Innovating loose couplers to support JADC2
Dr. Bill Conley; Taymor Kamrany
December 6, 2021
Innovation and loosely coupled systems have an intertwined history. The biggest advances and enduring standards often evolved at the same time. A great example is the simple 120 V, 60 Hz wall plug that we use each day. The amount of innovation in consumer electronic devices is amazing. At the same time, the innovation in power generation and distribution ranging from different fuels to renewable energy is equally amazing. Innovations in both ecosystems are supported through the simple wall plug, in use for over five decades.
Interoperability of disparate systems is a must to realize JADC2; the DoD has extensive existing capabilities that must be leveraged. Just like a power plug, some adapters may be required in the near term. Modern computing is the net-centric foundation of the modern operational environment. DoD Joint Staff (J6) is leading the strategy for three parallel efforts to create an interoperable battle network that links the right sensors with the right shooters across the globe known as Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2. The notion that three services will chart their own course to build a resilient battle network that is interoperable and meets in the middle is a tough goal to achieve. To embrace innovation and to meet our national security needs, we need a set of loose system couplers or standards in place to support JADC2 and ensure a common “meeting point.”
The key challenge of any battle network is to develop the right processing architecture to synthesize sensor data and provide actionable intelligence. The basic design behind JADC2 will need to have a common set of standards for simplicity of information-sharing environment and ease of use, and design characteristics to increase the value of the overall multi-function system while keeping a close eye on performance, costs and schedules. Considering this reality, multi-function systems such as JADC2 will blend Edge, Fog, and Cloud processing; while the definitions of Fog and Edge are rather ambiguous, it is obvious that bare metal resources will provide needed sensor processing on the tactical platforms, which is critical for processing raw sensor data. Such networks must vary the type of processing being performed and will need to be reprogrammed remotely to execute diverse missions previously not conceived during the system design phase. This critically occurs through a resource manager – a key driver of the architecture. Mercury specializes in providing the resource pools to help define architectures for infrastructure abstractions as well as resource slicing. By focusing on processing architectures, Mercury Systems provides customers, and ultimately the end users, the most capable, secure and scalable open system solutions with no risk of a vendor-locked system.