DESTECS (Design Support and Tooling for Embedded Control Software) is a consortium of research groups and companies working on the challenge of developing fault-tolerant embedded systems (see www.destec.org). The project is focussed on developing design methods and tools that bridge the gap between the disciplines involved in designing an embedded system: systems, control, mechanical and software engineering, for example. These disciplines, which have grown up separately, base design on different forms of model - some use discrete event models, and some use continuous time - inhibiting our ability to compare design alternatives rapidly and in particular to model faults and fault tolerance mechanisms that have to cross the boundaries between models. This “design gap” leads to sub-optimal designs and long development lead times.
DESTECS aims to develop methods and tools that combine continuous time system models with discrete event controller models through co-simulation to allow multidisciplinary modelling, including modelling of faults and fault tolerance mechanisms.
As part of the DESTECS project, MATLAB has been expanded with an XML-RPC interface and a function library that allows Simulink users to run their models as a DESTECS co-simulation. The first results have been described in the DESTECS Newsletter.