NASA selects Vortex Suite for SMART National Airspace System

155080main_facet_hrVortex OpenSplice, Cloud and Fog data sharing platforms provide scalability, dynamic discovery, Qualities of Service and tooling capabilities required by system

Vortex OpenSplice, Vortex Cloud and Vortex Fog have been selected by NASA for use in the SMART-NAS (Shadow Mode Assessment Using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System) Project.

SMART-NAS is an air traffic management simulation project designed to accelerate the transformation of the National Airspace System, which is one of the most complex systems for controlling commercial, military and general aviation aircraft in the world.  In this effort, SMART-NAS aims to explore and enable plug-and-play alternative concepts, technologies and architectures for deployment in the NAS.

Over the past seven years, NASA has trusted PrismTech’s superior software, service and expertise to meet a variety of program goals.

Vortex platforms were selected by NASA for SMART-NAS after an in-depth evaluation of the various data sharing platform options that are based on the Object Management Group®’s (OMG®) Data-Distribution Service™ (DDS™) standard.  DDS is a proven technology that can meet the stringent performance, availability, safety and robustness criteria imposed by mission-critical, highly distributed and real time systems, such as those found in air traffic control and air traffic management systems. Key to Vortex, however, is its functionality to extend DDS beyond embedded and LAN-based networks out to an intelligent real-time data exchange for Tactical Clouds to enable highly scalable system of systems solutions.

To accelerate the transformation of the entire NAS, proposed functions must be integrated, tested and fully validated before being deployed into NAS.  SMART-NAS aims to examine, in real-time, the robustness, stability and reliability of new approaches to the entire system or any of its parts by taking operational data such as weather conditions, flight plans, airports arrival rates and system constraints – to ensure safe and seamless operations from ground level to outer space.

Vortex optimally addresses the real-time information distribution and management challenges posed by high performance real-time data-processing systems.  Vortex OpenSplice is being used in numerous air traffic control and management systems throughout the world.

Further information about Vortex platforms is available from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex.

FACE listed Vortex OpenSplice as one of the 3rd-party tools for FACE Applications

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The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium has added Vortex OpenSplice to its list of third-party tools for FACE applications.

PrismTech recently released its DDS Community Edition v6.7 that comes with a Free Open Source TSS aligned with the FACE Technical Standard that uses DDS as the underlying transport layer and is fully compatible and interoperable with the commercially supported Vortex OpenSplice V6.8

PrismTech’s TSS reference implementation provides a mapping-layer between the FACE Transport Services API and the standard OMG-DDS API. The new TSS implementation supports both C++ and Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and enables portable components to share and exchange data using DDS. PrismTech’s TSS is being made available under GNU lesser General Public License (LGPL) v3 and Apache V2.0 Open Source license terms.

 

Get Started with Vortex OpenSplice Tuner

Explore Vortex OpenSplice Tuner with our latest video tutorial.

The Vortex OpenSplice Tuner is a powerful deployment tool that offers total control over a deployed Vortex OpenSplice based Data Distribution Service (DDS) system from any local or remote platform that supports the Java language. The 100% Java based Vortex OpenSplice Tuner Tool greatly aids the design, implementation, test and maintenance of Vortex OpenSplice based distributed systems

The Vortex OpenSplice Tuner Tool is differentiated from other vendor’s DDS based tooling by its dynamic capabilities to not only connect to any remote Vortex OpenSplice DDS based system at runtime, but also its capabilities to create, discover and (QoS) tune any DDS entities ‘on-the-fly’. Vortex OpenSplice Tuner provides facilities to observe entities in a Vortex OpenSplice system and browse over their (mutual) relationships using different views.

If you have not got the latest Vortex OpenSplice 6.8.1 version, you can download it here.

MathWorks’ MATLAB and Simulink integration on the latest Vortex OpenSplice v6.8.1

OpenSplice 6.8.1.pngPrismTech is pleased to announce the availability of Vortex OpenSplice version 6.8.1. with Mathworks’ MATLAB and Simulink integration as major enhancements, such as:

  • The generation of MATLAB classes from existing IDL including support for IDL sequences and bounded strings
  • The Simulink integration now supports wait conditions on both read (wait for regular and historical data availability) and write (wait for matching subscribers). In addition, IDL sequences are now also supported for Simulink
  • The Vortex DDS ‘block set’ now also supports Simulink Coder, allowing users with a Simulink Coder license (as available from MathWorks) to generate C/C++-code from their Simulink models. This code can then be deployed as a regular Vortex OpenSplice DDS application on supported target platforms.

