The ARA congratulates Dr. Peter Chapin on his receipt of ACM SIGAda’s Robert Dewar Award, which acknowledges outstanding contributions to the Ada community. Dr. Chapin was a major contributor to the Vermont Tech Lunar CubeSat project (cubesatlab.org) whose software was written in SPARK/Ada. The Vermont Tech CubeSat was launched in November 2013 and successfully completed its full two-year mission, the only one out of twelve academic CubeSats to do so. Dr. Chapin attributes the software’s reliability in large part to the SPARK/Ada technology, which was used to prove the absence of run-time errors.
Dr. Chapin is now coordinating the work on CubedOS, a SPARK/Ada implementation of a software framework for small spacecraft, with plans to release the result as an open-source project. Other groups will thus have access to a high-integrity software base for their CubeSats, which currently have a very high failure rate.
Dr. Chapin is the co-author, along with Prof. John McCormick, of “Building High Intergrity Applications with SPARK”, a student-oriented textbook on SPARK 2014.