Multitasking for sensor based systems

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Multitasking systems are being used increasingly for real-time applications. Multitasking is suited very well for real-time systems since events in the real world do not occur in strict sequence but rather tend to overlap. Multitasking operating systems coordinate the activities of the different overlapping functions and give the user the appearance of concurrent activity. The coordination and scheduling is performed according to a user defined order of importance or priority. There are many multi tasking operating systems available for all the popular microprocessors. One such multitasking executive is VRTX/86 for the 8086 microprocessor. This executive comes in a PROM and is independent of any specific hardware configuration. Using this executive the IBM PC has been converted into a multitasking environment and multitasking test programs have been executed on the PC.

A general methodology for defining tasks and assigning priorities to these tasks has been defined. Using this methodology a typical real-time application called a Vehicle Instrumentation System was developed.