News & Press

"Deep Impact" Probe Uses Express Logic's ThreadX® RTOS and Green Hills Software's MULTI® IDE in Spectacular July 4th Mission

San Diego, CA, and Santa Barbara, CA, July 27, 2005Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS), and Green Hills Software, Inc., the technology leader in operating systems and development tools for safe and secure systems, today announced that both companies’ products played key roles in NASA’s recent successful Deep Impact spacecraft mission.

Deep Impact, the spacecraft pair designed and built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., accomplished its remarkable goal of colliding with deep-space comet Tempel 1 and excavating material from the nucleus of the comet on July 4th. Together, the Flyby spacecraft and the Impactor spacecraft featured some of the most sophisticated technology ever developed for deep space flight, including three advanced instruments for imaging the comet. Deep Impact employed a Medium Resolution Imager (MRI), a High Resolution Imager (HRI), and an Impactor Targeting Sensor (ITS). The HRI is the primary science instrument for the mission, composed of a telescope with a 30-centimeter (11.8 inch) aperture, an infrared (IR) spectrometer, and a multi-spectral CCD camera.

Express Logic's ThreadX® real-time operating system (RTOS) managed the operation of the CCD camera controllers in all three instruments used on the Deep Impact mission. ThreadX controlled the High Resolution Imager (HRI), the Medium Resolution Imager (MRI), and the Impactor Targeting Sensor (ITS). Each instrument guided the impactor onto a collision course with the comet and took the science data before, during, and after impact with the comet. In all three controllers, ThreadX managed the scheduling of application threads, performed interrupt servicing, and passed the messages needed to enable the cameras to perform their difficult mission.

ThreadX is a small-footprint, highly responsive RTOS, ideal for demanding applications in resource constrained systems like those aboard the Deep Impact spacecraft. ThreadX is designed to be simple to learn and use, helping developers bring products to completion in a timely and cost-effective manner. ThreadX is fully integrated with Green Hills Software's MULTI IDE and includes kernel-aware debugging, pre-configured project building, source code browsing and EventAnalyzer execution logging for system and application event monitoring.

All software for the project was developed using Green Hills Software’s MULTI IDE. MULTI is a complete integrated development environment for embedded applications using C, C++, Embedded C++, and FORTRAN. MULTI runs on Windows, Linux or UNIX hosts and supports remote debugging to a variety of target environments. MULTI provides a direct graphical interface with all Green Hills compilers, and supports multi-language development and debugging. MULTI contains all of the tools needed to complete a major programming project.

“We’re extremely proud to have played such a key role in the success of the challenging Deep Impact mission,” commented William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic. “We’re particularly proud of the fact that our ThreadX RTOS met the challenges of Deep Impact, and that it performed flawlessly throughout the mission.”

“Green Hills Software also is proud of our key role in enabling Deep Impact to be the tremendous success that it was,” noted Dan O’Dowd, president of Green Hills Software. “With all the system software developed using our MULTI IDE, Ball Aerospace was able to meet the demanding project schedule and performance goals required for this incredibly complex mission. We’re excited that our single, integrated solution enabled Ball and NASA to further our understanding of the origins of the universe.”

About Green Hills Software

Founded in 1982, Green Hills Software, Inc. is the technology leader for real-time operating systems and device software optimization for 32- and 64-bit embedded systems. Our royalty-free INTEGRITY® RTOS, velOSity™ microkernel, compilers, MULTI® and AdaMULTI™ integrated development environments and TimeMachine™ debugger offer a complete development solution that addresses both deeply embedded and high-reliability applications. Green Hills Software is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, with European headquarters in the United Kingdom. Visit Green Hills Software on the web at

About Express Logic

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Express Logic offers the most advanced run-time solution for deeply embedded applications, including the popular ThreadX® RTOS, the high-performance NetX™ TCP/IP stack, the FileX™ embedded MS-DOS compatible file system, and the USBX™ Host/Device USB protocol stack. All products from Express Logic include full source-code and have no run-time royalties.

Green Hills Software, the Green Hills logo, MULTI, INTEGRITY, velOSity, AdaMULTI, TimeMachine, and Padded Cell are trademarks or registered trademarks of Green Hills Software, Inc. in the U.S. and/or internationally. ThreadX is a registered trademark of Express Logic, Inc. NetX, FileX, CANX, USBX, preemption-threshold, picokernel, and UDP fast path technology are trademarks of Express Logic, Inc. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.

North American Sales Contact:
Green Hills Software, Inc.
30 West Sola Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101,
Tel: 805-965-6044
Fax: 805-965-6343

International Sales Contact:
Green Hills Software Ltd.
Fleming Business Centre
Leigh Road
Hampshire SO50 9PD
Tel: +44 (0)2380 649660
Fax: +44 (0)2380 649661


Media Contacts:
Green Hills Software, Inc.
Lynn J. Robinson
Tel: 805-965-6044

Green Hills Software, Inc.
Barbel French
Tel: 805-965-6044