Vortex sets new levels of performance, reliability, scalability, interoperability and fault-tolerance for defense and aerospace systems.
Vortex OpenSplice was the first implementation of a Universal Data Bus addressing the needs of data distribution for most, if not all, Defense and Aerospace applications, ranging from Radar Processors to next-generation Network-Centric Systems. The approach, as described below was so successful that it led to the definition of an International Standard based on Vortex OpenSplice, which has now been adopted by key administrations as the standard universal data bus constituting the fabric over which data should flow for all the elements of their systems and system-of-systems.
The Ubiquitous Need for Data Distribution
In Defense and Aerospace virtually any application requires some form of data distribution at varying temporal and geographical scale. Some examples of the different, yet representative, data distribution needs of defense and aerospace applications are those exemplified by Radar Processors, Vetronic Systems, Naval Combat Management Systems, Land Systems, and next-generation Network Centric Systems.
All these systems share the same abstract need of distributing data efficiently at various time and geographical scales, with some systems requiring the ability to operate in multiple time and geographical scales at the same time.
The Universal Data Bus
Historically, the various data distribution needs were addressed by ad hoc proprietary technologies designed to address a single and well defined use case, e.g., data distribution in a Radar Processor, data distribution in a Combat Management System, etc. This approach quickly lead to the proliferation of data distribution technologies, which other than drawing internal R&D funding for solving the same problem over and over, were becoming a major hurdle towards interoperability -- even for technologies developed by the same company!
Vortex OpenSplice was the first data distribution technology to address these issues once and for all and to provide a universal data bus. The echoes of the success of this approach motivated a wider set of parties to cooperate and define a standard universal data bus.
In early 2000, it was realized that the solution to this challenge - as proven by Vortex OpenSplice - was to devise a standards-based data distribution technology that was flexible enough to address the requirements arising in various defense systems, and thus allow for an economy of scale and scope. A few years later, in 2004, the OMG Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems was born, and Vortex OpenSplice was the first implementation of the standard!
The Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems
The OMG Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) was adopted in 2004 by the OMG as a standard for real-time publish/subscribe. This standard was carefully defined to ensure that compliant implementations could deliver very high performance whilst scaling to very large scale systems and guaranteeing stable and real-time behavior.
The DDS defines an API for real-time publish/subscribe (namely DCPS) enabling applications to define a relational information model whose entities are produced and consumed, respectively, by elements of a distributed system. An API for Object/Relational Mapping (namely the DLRL) is also provided to bridge the impedance mismatch between the relational and Object-Oriented representation of information and relationships. Finally, the DDS defines a standard Real-Time Publish-Subscribe (RTPS) wire protocol. The standarized wire protocol helps to ensure that different implementations are able to seamlessly interoperate and exchange data without losing performance or Qualities of Service (QoS).
DDS Adoptions and Recommendations
The DDS's ability to satisfy data distribution requirements across Defense and Aerospace applications was so effective, that some of the most prestigious administrations around the word have recommended or even mandated its use.
To quote a few, the US Navy has mandated the use of DDS as a key building block for any architecture that wishes to comply with the Open Architecture Computing Environment (OACE) directives; DISA has recommended the use of DDS as the publish/subscribe technology for distributing tactical data for supporting Network-Centric capabilities; EUROCONTROL has mandated DDS as the technology for distributing flight data plans among European air-traffic control centers; QinetiQ has recommended DDS as the information backbone for the electronic architecture of next generation Vetronic Systems.
PrismTech's DDS implementation is listed on the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium website as Third Party Tools for FACE Applications.