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DARPA awards IAI a new contract to develop a light and secure satellite hypervisor

The defense and intelligence community’s payload development for on-board processing traditionally has been hardware based. Hardware payloads require increased algorithm development effort to benefit from the available processing speed. Virtualized payloads can increase the beneficial mission utility and life of space platforms, while decreasing acquisition time and cost. Virtualization of satellite payload can increase the capability and flexibility of the payload developer. To address this issue, IAI has been awarded a new contract to develop SafeHype, a tiny, light and secure hypervisor that virtualizes satellite payload. SafeHype can securely isolate the virtual machines running concurrently on the same hardware resources such as CPU, memory and I/O devices. Hardware support will be utilized to reduce virtualization overhead. SafeHype adopts both resources pre-allocation and para-virtualized I/O techniques to simplify its functions and support real time applications. The code size of SafeHype is small and can be verified. SafeHype also reduces surface attacks by bringing the guest virtual machine in greater direct contact with the underlying hardware resources. A workable SafeHype prototype will be developed to show its feasibility. This work will increase the capability and flexibility of spacecraft, allowing them to adapt their mission and processing to meet the constantly evolving needs of the defense and intelligence community. In addition to military communications or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, commercial civilian applications for a space-qualified hypervisor could include space-based satellite communications.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit

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