The Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)

Serafina Autonomous Mini Submersible

At the Australian National University (ANU), Ada plays an integral part in teaching and research, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Uwe Zimmer has been using Ada, with the GNAT technology on Linux, Windows, Mac, and Embedded MPC5554, in two major courses: Concurrent and Distributed Systems, for Computer Science and Engineering students in their second year; and Real-Time and Embedded Systems, for Computer Science and Engineering students in their last year and for Masters students.

Dr. Zimmer selected Ada because of its strong support for sound software development in general, its collection of features for tasking, real-time, and embedded systems in particular, and the availability of the GNAT Ada development environment for the target platforms used in the courses. “In retrospect, Ada was a natural choice, and students are quick to take advantage of the language’s benefits,” said Dr. Zimmer. “Since Ada is standardized and interplatform compatible, many students develop their projects on their own computers and then submit their work without our being able to tell which platform was used.”

Ada-based projects at the ANU include communication systems and sonar processing, and one student will be using Ada (and GNAT for the MPC5554 and AVR processors) for his Ph.D. thesis work on high-integrity design and programming for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, specifically helicopters.

As summed up by Dr. Zimmer, “We are happy Ada and GNAT users here at the ANU. Ada is a highly efficient teaching tool that leads seamlessly into full industrial deployment, and AdaCore’s support is unparallelled.”

For links to papers on the communications and sonar projects at the ANU, please see Dr. Zimmer’s web page:

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