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QNX Gets on Board NASAs Return to Flight Mission

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  • QNX Neutrino RTOS powers the Neptec Laser Camera System for NASAs Return to Flight mission.
  • The QNX-based LCS will provide 3D images of the exterior of the shuttle Discovery during the 12-day mission.
  • QNX is the OS of choice for Neptecs mission-critical space applications because of its ultra-reliability.
  • OTTAWA, July 13, 2005 QNX Software Systems, the worlds preeminent developer of realtime operating systems (RTOSs), today announced that the QNX Neutrino RTOS is powering the Neptec Laser Camera System (LCS) for NASAs Return to Flight mission. Designed and built by Neptec, a developer of space vision systems, the LCS will play a key role in ensuring the safety of this mission, the first since the Columbia disaster in 2003. This mission is scheduled for takeoff Wednesday, July 13, from NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    The crew of the space shuttle Discovery will use Neptecs LCS to inspect the exterior of the shuttle during the 12-day flight. The LCS, which will be attached to a boom at the end of the shuttles Canadarm, uses a scanning mechanism to generate three-dimensional maps of the shuttles exterior surface in real time. During the mission, NASA will use the generated images to identify even the smallest amount of damage to the outside of the spacecraft.

    Neptec has also used QNX RTOS technology in earlier devices it developed for NASA, including the QNX-based Advanced Space Vision System (ASVS), which helped guide the Canadarm in previous shuttle missions as well as on the International Space Station.

    The LCS is a critical element of NASAs Return to Flight mission and we have to be sure it is running on the most reliable operating system available, said Iain Christie, vice president of research and development at Neptec. Selecting the QNX Neutrino RTOS was an easy decision because we already know that the system can handle the extreme conditions found in space and that it meets our demands for ultra-reliability. We will continue to use QNX technology in all of our realtime embedded projects.

    Our unmatched dependability has made QNX Neutrino the operating system of choice for applications where system failure is not an option from the space shuttle to the operating room, said Dan Dodge, CEO, QNX Software Systems. We have been working with Neptec for more than a decade, developing fault-resilient OS technology for the companys camera systems, and we are thrilled to play a role in improving the safety of space exploration.

    About Neptec

    Neptec is a leader in the design, development, and integration of mission-critical realtime software, harsh environment electronics design, and digital signal processing for mission-critical space, healthcare, aerospace, defense, and security applications. It is engaged in system development, mission analysis, and support for space programs as well as telehomecare systems. Visit http://www.neptec.com

    About QNX Software Systems

    With millions of installations worldwide, QNX Software Systems is the global leader in realtime, microkernel operating system technology. Companies like Cisco, DaimlerChrysler, Lockheed Martin, Panasonic, Siemens, and General Electric rely on QNX technology to build ultra-reliable systems for the networking, automotive, medical, military, and industrial automation markets. Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems maintains offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

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    Editorial Contacts

    Paul Leroux
    QNX Software Systems
    +1 613 591-0931
    paull@qnx.com

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