Military Embedded Systems

Technical Standard for SOSA Reference Architecture, Edition 1.0 released


September 30, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Technical Standard for SOSA Reference Architecture, Edition 1.0 released

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium published the new Technical Standard for SOSA Reference Architecture, Edition 1.0. 

According to officials, the new standard will aim to enable rapid, affordable, cross-platform capability advancements based upon fundamentals of system, software, hardware, and electrical and mechanical engineering best practices and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) principles.

“The future belongs to those who strive for it," says Dr. Ilya Lipkin, Air Force Steering Committee Chair for the SOSA Consortium. "The release of SOSA Technical Standard 1.0 represents a major step forward in implementing the DoD’s vision of a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for sensor systems as advocated in the Tri-Service memorandum for Service Acquisition Executives and Program Executive Officers issued on January 7, 2019. We are very excited about the release of version 1.0. This achievement culminates the collaborative efforts over the past five years by a team of government, industry, and academia to define a standard for sensing systems. This standard will enable rapid acquisition and fielding of state-of-the-art components to support our competitive edge in the global environment. The SOSA Consortium success is owned and shared by the community of volunteers who dedicate their expertise, effort, and long hours beyond their work responsibilities toward a common goal.”

For more on the SOSA Technical Standard and for an interview with Dr. Lipkin, check out the 2021 SOSA Special Edition here. It is brought to you by the Military Embedded Systems editorial team in conjunction with the SOSA Consortium and The Open Group.

The SOSA consortium claims that the intention behind the standard was to develop a solution designed to address Department of Defense's (DoD) need for a cohesive unified set of sensor capabilities.

“The much-anticipated release of the SOSA Technical Standard 1.0 marks a significant advance in MOSA within the DoD,” says Jason Dirner, Team Leader, Architecture Team, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM). “The new SOSA Technical Standard, and its alignment with other standards such as CMOSS [C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS)], lays the foundation for greater reuse, faster upgrades, increased competition, and lower costs within the acquisition community.”

The third tier of the Tri-service effort, the Navy echoes the enthusiasm of the Army and Air Force. “The PMA-209 Avionics Architecture Team is thrilled to witness the release of the SOSA Technical Standard 1.0," says LCDR Kristen Whitesell, PMA-209 AAT IPT Team Co-lead. "This now available important work not only benefits the entire open architecture community, it also supports NAVAIR’s (Naval Air Systems Command] efforts to increase the speed of acquisitions to the Fleet. This new, eagerly awaited technical standard enables the possibility of enterprise-wide reusable components, reduced total ownership costs, and products that can be quickly customized, modified, and extended throughout product life cycles in response to changing user requirements. We applaud the tireless efforts of the SOSA Consortium members and look forward to many more successes in the future.”

The SOSA Consortium aims to create 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 open architecture supports airborne, subsurface, surface, ground, and space. The goal of SOSA is to reduce development and integration costs and reduce time to field new sensor capabilities.


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