IAI Selects RTI Connext for the OPAL Application Framework


Basing OPAL on Connext Software Enables Israel Aerospace Industries to Align with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Technical Standard

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the largest software framework company for autonomous systems, announced that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a world-leading aerospace and defense company, has selected RTI Connext® DDS for real-time connectivity as part of its Operational Avionics Layer (OPAL) Application Framework.

IAI’s OPAL serves as the infrastructure for networking connectivity, data sharing, and operative actions for air, land and naval forces. By using Connext to manage data communications, IAI is able to help customers in the Defense industry implement new applications in a fraction of the time while reducing operational costs, decreasing development complexity, and enabling faster time to market. In addition, the OPAL application framework built on Connext DDS will readily enable companies to meet Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) program requirements.

Under combat conditions, critical variables, such as poor visibility and unpredictable enemy behavior emphasize why it is vital that warfighter teams must be able to securely and reliably communicate at all times. However, if each friendly force operates on its individual network domain or communication channel, 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. Conquering this barrier and introducing real-time interoperability capabilities is critical to securing optimal results from any innovative new operational application that is added to a combat platform. Traditionally, the process of adding these new applications to an airborne platform and achieving full integration could easily take upwards of five to eight years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Shortening these implementation cycles was the primary mission for IAI to develop the OPAL application framework. 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. RTI enabled a turnkey approach that now allows defense customers to introduce new applications faster than ever before, which in turn, equates to significant cost savings while accelerating time to market. Connext DDS also 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.”

“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.”

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