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August 02, 2012

U.S. Navy SPAWAR Awards DornerWorks a SBIR Phase II Grant

DornerWorks claimed that it has received a SBIR Phase II grant worth $750,000 from the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The company previously completed a Phase I grant successfully and the new award has options to increase the grant’s total to $1 million.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

Utilizing the grant, DornerWorks hopes to build an embedded ARINC (News - Alert) 653 open-source hypervisor that can help the U.S. Navy to maintain information dominance. The hypervisor’s specialty is that it lets multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a single computer. 

The ARINC 653 specification (Avionics Application Standard Software Interface) supposedly outlines requirements for creating a robust software environment where isolated domains of applications execute independently of one another. The domains are isolated both spatially and temporally.

Using the SBIR grant that was previously awarded to it, DornerWorks reportedly worked to extend the ARINC 653 hypervisor to address safety, security, and performance. DornerWorks partnered with Galois, Inc. to apply the formal methods proof-checking and key Digital Safety Consultants to address the safety artifacts using FAA flight certification as a guide.

The new grant project, titled “Safe, Secure, and High Performance Hypervisor: A Partitioning Approach to Isolating Untrusted Software” aims to extend the Xen open-source hypervisor to comply with the ARINC 653 standard.

Officials with the company exclaimed that the new grant will help DornerWorks further develop an innovative product that has excellent potential for a variety of applications. One unique feature of its approach is the release of the software as open-source. The company invited interested parties to try out the technology for free and then later pay a reasonable price for the related certification artifacts and tools that provide the evidence of high levels of safety and security design assurance.



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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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