New Connectivity Software for the OPAL Application Framework

The Operational Avionics Layer (OPAL) Application Framework serves as the infrastructure for networking connectivity, data sharing, and operative actions for air, land and naval forces By DA Staff / 21 Jul 2021
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Real-Time Innovations (RTI) has been selected by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to incorporate its RTI Connext Data Distribution Service (DDS) for real-time connectivity as part of IAI’s Operational Avionics Layer (OPAL) Application Framework. 

OPAL serves as the infrastructure for networking connectivity, data sharing, and operative actions for air, land and naval forces. 

“The ability to communicate between joint operations forces is one of the most critical and complicated aspects of the warfighting environment when each entity has developed their own unique and proprietary system,” said Chip Downing, Senior Director, Aerospace and Defense at RTI. 

“We are proud to be working with a world-leading aerospace and defense company like IAI who is breaking barriers in battle management. We look forward to continuing our work together as we combine the power of the OPAL framework with the globally-proven software in Connext DDS to drive significant advancements for our customers.”

Using Connext to manage data communications enables customers to implement new applications in a fraction of the time while also reducing operational costs, decreasing development complexity, and enabling faster time to market. 

The OPAL application framework, built on Connext DDS, will enable companies to meet Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) program requirements.

Secure and reliable communication is vital to warfighter teams, especially in combat situations characterized by poor visibility and unpredictable enemy behaviors.

However, if friendly forces operate on individual network domains or communication channels, interoperability and joint operations are challenging if not impossible. Without the right technology in place, important data can easily remain stalled in operational silos and not instantly accessible to Command-and-Control (C2) system operators. 

OPAL introduces real-time interoperability capabilities by enabling C2 system operators to easily access important data.

By implementing RTI Connext DDS, IAI was able to reduce the process of adding applications to airborne platforms from roughly 60 months to just five months. 

Connext DDS delivers the software architecture needed to achieve real-time situational awareness and unified communication to gain a comprehensive operational picture of the battlefield.

Another key highlight of basing OPAL on the DDS standard is that this aligns OPAL with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Technical Standard, Edition 3.1, which defines an open avionics environment for all military airborne platform types. 

In addition, deploying an Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture enables OPAL to efficiently introduce new applications while reducing the impact of change and advancing the FACE approach. 

With this standards-based architecture, OPAL can continue to evolve and deliver even broader compatibility and capability into global avionics platforms.

“We created OPAL to provide a solution for different platforms to communicate with one another. RTI Connext serves as a critical component within the OPAL to provide our customers with seamless cross-platform interoperability, while reducing time to market dramatically,” said Tal Zaharoni, Deputy General Manager, Conversions and Upgrades Division, IAI. 

“We are proud to collaborate with RTI and look forward to combining our efforts to provide the best possible system.”

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