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Using Industry Standards to Drive System Sustainability

As an industry-wide “open systems” initiative is spreading its way into existing and current defense system designs, military OEM contractors and system integrators are shifting design practices to align with the new standards. Beyond the adoption of OpenVPX modules and VPX backplane standards driven by the VITA trade association, the Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) memo issued by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) supported by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, mandates that all new systems “shall be designed and developed, to the maximum extent practicable, with a modular open-system approach to enable incremental development and enhance competition, innovation, and interoperability.” 

Within the MOSA approach, there are specific open standards that cover MOSA mandate and system guide for the appropriate application:

  • CMOSS: C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards
  • SOSA: The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture
  • FACE: Future Airborne Capability Environment
  • HOST: Hardware Open Systems Technologies
  • MORA: Modular Open Radio Frequency Architecture
  • OMS/UCI: Open Mission Systems/Universal Command and Control Interface
  • VICTORY: Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability
Here is an overview of the SOSA Technical Standard & Ecosystem. Graphic courtesy of The Open Group's SOSA Consortium

Sensor Open Systems Architecture

The SOSA™ Technical Standard is based on the hardware foundation of CMOSS. The SOSA approach is a common framework for transitioning sensor systems to an open systems architecture, based on key interfaces and open standards established by industry-government consensus. The objective is to allow flexibility in the selection and acquisition of sensors and subsystems that provide sensor data collection, processing, exploitation, communication, and related functions over the full life cycle of the C4ISR system.

System modules designed to the SOSA defined specifications present many value-adds to defense applications. Costly factors like technology insertion/transitions or future component replacements have the biggest anticipated benefits resulting from SOSA.

What is a SOSA-based Solution?

A SOSA-aligned solution is a hardware module that follows the defined open systems architecture specifications containing specific functions and behaviors and includes SOSA-defined elements such as electrical and mechanical interfaces.

While leveraging VITA’s OpenVPX architecture, SOSA aims to foster interoperability by defining every signal pin on the standard PICs, thus eliminating the “user-defined” pins that have driven proprietary system designs. Platform-specific interfaces are confined to special user-defined modules, allowing for easy future upgrades to the processing and networking infrastructure.

SOSA Qualities - Designing Open Architectures
Why is SOSA important?

Faster, better, smarter – it seems like a win-win for both parties. Defense suppliers will have industry-defined components, both hardware and software, to guide system integrators to ensure they are within the SOSA standards.

SOSA Qualities – Designing Open Architectures

  • Interoperability
  • Securability
  • Modularity
  • Compatibility
  • Portability
  • Upgradeability
  • Scalability – Sensor Multiplicity
  • Scalability – Host Platform Size
  • Resiliency

As the SOSA objective is to promote more reliable long-term and cost-effective solutions for ISR systems, SOSA-based hardware results in quicker system updates, improved product lifecycles, and greater return on investment. The push for SOSA-defined solutions will re-enforce defense contractors to design and build systems that are useful across many applications.

SOSA-based Embedded Solutions

With over three decades of embedded hardware design and manufacturing, EIZO Rugged Solutions has become responsive to the SOSA standard to help expand the interoperability in configurations requiring GPGPU, AI, video processing, and display solutions for the ISR market.

EIZO’s SOSA-aligned GPGPU solutions are designed to support various SOSA slot profiles, enabling them to easily integrate into various OpenVPX systems. With in-house engineering, EIZO is capable of designing to any SOSA-defined VPX profile or backplane and is responsive to the existing and emerging open modular technical standards.

Built for success, EIZO’s SOSA-aligned 3U and 6U VPX embedded graphics and GPGPU processing cards are powered by NVIDIA RTX GPUs to deliver AI, deep learning, and real-time H.265 encoding to SOSA-based ISR and EW applications.

OpenVPX – SOSA Solutions

The Condor XR1S is a 6U VPX SOSA-aligned high-performance computing & GPGPU card that hosts dual GPUs based on the NVIDIA Quadro RTX architecture. The XR1S 6U VPX offers four front I/O DisplayPort++ video outputs and is designed to the SOSA-aligned profile: SLT6-PAY-4F2Q1H4U1T1S1S1TU2U2T1H-10.6.4.

The Condor GR5S-RTX5000 is a 3U VPX SOSA-aligned video graphics and GPGPU processing card supporting the NVIDIA RTX5000 GPU. This product is being offered supporting SOSA x8 and x16 PCIe configurations and non-SOSA configurations supporting DisplayPort/DVI video outputs. This card configuration supports the following SOSA slot profiles: SLT3-PAY-1F1U1S1S1U1U2F1H-14.6.11, SLT3-PAY-1F1U1S1S1U1U4F1J-14.6.13

EIZO’s SOSA configured solutions are designed with upgradeable GPU paths, such as the Condor XR1S 6U VPX. The Condor XR1S 6U VPX is based on the NVIDIA® Turing™ architecture using either the NVIDIA RTX5000™ platform or NVIDIA RTX3000™ platform, offering exceptional graphics and GPGPU compute capability with CUDA® support, AI, and deep learning. The Condor XR1S 6U VPX host two upgradeable GPUs, making it a modular and scalable solution for large ISR applications.

With ongoing support for the SOSA initiative, EIZO Rugged Solutions continues to design new and reconfigure current products to meet the needs of our customers. We also design to VITA 46.0 and 46.1 VPX standards which allow the design and implementation of high-speed, high-power switched fabric-based systems. Furthermore, our products are designed to withstand high temperature, shock, and vibration as defined by MIL-STD-810.

Condor XR1-RTX5000
Condor XR1S 6U VPX
Condor GR5-RTX5000
Condor GR5S-RTX5000 3U VPX
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