The TGV Control Simulator Developed In Ada TGV Control Simulator

Form U151-0794 CSEETRA.TXT

Ada Information Clearinghouse, 1-800/AdaIC-11, 703/685-1477

The TGV Control Simulator Developed In Ada

For managing traffic speed and capacity on its TGV Nord line between Paris and Lille and on the future Transchannel link, the French National Railroad (SNCF) uses an automatic train control system named TVM 430. This system displays instructions for train engineers and checks that these instructions are properly executed. TVM 430 is a fully automated system that was developed by CSEE (Compagnie des Signaux). It comprises train and ground-based modules, each containing several embedded 58020-based boards communicating over a VME bus.


Part of the TVM 430 project entailed the development of a simulator. The user prepares test procedures that describe the environment and that define the expected actions according to time, train speed, and location. Based on these test procedures, the simulator generates the systems inputs and records the outputs. A completely automated model of the environment is thereby created. The simulator is first used to test the system on a functional level on the developer's machine. Real-time execution is later validated on the target equipment.


The core of the environment simulator comprises 80,000 lines of code and was completed by a 4-person team in one year. None of the programmers had previous experience with Ada; the necessary training was accomplished through seminars conducted by Alsys. Although the simulator was developed for the TVM 430, it provides a convenient and inexpensive way to test many kinds of embedded systems. Adaptation for other environments will require only a small amount of work, thanks to the modular nature of the Alsys software and the support that Ada offers for reusability.


The simulator was first developed on VAX where it was used for functional level testing. It was the ported to the target equipment in two steps: First to a 58020-based machine, using the Alsys VAX-hosted cross compiler. Then to a PC compatible. A VME/AT coupler was developed to allow all of the functions of the simulator to be available on a single machine.

Ada Advantages

In contrast with other industrial languages, Ada can be used as early as the preliminary design stage. The application architecture can be defined rapidly but rigorously, since only Ada unit specification from body, and Alsys' multilibrary environment, ease the task of producing a prototype. Coding in Ada may require more time than is necessary with other industrial languages, but that is because the language-enforced checking will reveal errors early and in effect, perform a large part of integration testing. Thus the testing and system integration phase proceeds much more rapidly than with the other languages. The tasking facilities of Ada proved to be extremely useful, since it allowed the system's logically independent processing to be expressed in high-level and portable terms. The readability promoted by Ada also proved to be a major benefit. The success of the TVM 430 simulator has led to Ada's adoption by CSEE in several other applications, including computer-integrated manufacturing and additional prototypes.

Thanks to Lionel Pietri from Clivage Ingenierie for presenting his experiences with Alsys Ada.

For further information, please contact:

Marie-France Mignon and 
Florence Lescroart 
Alsys SA 29 Avenue Lucien Reni
78 170 La Celle-Saint-Cloud 
Tel: + 33 30 78 17 17 
      + 33 3D 78 17 40 
      + 33 30 78 17 48 
Fax: + 33 39 18 25 80


Produced in cooperation with Ada Information Clearinghouse, Ada Software Alliance, and ACM SIGAda. Hard copy available from the Ada Information Clearinghouse, at the address below.


Copyright 1994. IIT Research Institute. All rights assigned to the U.S. Government (Ada Joint Program Office). Permission to reprint this flyer, in whole or in part, is granted provided the AdaIC is acknowledged as the source. If this flyer is reprinted as a part of a published document, please send the AdaIC a courtesy copy of the publication.

                 Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC)
                               P.O. Box 46593
                       Washington, DC  20050-6593
             703/685-1477, 800/AdaIC-11, FAX 703/685-7019
 ; CompuServe 70312,3303

The AdaIC is sponsored by the Ada Joint Program Office and operated by IIT Research Institute.

The views, opinions, and findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Agency position, policy, or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation.