Advanced Fusion Technologies, a product-oriented engineering design and services company, announced that it will seamlessly integrate with middleware from Real-Time Innovations (RTI), The Real-Time Middleware Experts, to develop the industry’s first product suite designed to modernize legacy U.S. military applications by enabling them to use a modern open-system architecture. The U.S. military aims to improve its competitiveness by reducing costs and integration cycle times for delivering capabilities to warfighters. Key to this strategy is the adoption of commercial-off-the-shelf-solutions based on standards such as those defined by the U.S. Navy Open Architecture.
Advanced Fusion Technologies is developing a solution that will ease the challenge of modernizing legacy fleets by using a small appliance called the Open Systems Interface Converter (OSIC) to translate legacy communication protocols into a universal, industry-standard format.
“The integration of OSIC with RTI Data Distribution Service enables multiple applications to receive consistent, synchronized data in real time, greatly improving overall system integration. Additionally, OSIC removes I/O conversion from the embedded-computing plant and redistributes it to the vicinity of legacy equipment, resulting in significant platform weight reductions,” said Dave McKean, Advanced Fusion Technologies’ chief technology officer.
The OSIC will fully integrate with RTI Data Distribution Service, which provides high-performance messaging middleware based on the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) standard. In addition to the DDS application programming interface, RTI middleware also implements Real-Time Publish-Subscribe (RTPS) wire-transfer protocol for sending and receiving equipment data, events and commands among the nodes.
In many current systems, equipment data is required by multiple applications and is usually received by one application, transformed and then forwarded to all other applications needing that data. Typically, systems must implement complex software that synchronizes equipment data and resolves inconsistencies across multiple applications. Using the RTPS protocol, the OSIC will be able to provide consistent equipment data to all subscribing applications, resolving data-consistency issues and thus improving system integration.
Computer architectures for many legacy military manned and unmanned applications — such as E-2C Hawkeye, F/A-18 Hornet, Apache AH-64D, Aegis and more — connect point-to-point interfaces from platform equipment located in different geographic regions to an embedded-computing plant. Each interface has dedicated cabling from the equipment to one or more interface converters in the embedded-computing plant and associated connectors and wiring contained within the plant. This architecture produces heavy, complex, space-constrained systems such as those designed for mission-system and avionics-system applications.
From an architecture standpoint, the OSIC allows the decoupling of the embedded-computing plant from resident interface converters to improve efficiency and performance. The OSIC is co-located with legacy equipment such as radar devices. These devices are often connected to the equipment via native interfaces such as NTDS or MIL-STD-1553. On the embedded-computing plant side, the OSIC provides four copper gigabit Ethernet network interfaces or four fiber 100-Mbit Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) network interfaces.
This greatly simplifies cabling. For example, multiple 50-foot lengths of cumbersome NTDS cable to the embedded-computing plant can be replaced by a single gigabit Ethernet or FDDI cable. It also eliminates the requirement for the embedded-computing plant to support multiple device interfaces, since all device information is communicated over a single network using the RTPS protocol. OSIC enables Total Ownership Cost (TOC) savings by reducing operating costs via weight savings in reduced cable lengths and number of connectors and also by easing the complexity and cost of technology refreshes and new capability add-ons.
Advanced Fusion Technologies is currently developing a prototype OSIC as part of a project with the Office of Naval Research.
About Advanced Fusion Technologies
Advanced Fusion Technologies is a product-oriented engineering design and services company, serving the U.S. military market by providing open architecture solutions for legacy systems. Located on Kauai, Hawaii with marketing offices in Northern Virginia. Advanced Fusion Technologies was awarded grants from the Hawaii Technology Development Venture (HTDV) in both 2006 and 2007.
Real-Time Innovations (RTI) provides high-performance infrastructure solutions for the development, deployment and integration of real time, data-driven applications. RTI’s messaging, caching, and Complex Event Processing (CEP) capabilities deliver dramatic improvements in latency, throughput and scalability while slashing cost of ownership. The company’s software and design expertise have been leveraged in a broad range of industries including defense, intelligence, simulation, industrial control, transportation, finance, medical and communications. Founded in 1991, RTI is privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA.
RTI, Real-Time Innovations and The Real-Time Middleware Company are registered trademarks or trademarks of Real-Time Innovations, Inc.