network and datacenter providers. Existing telemetry platforms detect volumetric attacks at terabit scales using approximation techniques and coarse grain analysis. However, the prevalence of low and slow attacks that require very little bandwidth, makes flow-state tracking critical to overall attack mitigation. Traffic queries deployed on network switches are often limited by hardware constraints, preventing them from carrying out flow tracking features required to detect stealthy attacks. Such attacks can go undetected in the midst of high traffic volumes. We design SmartWatch, a novel flow state tracking and flow logging system at line rate, using SmartNICs to optimize performance and simultaneously detect a number of stealthy attacks. SmartWatch leverages advances in switch based network telemetry platforms to process the bulk of the traffic and only forward suspicious traffic subsets to the SmartNIC. The programmable network switches perform coarse-grained traffic analysis while the SmartNIC conducts the finer-grained analysis which involves additional processing of the packet as a 'bump-in-the-wire'. A control loop between the SmartNIC and programmable switch tunes the queries performed in the switch to direct the most appropriate traffic subset to the SmartNIC. SmartWatch'smore »cooperative monitoring approach yields 2.39 times better detection rate compared to existing platforms deployed on programmable switches. SmartWatch can detect covert timing channels and perform website fingerprinting more efficiently compared to standalone programmable switch solutions, relieving switch memory and control-plane processor resources. Compared to host-based approaches, SmartWatch can reduce the packet processing latency by 72.32%.« less
  5. The design of cyber-physical systems (CPSs) requires methods and tools that can efficiently reason about the interaction between discrete models, e.g., representing the behaviors of ``cyber'' components, and continuous models of physical processes. Boolean methods such as satisfiability (SAT) solving are successful in tackling large combinatorial search problems for the design and verification of hardware and software components. On the other hand, problems in control, communications, signal processing, and machine learning often rely on convex programming as a powerful solution engine. However, despite their strengths, neither approach would work in isolation for CPSs. In this paper, we present a new satisfiability modulo convex programming (SMC) framework that integrates SAT solving and convex optimization to efficiently reason about Boolean and convex constraints at the same time. We exploit the properties of a class of logic formulas over Boolean and nonlinear real predicates, termed monotone satisfiability modulo convex formulas, whose satisfiability can be checked via a finite number of convex programs. Following the lazy satisfiability modulo theory (SMT) paradigm, we develop a new decision procedure for monotone SMC formulas, which coordinates SAT solving and convex programming to provide a satisfying assignment or determine that the formula is unsatisfiable. A key step inmore »our coordination scheme is the efficient generation of succinct infeasibility proofs for inconsistent constraints that can support conflict-driven learning and accelerate the search. We demonstrate our approach on different CPS design problems, including spacecraft docking mission control, robotic motion planning, and secure state estimation. We show that SMC can handle more complex problem instances than state-of-the-art alternative techniques based on SMT solving and mixed integer convex programming.« less