Real-time Linux and middleware from Concurrent Computer Corp. and Real-Time Innovations Inc. (RTI) are supporting the U.S. Navy's Aegis Open Architecture program, the companies announced Aug. 28. Aegis Open Architecture is the foundation for the modernization of the Navy's Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers, the companies said.
The companies' collaborative support for the Aegis Open Architecture (AOA) program comprises Concurrent's RedHawk real-time Linux operating system along with RTI's real-time Data Distribution Service (DDS) middleware.
Aegis Open Architecture
According to Concurrent, Aegis is a computer-based weapons system capable of real-time, simultaneous operations against multi-mission threats, including anti-air, anti-surface, and antisubmarine warfare. The Aegis Open Architecture (AOA), in turn, is intended to transition key functional areas the Navy's Aegis Weapon System to a component-based architecture, resulting in enhanced performance, reduced the costs, and extended service life, Concurrent says.
An Aegis system test
Quoting from a report by the Committee on Armed Services of the U.S. House of Representatives, dated May 14, 2004…
The Aegis combat system engineering program includes the development of upgrades for cruiser and destroyer Aegis combat systems and the integration of new equipment and systems to keep pace with the threat and capture advances in technology. The committee notes that experiences aboard Aegis-equipped ships and shore sites have shown that the use of currently available commercial- off-the-shelf equipment requires periodic refreshment and additional development effort as new technologies become available and computer operating systems, device drivers, and interfaces are updated.
To overcome these problems, the Navy is developing an open architecture computing environment for Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers as a part of the Navy's overall open architecture program. The goal of the program is to evolve combat systems into a “system of systems” that resides on a common computing environment which will be less complex, more easily upgraded, and have lower total ownership costs.
Concurrent's RedHawk Linux is a real-time Linux implementation for uni- and multi-processor x86 systems, including support for multicore AMD and Intel processors. The OS targets a wide range of applications with time-critical requirements, in telecommuncations, enterprise, and government environments, according to the company.
RedHawk incorporates a proprietary technology known as processor shielding, said to offer highly deterministic performance with guaranteed interrupt response times, within a normal, open standards-compliant SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) Linux environment that supports unmodified open source software. Concurrent says RedHawk can guarantee 30 microseconds maximum response times on a dedicated processor.
Concurrent in April released RedHawk version 4.1, which is based on a kernel.org 188.8.131.52 source tree. The distribution is said to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL 4), allowing standard Linux applications to run without modification.
RTI's Data Distribution Service (DDS) middleware, formerly NDDS (Network Data Distribution Services) is an implementation of the Object Management Group's Data Distribution Service for Real-time Systems. DDS provides a real-time publish-subscribe communications model with C, C++, and Java interfaces, and allows distributed processes to share data without concern for physical location or network architecture. According to RTI, DDS “significantly reduces the time required to implement a distributed real-time system while providing a more scalable, maintainable, and manageable infrastructure.”
Concurrent COO Warren Neuburger stated, “The Aegis Open Architecture program has demonstrated that demanding performance requirements can be met with standards-based, commercial off-the-shelf software. The combination of RedHawk Linux and RTI Data Distribution Service provides the Navy with an open and scalable platform and distributed processing environment for the Aegis Weapon System's real-time and distributed processing requirements.”
RTI CEO Dr. Stan Schneider added, “Our mutual commitment to providing open solutions based on industry standards will allow the Navy to more easily take advantage of future technology upgrades.”
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