As of version 6.8, Vortex™ OpenSplice™ provides OMG DDS-based integration with MathWorks’ MATLAB® and Simulink® products. MATLAB classes as well as Simulink BUS definitions are automatically mapped to their corresponding Topic definitions in DDS.

To ensure type agreement between DDS and MATLAB/Simulink applications, MATLAB classes and Simulink blocks can be exported to the IDL format that is well-known for DDS applications. The integration allows users to create DDS entities in their MATLAB/Simulink model and associate them with desired Quality-of-Services in separate XML files to provide maximum flexibility and control how and when data is exchanged. These capabilities allow users to transparently share any data between different MATLAB/Simulink applications and/or pure DDS applications no matter where they have been deployed in the network.

The Vortex OpenSplice v6.8.1 software is now available for evaluation download from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/software-downloads

Reflections on DDS at Undersea Defense Technology (UDT)

I’m writing this blog tonight whilst traveling home from exhibiting at the Undersea Defense Technology (UDT) conference in Bremen, Germany with my PrismTech colleagues Peter Steele and Gregg Shenton.

It’s always good to catch up with the latest innovations and tech in the naval and subsea industry – and of course the major suppliers were all in attendance.  A lot of interesting things were going on.

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UDT is a particularly appropriate event for PrismTech.  We have many customers in this industry, with DDS (the Data Distribution Service) already being widely applied and often even mandated by the standards bodies and organizations.  Our leading DDS implementation, Vortex OpenSplice has many successful naval deployments and a long history in this market.  Many people will know how its early version was initially designed to address the specific problem of moving data around a complex, real time, combat management system.  The middleware aspect was standardized to form the DDS specification, which of course addresses a lot of those problems – namely delivering time critical data to the applications that need it in an efficient, fault tolerant and scalable manner.

The benefits of DDS, though, are perhaps quite abstract, and for non-software developers probably initially difficult to appreciate.  Because of that, we wanted to provide a visual demonstration at the event that would be interesting for the passer-by yet allow them to relate to what the technology can provide.

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We came up with a mini simulation of a combat system whereby data from the raw environment is captured, processed and delivered to where needed for further analysis.  Our demo used a webcam to capture the raw environment – which in real terms could represent a radar, sonar or video system.  The demo then performed some local analysis, in our case some image processing to track specific colours as they move across the camera.  We had some different colored balls that people were encouraged to wave around (or if brave, juggle) in front of the webcam.  These moving colours were tracked, with their positions published into DDS.  We had another computer which subscribed to that data and presented it to a would-be operator on a mocked-up Blue Force Tracking system, i.e. naval symbols on a sea chart.  We were simulating how position and routes of other vessels and obstacles could be tracked within a networked system in real time.  Of course, DDS is even more valuable when you have to deliver the data to potentially hundreds of machines that might exist within a ship or vessel but there is only so much you can show on a stand!  Still, people appreciated the demo and we had some very interesting discussions.

On reflection, those discussions were generally centred around two key areas.  Firstly, how companies can simplify and optimize their own internal data communication systems.  They usually have some existing solution to deliver data around the network but they are often quite legacy and difficult to extend, enhance or deploy to different scenarios.  DDS is great for that purpose.  Secondly, we spoke about easy integration with other vendors in the naval supply chain.  DDS has strong yet evolvable typing that allows for the clear definition of what data is and represents, while also providing an interoperable wire protocol so applications can automatically discover each other and share data with little integration effort.

Getting Started with Vortex OpenSplice Configurator Tutorial

Revisit the features of Vortex OpenSplice Configurator on a step-by-step tutorial. The Configurator is a tool that allows you to parse and set all the XML data properly.

The Vortex OpenSplice Configurator includes a rich online guide describing Vortex OpenSplice Configuration options as well as providing context-sensitive help and parameter validation.

Vortex is available to evaluate FREE, click here to download.

Getting Started Tutorial with Vortex OpenSplice Tester Video

In this tutorial video presented by Nate Wieselquist, you can learn about how to get started using the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool in order to help you automate the process of testing and debugging your DDS system. Both passive and active benefits of the Vortex OpenSplice Tester tool are covered in this video as well as an example walkthrough.