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.

Mission

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

Current Project Highlights

DevSecOps

Exploring integration of Connext into owner customers' development and deployment processes.

DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It's an approach that integrates security into each of the phases of the software lifecycle. DDS is unique as a networking solution because of its advanced security model and features. We are exploring the design of enhancements to tools used throughout the software lifecycle to leverage this. This will elevate cybersecurity to become a first-class citizen, enabling ease-of-use, verifiability, and traceability that is not possible with other networking technologies.

Status: This work will continue into 2024.

DDS Type Repository

Cloud-based DDS type repository and related tools to allow customers to find the right type to use, to share new types and to quickly start their development process.

Defining your networking data structures (types) is the starting point for Data-Centric Middleware and is the first step in designing a DDS-Based solution. Choosing the right type for the project is critical for the success of a new software architecture and yet we do not offer any guidance on how to do it right. Other solutions provide an already defined set of types to start with (e.g.: ROS).
Using the Type Repository and the integration with System Designer will alleviate this problem allowing the Connext Developer to browse a curated library of ready to use types. It will also allow large software teams to create their own type library and share types among themselves.

Status: This work will continue into 2023.


5G

We are exploring how to optimize the performance of edge computing over 5G.

While Connext works out of the box with 5G, we are exploring how we can enhance its integration with 5G infrastructure to deliver more performance and configuration simplicity. We are on track to create our first SDK by mid-2023.

Status: This work will continue into 2024.


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.

High Assurance Software

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