DDS at the Tactical Edge


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.

Read out latest white paper to find out more >>>

Military Grade IoT.

Weighing 60 tons and covered with military green paintwork the KMW Leopard 2 tanks might look less flashy than the fancy BMW 7 series but they have been IoT ready for much longer. Likewise, for wearables, an infantry soldier with a Sagem FELIN soldier system has been connected many years before the geekiest gym rat.
From medical X-Ray to wireless transmissions during WW-I to GPS, there are numerous examples of military technology bootstrapping or at least vastly enhancing civilian technology. Nylon, canned food, penicillin have been progressed and industrialized during war time. UK-US development of Radar dates back to the joined Tizard Mission in 1940. The dawn of computing technology has been almost entirely military funded by the US MoD Whirlwind program, the Manhattan Project research seeded nuclear energy technology and WW-II rocketry research enabled the Apollo moon program.
So what for our IoT interest group? We have the Global Information Grid (GIG): Military grade! IoT.

The good news for our IoT community is that we can also benefit from military funded and (battle)field tested technology : the Global Information Grid (GIG): — the military version of IoT. The GIG dates back to 2002 when the US DoD defined it as:

a globally interconnected, end-to-end set of information capabilities for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand to warfighters, policy makers, and support personnel.

Does that ring a bell?

Potentially thousands of heterogeneous “devices“ sharing the right piece of information in real-time over a variety of links ranging from ad-hoc 9600 bauds tactical radio networks to broadband connections, to create a Common Operational Picture (COP). A COP is a virtual data space, like a “whiteboard in the sky”, where authorized connected things can write on and read from in a time and location decoupled manner, sharing as a result a common state of the world (…of things).

Here we talk about critical Things like sensors, radars, tanks, UAVs, aircraft, etc, serious people like field infantry or Command & Control Officers and mission or life critical data sharing in real-time with a number of stringent requirements like the scalability to hundreds of thousands of data updates per second, security, fault tolerance, guaranty of delivery, automatic discovery, content filtering, traffic priority, support for leaving and joining devices, low bandwidth or disconnected links, etc…

Feels like déjà vu?

Et voila! Thanks to the GIG, we have at hand the most powerful “Military Grade” IoT data sharing framework developed with hundreds of man years of the most expert software engineers with +10 years maturity and return of experience of hundreds of life critical projects, gathered by Big & Serious companies like Boeing, Thales, NG, GD, Airbus, NASA, Eurocontrol, Samsung (only to quote a few public examples).

This GIG data sharing & management framework has been standardized by the OMG. it’s called DDS (Data Distribution Service) and it’s freely available as an Open Source (for example our DDS Community) and from a number of vendors proposing advanced features, consulting and support on top of the OMG DDS (for example our VORTEX IoT framework).

So why reinventing the wheel? Some industry world leaders and IoT thought leaders like IIC consortium have already realized the benefit of DDS for IoT and I would encourage any forward looking member of our LinkedIN group interested in faster time to market IoT to have a closer look at this DDS.

Lesson learned from my years of experience with GIG projects : ontology and data model design & ownership discussions are on the critical path and can be stumbling blocks when partner/competitors have to agree on a shared data model. Here again, it’s Déjà vu!

Data model standardization and influence! Most of you must have been there before. I’m keen to keep in touch if you want to share ideas on this IoT/DDS topic.

Nexter Selects PrismTech’s OpenSplice DDS Middleware for Next Generation Military Vehicles Architecture

OpenSplice DDS is ideal for Manned and Unmanned Vehicles.

Nexter LogoBoston, MA, USA and Paris, France — September 20, 2010 — PrismTech™, a global leader in standards-based, performance-critical middleware, today announced that Nexter has selected OpenSplice™ DDS as the middleware infrastructure at the heart of its next generation Military Vehicle Architecture demonstrator. The selection of OpenSplice DDS came after an in depth evaluation of the various Data Distribution Service (DDS) compliant implementations on the market against the key requirements imposed by Vetronics.

Nexter, a leading supplier of land defense systems for numerous armed forces, is using OpenSplice DDS as an enabling technology at the foundation of its next generation reconfigurable, multi-role, fault-resilient, maintainable, and cost effective vehicles.

Nexter and PrismTech have jointly defined and implemented a number of DDS innovations that further the benefits and extend the applicability of DDS for military vehicles. These extensions have proven very effective during the development of the Nexter Integrated Modular Vetronics demonstrator, greatly speeding up the development and integration of the modules.

“Military Vehicles are currently going through a disruptive wave of innovation. It is very exciting to see OpenSplice DDS take such a fundamental role in enabling so many key innovations,” said Angelo Corsaro, OpenSplice DDS CTO, PrismTech. “Nexter’s choice of OpenSplice DDS reinforces the momentum that this technology is having with both manned and unmanned vehicles.”

For further information on how OpenSplice DDS can be applied to next generation Military Vehicle Architectures view PrismTech’s on demand Webcast at

Yaltes Chooses PrismTech’s OpenSplice DDS for Next-Generation Maritime Surveillance System

Yaltes Logo

Boston, MA, USA and Edinburgh, UK — July 07, 2010 — PrismTech™, a global leader in standards-based, performance-critical middleware today announced that Yaltes has selected OpenSplice DDS as the data distribution infrastructure for its new Combat Management System / Maritime Surveillance Programs. Both systems require exchange of operational data over Wide Area Networks / Local Area Networks, securely and in real-time, while also utilizing commercial databases and web services, which are integrated to real-time domains.

“We selected OpenSplice DDS because it addressed our challenges, allowing us to scale our system, secure our communication, while ensuring predictable end-to-end data delivery. It also allows us to migrate existing SPLICE applications in our asset store to a DDS environment with small effort,” said Fikrettin Emanet, Combat Systems Director, Yaltes.

“OpenSplice DDS is by and large the most widely used and deployed OMG DDS implementation in the EMEA region,” said Ian Thomas, VP Sales EMEA, PrismTech. “Yaltes’ selection of OpenSplice DDS reaffirms our unique value proposition and our market leadership.”

OpenSplice DDS is the most advanced, complete, and widely used (commercial and open source), implementation of the Object Management Group™’s (OMG™) Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) specification.