DornerWorks Wins SBIR Phase II Option award from the US Navy

Following the successful completion of Phase I and Phase II Small Business and Innovative Research (SBIR) base contracts for the U.S. Navy, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has awarded DornerWorks with a Phase II option for continued development on its open-source, safety-critical, embedded hypervisor.

ARLX is an open-source, safe and secure, embedded hypervisor that DornerWorks developed by extending the Xen open source hypervisor.  DornerWorks funded the initial project work with internal research and development funding. The Navy funding leveraged this work to expand ARLX with new functionality and safety certification evidence.  Hypervisors isolate each software application from the others running on the same computer, providing reliability, security, and safety. They prevent bugs in one software program from affecting the other programs on the same system. Equally important for the Navy, this isolation also provides security against intentional attacks from malware such as software viruses. Additional research and development funding for ARLX has come from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The research and development grants awarded to DornerWorks are providing opportunities to implement ARLX on various platforms from radios to satellites.

SPAWAR focuses on information dominance for the Navy and is providing funding for continued research and development at DornerWorks to develop an embedded ARINC 653 open-source hypervisor. DornerWorks is proud to be a part of the mission that SPAWAR supports via this SBIR award.

Principal investigator for the contract, Steven H. VanderLeest, is Vice-President of Research & Development at DornerWorks and also a Professor of Engineering at Calvin College. VanderLeest says that this new contract “will enable DornerWorks to further develop an innovative product that has excellent potential for a variety of applications.” One unique feature of their approach is the release of the software as open-source. VanderLeest indicates that interested parties can thus “try out the technology for free and then later pay a reasonable price for the related design and validation services needed to provide high levels of safety and security design assurance for specific target systems.” 

About DornerWorks

DornerWorks is a premier electronic and software engineering firm specializing in the design of safety-critical systems for the medical, aerospace, automotive, and industrial markets. The company focuses on custom development of electronics hardware (printed circuit boards and FPGA computer chips) and embedded software such as device drivers and operating system interfaces. Founded in 2000 by David K. Dorner, DornerWorks has grown into one of the most sought after embedded engineering firms in the country. With an impressive staff of over 50 that includes PhD’s, patent holders, multi-degreed engineers, and a Six Sigma Black Belt, DornerWorks has the talent and experience to tackle the most demanding projects. DornerWorks is an ISO 13485, AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified company. For more information, visit