DDS at the Tactical Edge

military-graphics

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) next generation “Third Offset” initiative will target promising technology areas, including robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, and big data, whilst also seeking to improve the military’s collaboration with innovative private sector enterprises.

The latest innovations in real-time data-centric network edge computing based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard will be key to delivering on some of the key priorities.

A key DoD objective is to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing. The aim is to move from a state of duplication, cumbersome and costly application siloes to a much more cost effective and agile service environment that can rapidly respond to changing mission requirements. Cloud computing can enhance battlefield mobility through device and location independence while providing on-demand secure global access to mission data and enterprise services.

Whilst cloud computing carries data back to a central server for storage and analysis with resultant issues in bandwidth capacity, connectivity and latency common to hostile environments; new fog computing and Tactical Cloudlet technologies enable real-time analytics and other functions to be performed at the tactical edge of a network, right at the data source – for example soldiers on the battlefield. This will help enable smart autonomous systems to send, receive and process information when and where it is needed, so ensuring speedier and optimal mission-critical decision making.

Tactical Cloudlets are a means to make cloud services and processing available to mobile users by offloading computation to servers deployed on platforms closer to the users. Cloudlets leverage capabilities such as automatic discovery and VM based provisioning, combined with peer-to-peer communications. Tactical Cloudlets, fog and edge computing will impact the way that the defense community builds the next generation of C4SIR and related military simulation systems.

PrismTech’s Vortex is a proven DDS standards-based technology for efficient, ubiquitous, interoperable, secure and platform independent data sharing across network connected devices. Vortex naturally fits with the fog computing and Tactical Cloudlet paradigm and is the only fog-ready data-sharing infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of defense and aerospace companies – connecting soldiers, unmanned machines, devices and commanders in the field with the intelligence community, and helping to improve decision-making.

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NASA selects PrismTech’s OpenSplice DDS to Help Make Holodeck Technologies a Reality

OpenSplice DDS provides high performance, real-time data sharing for leading edge simulation environments

Boston, MA, USA – January 23, 2014 – PrismTech™, a global leader in standards-based, performance-critical middleware, today announced that it is working with NASA with the aim of making Star Trek inspired holodeck technologies one step closer to becoming a reality.

Star Trek has provided an enormous complement of technologies that have amazed audiences for decades.  An important technology that served multiple purposes was the holodeck.  The holodeck was used as a data analysis environment (provided 3-D visualization of data/models/simulations), a communications device (created 3-D representation of the beings that were being communicated with), a training tool (provided crew members with simulated environments to train for missions), an engineering design tool (allowed crew members to create and manipulate 3-D models of objects piece by piece before they were fabricated), and as a recreation environment (simulated locations crew members could visit).

Although a holodeck developed using today’s technologies would not provide the same range and fidelity of capabilities as those provided by a Star Trek holodeck, the technologies available today would still allow the creation of a system that would still be tremendously beneficial.

NASA has started developing the concepts related to a holodeck system using today’s technologies and is investigating the benefits that it could provide to tele-presence, mission planning, and training activities.  Future improvements of this holodeck system using technologies that are currently being developed at research institutions (e.g. Claytronics) could one day provide the necessary technology augmentations to make Star Trek like holodecks a reality.

As part of the project, NASA required a middleware solution that allowed real-time, scalable and robust information exchange between different parts of the system.

OpenSplice DDS is the leading (commercial and Open Source) implementation of the Object Management Group™’s (OMG™) Data Distribution Service (DDS) for Real-Time Systems standard.  OpenSplice DDS has been designed to optimally address the real-time information distribution and management challenges posed by high performance real-time data-processing systems.

“OpenSplice was evaluated and selected for this Project because of its easy to use API, cross platform compatibility, high performance, and a rich suite of functionality,” said Frank Delgado, Engineer, NASA.

“This project has the potential of changing the way people interact with machines, visualize data and work together,” said Angelo Corsaro, CTO, PrismTech.  “This revolutionary and visionary Science Fiction inspired technology now has the prospect of becoming a reality. Knowing that OpenSplice DDS plays a key role in enabling this real-time data sharing is very exciting.”

Further information about OpenSplice DDS is available from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/vortex-opensplice.