The JAviator (Java Aviator) project is a research project of the Computational Systems Group at the Department of Computer Sciences of the University of Salzburg, Austria. The goal of the project is to develop high-level real-time and concurrent programming abstractions and test them on UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). We are working on methodologies that enable time-portable programming of high-performance, hard real-time applications in Java. The resulting application code is not only efficient but also robust with respect to real time. Time-portable programs do not change their real-time behavior across different hardware platforms and workloads similar to Java's write-once-run-anywhere paradigm for functional behavior but extended to the temporal domain. In collaboration with the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, New York, USA, we are developing a software infrastructure that supports the time-portable execution of Java programs. We test our implementations on the JAviator, an electric quadrotor helicopter shaped like a cross with four rotors, one at each end. One pair of opposite rotors spins clockwise, the other pair counter-clockwise. The JAviator is controlled merely by adjusting the rotors' speed without changing the angle of its rotor blades. The JAviator is mechanically simpler than a traditional helicopter but very agile yet still inherently unstable and therefore very hard to fly. We have designed and manufactured the JAviator completely from scratch using only high-performance materials such as carbon fiber, aircraft aluminum, and medical titanium. The JAviator is an autonomously flying software laboratory that supports high payloads for a variety of complex sensors such as GPS, sonars, and lasers as well as networking services such as WLAN and wireless RS232.
Research collaboration and project funding by the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.
Hardware support and project funding by the K.P-EDV Company.
Initial funding (start-up funds of Prof. Kirsch) by the University of Salzburg.
Project support by the Techno-Z, Salzburg.
Custom-built carbon-fiber JAviator parts by the Carbon Team Germany GmbH.