September 29, 2011

RTI and QinetiQ to improve UK Armed Forces Land Data Model

References: RTI (1), OMG (2)

News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Real-Time Innovations supported QinetiQ in the development of the Land Data Model for UK Defence Standard 23-09. Specifically, The U.K. Ministry of Defence had chosen QinetiQ as leader of the Vehicle Systems Integration Group (VSI), which consists of defense contractors based in the U.S. and U.K. The VSI Group was tasked with applying open-standards-based architectures to land-based defense platforms.

The Context

UK Defence Standard 23-09 (Def Stan 23-09) was been produced on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) by UK Defence Standardization (DStan). It has been developed through the collaborative efforts of the MOD and industry, and builds on the extant Vehicle Systems Integration (VSI) and previous work including the Vehicle Technology Integration Demonstrator (VTID). The purpose of Def Stan 23-09 is to enable the MOD to realise the benefits of an open architecture approach to Land platform design and integration, especially in regard to platform infrastructure and the associated Human Machine Interface (HMI) in order to improve operational effectiveness across all Defence Lines of Development (DLOD), reduce integration risks and reduce the cost of ownership across the fleet. This is achieved by mandating and applying the appropriate interface standards.

Def Stan 23-09, section 13, mandates the use of the DDS (Data Distribution Service). The DDS family of standards were easily the most appropriate for military land vehicle application due their openness, the commitment by the vendors to address full interoperability, and technical features of DDS. Most important of the technical features considered were the opportunity to simplify application development through adoption of the data centric nature of DDS and the low coupling achieved by using a publish and subscribe communication model.

In order to fully benefit from the use of DDS and to encourage adoption by its contractors, UK MOD has funded the construction of the UK MOD Land Data Model. This data model encompasses data type definitions, quality of service patterns and vehicle type profiles, it allows the defence community to generate a set of products that interact over DDS based data network in a number of platforms. The Data Model has been endorsed by the VSI Group and a recommendation to the MOD for standardisation through the GVA Office (Generic Vehicle Architecture) has enabled the data model to undergo its initial deployment in two procurement activities. The Land Data Model has been declassified and made available to any approved requestor by the U.K. MOD. As a result, the MOD is now able to reduce the use of custom interfaces, and the defense industry can take advantage of the opportunity to provide products for increasingly diverse platforms. The primary benefit, however, is that the military will have an increasing number of fully integrated and upgraded vehicles. Declassification of the Land Data Model was an unprecedented move in open-systems procurement by the MOD. The Land Data Model has already been shared with several other friendly nation-states, reflecting the increasing levels of cooperation between the U.K. and its defense partners.


"RTI's experience and knowledge in the development of data-centric integration strategies are deeply appreciated by QinetiQ," said Mike Haines, project manager at QinetiQ. "We value RTI's help and support as we strive for a single, consistent industry view of the data model for all armored vehicles. The open publication of the Land Data Model marks an exciting step forward in the industry as it adopts new and innovative ways to deliver superior systems at lower costs and in tighter timeframes for our armed services."

Further Readings
  • DefStan 23-09 (pdf)
  • DDS (pdf)
  • Generic Vehicle Architecture (pdf)

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