Military Embedded Systems

SOSA Consortium voices support for recent tri-service directive on modular open systems


June 06, 2019

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

SOSA Consortium voices support for recent tri-service directive on modular open systems

SAN FRANCISCO. The Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium, which operates under The Open Group, has thrown its support behind the recent tri-service acquisition memorandum signed by the secretaries of the U.S. military, under which the Army, Navy, and Air Force are directed to include Modular Open Systems (MOSA) standards in all requirements, programming, and development activities for future weapon-system modifications and new-start development programs to the furthest extent possible.

The memo -- titled “Modular Open Systems Approaches for our Weapon Systems is a Warfighting Imperative” --  lines up with the mission of the SOSA Consortium 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. It specifically mentions the SOSA Consortium, in addition to the Open Mission Systems/Universal Command and Control Interface (OMS/UCI), Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), and Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) standards, calling these standards “vital to our success”.

The SOSA Consortium aims to provide a fair and neutral environment for cooperation between industry and government partners and calls for a collaborative effort across the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) community; The U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD); and industry. The approach to the open systems architecture will incorporate both hardware and software components to handle demanding processing and data requirements, ease system upgrades, reduce total cost of ownership, and promote competitive acquisition with minimal system reworks.

All of the standards mentioned in the tri-service memo are embraced by the open system reference architectures being developed by the SOSA Consortium.

John C. Bowling, Technical Expert, Avionics Architectures and Interoperability AFLCMC/EZAC, stated of the memo: “The tri-service secretaries’ memorandum clearly validates the integrative approach to multifunction sensor open architecture by the SOSA Consortium. This provides additional incentive for industry collaboration in sensor standards development which, in turn, should advance maturation and broaden acceptance of the emerging SOSA Technical Standard.”

Please read Military Embedded Systems' three-part feature on the tri-service directive regarding modular open systems: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Those interested can find the Technical Standard at


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