August 18, 2022
Written by the Engineering Team, Kongsberg Geospatial
C2 and situational awareness are key pieces of functionality used in areas of public safety, defence, and even commercial industry. The need for decisionmakers to know the what, where and when regarding the resources or people that they are responsible for is paramount for success. That is why Kongsberg Geospatial uses DDS.
DDS or Data Distribution Services is an open OMG publish and subscribe network communication standard which is used in Military systems, Maritime systems, and embedded systems around the world. It provides the ability to control the data and how it is sent and received. Many companies shy away from DDS due to its extremely TypeSafe nature and deem it inflexible, but those are the very reasons it has been selected in the first place for use in defence-related systems.
DDS is very data-centric. When starting your journey with it, you begin by defining the data you will send. DDS Messages are defined as topics, similar to other publish and subscribe products utilized in the IoT world, but DDS goes further, allowing for domains to be defined for communication to subcategorize the system. This means you can tailor the traffic and it will not be available to all CCSCIs in a system like other IoT protocols and DDS does not use broadcast either. There is no notion of multicast or unicast.
Special gateways can be used to share information outside of the current subnet, allowing the ability to tailor the information stem, and thus shaping the traffic by design.
Finally, the really key differentiator for DDS is its extremely robust security definitions and the level of control over the volatility of information and messages through the extensive Quality of Service (QoS) settings. Such controls allow DDS to be used to provide reliable, real-time data delivery even when consistent transport isn’t available such as RF and satellite communications.
At Kongsberg Geospatial, we provide this special capability as part of most of ourC2 solutions (e.g. IRIS UxS). These systems communicate via Peer-to-Peer which means no centre, single point of failure. It also means it is easily scalable from a laptop system where service instances communicate onboard, to server-based infrastructure accessible via the cloud, with parallel systems which can be used for redundancy.
The technology chosen for the job matters. If your operators are working with critical systems or critical information, wouldn't you want a solution that started by thinking about your data first?
IRIS UxS provides operators of Unmanned Systems (UAS, UUV, USV) with the necessary situational awareness to operate Unmanned Systems Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS). As part of the platform, users can access2D and 3D maps, terrain, aeronautical information such as aerodrome locations, obstacles, and airspace, as well as real-time data from sensors, cameras, and weather data sources, all of which are integrated into a single, common operating picture display that is easy to use and customizable for each mission.