Advancing the State of Technology

RTI is a global leader in industrial research focused on secure, real-time distributed communications. We are committed to the continuing advancement of our technology and products to meet the evolving needs of our customers and markets. RTI is proud to have a highly active and very successful research team that engages with defense, commercial industries and academia. We also maintain a strong academic and industrial research partner program that can provide free licenses that make RTI products available for internally-funded research. If you are interested in learning more about the active research projects taking place in our community, visit our RTI Community.


Research has always been the foundation of RTI. We have been conducting advanced industrial-focused research for the past two decades and these efforts are ongoing. Distinct from product development, the RTI research team focuses on maintaining a strategic lead in technology and mindshare for building software frameworks for smart machines and real-world systems. By exploring new market-relevant software solutions and providing insight into technologies, application areas and customer challenges, RTI maintains a world-class reputation for reliability.

With broad and deep technical expertise in distributed systems and cybersecurity, RTI works on the development of advanced capabilities, tools and proof-of-concept solutions that span markets – from defense and energy to transportation, medical, and beyond. RTI maintains a strong and well-funded research program, working in close partnership with numerous government agencies that include the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and more.

RTI is exploring many challenging and exciting research topics, such as:

  • Machine Learning, AI / Deep Learning
  • Cybersecurity - DDS Security, TEEs, Multi-Level Security, Medical Device Security
  • Advanced Compression & Logging
  • Modeling and Simulation, Gaming Engine Integration
  • Networking - Wireless 4G/5G, Edge Computing, SDN, NFV, TSN
  • WAN Operation, Operational Monitoring
  • Scalability, Extensibility, Interoperability
  • Trusted Microkernels
  • Software Verification, Validation, and Certification
  • Tools

Project Highlights

RTI System Designer

Making the design of DDS application easier

Our most recent tool has just left the nest and is headed into product development! System Designer provides a front-end user interface in support of RTI's unique XML application creation capability. This tool can help simplify the process of designing your DDS applications, as it eliminates the need to construct your programs using XML.

Status: We’re continuing to explore advancements to System Designer. Specifically, we’re exploring new ways to support rapid application development and to configure security. Learn more in RTI Labs.

Data Compression

Exploiting data centricity to achieve amazing compression

We are exploring advanced compression techniques that leverage the data centric nature of DDS, which is a capability that most other networking protocols simply cannot provide.  For those protocols, it would be left up to each application developer to develop their own solution.  However, because we’re incorporating it into the Connext Framework, we’re working to make it as simple as setting a few Quality of Service (QoS) knobs.  Even though we’re still in early design and testing, we have already demonstrated nearly 90% lossless compression.

Status: This work will continue into 2022.

Cybersecurity Tool Interoperability

Using DDS to build common interfaces between vendors

Many customers choose DDS because it is an open standard with multiple product offerings.  DDS-compliant products all interoperate.  However, the same cannot be said for cybersecurity tools like antivirus software, firewalls and intrusion detection solutions.  Once you pick one, you become vendor-locked.  While there are vendor-led efforts to solve this, no single solution yet exists.  To address this, we have been working on an open data model that will enable tool interoperability.  Using this approach, we have demonstrated the ability to run multiple competing products in the same network and easily ingest the now vendor-agnostic data downstream.  Our intent is to publish this model in order to promote interoperability.

Status: This work will continue into 2022.


Exploring safe and secure systems for flight, autonomous cars, medical devices, and more

seL4 is a high-assurance, high-performance, open source operating system microkernel.  It provides both time and space separation.  It is being evaluated by several major corporations for their own systems and their products (including autonomous platforms), because of its privacy, security and safety attributes.  We have been involved with seL4 for the past three years, and we are continuing to advance our integration support for this microkernel.

Status: This work will continue into 2023.

See more in our github library.

Docker & Kubernetes

Creating configuration guidance and exploring performance

As container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes continue to become more popular, we need to understand how well our software and customers' applications will operate as they transition their systems to these technologies.

Status: Ongoing.

Information in RTI Community:

See more on our blog.

Modeling, Simulation & Training

Advancing market-driving features

We have been working in this area for several years now.  Primarily this work spans real-time simulations and training, globally distributed applications and integration with the latest generation of gaming engines (Unity and Unreal).  We have built prototype bridges to Unity, and RTI is now working on adding one for EPIC's Unreal Engine 5.

Status: Ongoing.

Collaborating with RTI

We are open to collaboration! We regularly collaborate on funded research with many universities, national labs and small/large companies. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss your opportunities.

Through our University Program, we offer complimentary access to RTI Connext® DDS Secure to qualifying universities that initiate a research or classroom project involving complex distributed networks.

GitHub Repository

We love to share what we do!  In addition to papers, blogs and conferences, we can sometimes share code we have developed. Check out the current crop of prototypes below.

Clicking the links below will take you to RTI’s projects on GitHub:

Recently Awarded Government Research Contracts
  • Securing medical device communications (11/20)
  • Exploring toolchains to streamline software development and certification for autonomous platforms (10/20)
  • Building and benchmarking representative architectures involving seL4 (10/20)
  • Automating detection of high value data in real-time streaming data (7/20)
  • Developing software-defined Multi-Level Secure communications for globally distributed training systems (6/20)
  • Designing an adapter to the Unity simulation engine (6/20)
  • Advancing real-time streaming compression (4/20)
  • View past awards received