Tactical Edge-to-Cloud Connectivity Framework

Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is a multibillion-dollar initiative from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to revitalize the military’s current command and control (C2) infrastructure. JADC2 aims to establish a combined, synergistic network of sensors and warfighters that enables collective, real-time decision-making across the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Cyber and Space Force, across all warfighting domains. This integrated network will provide the sensor and target data from the tactical edge to command and control (C2) systems, coupled with weapons resources to select the optimal weapon systems within hours, minutes, or potentially seconds. This acceleration is significant, compared to the current multi-day process needed to analyze the operating environment and issue commands.

JADC2 will enable the Joint Force to share intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data in real-time. JADC2 makes it possible to transmit across many network domains to enable faster decision-making using artificial intelligence algorithms that can identify targets, then recommend the optimal weapon—both kinetic and non-kinetic—to engage the target.

RTI Connext® provides a proven software framework with a loosely coupled architecture that is ideal for helping JADC2 unite Joint Forces networks to work reliably, even when those channels are disconnected, denied, intermittent, or have limited bandwidth. Connext provides the fault tolerance, resiliency and security that is required by mission-critical applications, supports both legacy and future information data models, and can be built and reconfigured dynamically in response to evolving threats. Furthermore, the common wire protocols and APIs of Connext enable seamless integration and interoperability, addressing the barriers of traditional U.S. defense networks.

JADC2 and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA)

All of these systems will be adopting a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) standard to create a common data communications framework. RTI Connext is a TRL-9 connectivity framework based on the open DDS standard (managed by the Object Management Group (OMG )) that supports over 20 defense industry standards and works across many transports, including TDL, RF, TCP, UDP, InfiniBand, Underwater Sensor Network Transports, lossy satellite connections, and even shared memory or backplanes in a single computer.

MOSA has been defined as a warfighting imperative. According to the original tri-service memorandum calling for MOSA, “Victory in conflict will in part be determined by our ability to rapidly share information across domains”. Specifically, the memorandum cites several existing interoperability standards “as vital to our success”. RTI Connext underpins several of these interoperability standards.

The Key to Success is Data-Centricity

To enable decision dominance at the speed of war, JADC2 systems must provide data to decision makers and decision-making Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) systems across different operational commands, from the tactical edge to the fog to the cloud. This aligns precisely with the DoD Data Strategy announced on September 30, 2020 that directs U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) leaders to evolve all DoD assets into data-centric assets that treat data as a weapon system. This document outlines seven goals of this strategy – to make data Visible, Accessible, Understandable, Linked, Trustworthy, Interoperable and Secure (VAULTIS).

Data centricity refers to a system architecture where data is the primary and permanent asset, and applications come and go. Instead of exchanging messages, software components communicate via shared data objects that appear to be local data. Applications directly read and write the value of these objects, which are cached in each participant. 

RTI Connext® is built upon a peer-to-peer, data-centric architecture that delivers critical real-time data to AI and ML at wire speed, without servers or brokers. Connext is loosely coupled with a network discovery capability, enabling a network component “plug-n-play” capability. This allows users to dynamically insert new capabilities into a network that can be automatically discovered by operations technology, without powering down their systems. 

The Connext architecture supports VAULTIS by design. Its application programming interfaces (APIs) drives access and visibility across multiple hardware and operating systems platforms in a consistent, understandable format; its Real-Time PublishSubscribe (RTPS) wire protocol drives rapid and consistent interoperability; its open security capabilities enable trusted access across multiple security domains in real time.

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Your Systems, Working as One

RTI Connext provides data connectivity, extreme reliability and a scalable communications framework that integrates a wide range of sensor and mission data in a data-centric way. Connext is designed from the ground up to meet the necessary interoperability and security requirements for cross-service, cross-supplier and cross-ally integration of a mission-critical, technology-driven operations environment. Connext is ideal for integrating a wide range of disparate network systems, from the smallest sensor to the largest system-of-systems out there, which makes it a low-risk choice for integrating operations and control data for next-generation military network platforms such as JADC2.

For more information, contact Chip Downing, RTI Senior Market Development Director, Aerospace and Defense | jadc2@rti.com

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