Military Embedded Systems

MOSA momentum continues in 2022


February 04, 2022

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

Each year since 2019 – when Army, Air Force, and Navy leaders issued their memo requiring the U.S. military use a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for new program designs and refreshes – momentum for the concept has only increased. The launch of the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Technical Standard 1.0 in September 2021 marked another huge milestone for MOSA proponents.

While I walked the floors of military trade shows during the last couple months of 2021, I saw many companies touting their products’ alignment with the SOSA Technical Standard – none are deemed “conformant” with it yet, as that process is still about a year away from being complete. Those companies not aligned with SOSA shared how they are still embracing a MOSA approach; they also said that many of the requests for proposals they see are also requiring either a MOSA approach, use of open standards, or even specific MOSA approaches like the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Technical Standard and the C4ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS).

CMOSS, FACE, SOSA, and other open architecture initiatives have been around longer than that 2019 Tri-service memo. Their successful adoption into programs (FACE) and enthusiasm behind what they can do long-term for the deployment of high-performance technology to the warfighter – faster fielding of systems, less downtime, and easier tech refresh paths, plus lower long-term life cycle costs – is in fact what drove U.S. military leadership to issue the memo.

We’ve covered these MOSA initiatives and others like HOST [Hardware Open Systems Technology] and VICTORY [Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability] for years, but last year the momentum for our coverage also got a big boost.

In September 2021, in conjunction with the SOSA Consortium, we launched the first of what will be an annual SOSA Special Edition. Exclusively published by Military Embedded Systems, it contains an aggregate of our staff written and industry contributed content about SOSA from the 2021. You can view it here: The 2022 edition will be published in August.

We also provide bimonthly coverage in our SOSA Update e-newsletter. View the archive here:

This spring we will also exclusively publish what will be the annual FACE Special Edition. If you are a FACE member and would like to participate in the product profiles, please visit Similar to the SOSA Special Edition, the FACE Special Edition will have an aggregate of staff-written and industry-contributed content about FACE from the past year, along with fresh perspective from FACE leadership.

Diving deeper into MOSA: We’re launching the MOSA Virtual Summit, to be held on February 23 at 11 a.m. EST. Our keynote speaker for the MOSA Virtual Summit is Giorgio Bertoli, Assistant Director for the Spectrum Dominance and Intelligence portfolio within the U.S. Army’s C5ISR Center. In his position he is responsible for the execution of science and technology efforts and delivery of novel capabilities within the area of defensive and offensive cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, ground and airborne radar, tactical military communications, and countermine.

Sessions will include “MOSA for Military Avia­tion Platforms,” “Bringing MOSA to Electronic Warfare Applications,” and “Applying a MOSA Strategy Across Multiple Domains.”

To register, visit

Another opportunity: On April 12, we will be hosting the Unmanned Systems Virtual Summit, to include a session on “MOSA Strategies for Unmanned Systems” and a keynote session that includes speaker Capt. Shelby Ochs, USMC, co-program manager of Blue sUAS 2.0 for the Defense Innovation Unit, together with keynote host Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired), CEO of P3 Tech Consulting and an unmanned system expert and recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019 on LinkedIn. Registration will open soon, so stay tuned to our social media channels and for the announcement.

Within our print magazine, we usually have a MOSA-related article each issue. In our January/February issue – where this column appears – our SOSA material includes a piece from Nick Borton from SRC, titled “Leveraging the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) for radar applications” on page 16 and a column from Jason DeChiaro of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions titled “SAVE this space: Defining the C5ISR space for Army vehicles” on page 9.

We also have plenty of opportunities to contribute material on MOSA in our print and digital vehicles. To view our 2022 content calendar, visit To submit an abstract for a possible published article, please contact our assistant managing editor Lisa Daigle at [email protected].

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