null OIL Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary, Picks Plug Fest Winners


OIL Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary, Picks Plug Fest Winners

OIL RollThroughout Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare Sensors (PEO IEW&S), modular architectures and open systems standards have become foundational for new technologies, standardizing systems across the board and creating unprecedented levels of interoperability.

To make those standards open to people who can truly innovate with them as partners with the military and the Army in particular, Project Manager Positioning Navigation and Timing (PM PNT) stood up the Open Innovation Lab (OIL) last year to bring more potential partners from government, industry and academia.

"The Open Innovation Lab is an unclassified facility with an emphasis on mature solutions located at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, dedicated to pursuing rapid integration of PNT technologies," said Christopher Jais, the Product Manager for PNT Modernization.

"This facility has allowed us to quickly screen potential technologies and assess compliance with our open standards and architectures."

PM PNT hosted government partners, OIL stakeholders and over 90 companies virtually and in-person for an OIL Open House and Industry Update. The event served as an opportunity to share past, present and future efforts of the OIL and to identify the awardees who were selected from the PNT CMOSS PlugFest event in November. The PNT CMOSS Plugfest event was a non-traditional competition that allowed PM PNT to host, assess and characterize PNT cards, Switch cards and chassis residing within the CMOSS environment. The event provided incentive cash prizes to the participant with the flexibility and the ability to award multiple contracts following the event. Plugfest serves as market research for technologies residing in the CMOSS environment.

Plugfest initially started with fifteen registrants and through elimination they ended with seven participants. The problem set presented was "Converging multi-domain operations into an ideal size and weight for vehicle platforms." These competitors’ solutions to that problem were evaluated first with a verification that their proposals were C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) compliant, and then were directly engaged with CMOSS subject matter experts (SME) who provided feedback. Five companies were selected for awards.

CMOSS is a specific set of standards that grew out of the Army’s Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) to create software and hardware for military equipment that creates clear, across the board standards to ensure a system will work across multiple platforms.

"Something that could take a couple of years took us around 10 months," said Jais. "After identifying capability needs initially, we took those and put the parameters out for proposals which we heard in November …so I would say we've definitely met the mission. Maybe not taking the path we initially thought we would take, but we certainly found a path, and we pivoted to use this new resource the best way possible."

Ted Ryerson, Project Lead for the OIL, spear headed Plug Fest. "We did our formal announcement toward the end of August, the pitches were in November and on 07 December we were ready to announce the winners with a potential follow on contract," said Ryerson.

"We brought in a bunch of vendors." said Jais. "They came in with PNT cards, chassis and switch cards and we evaluated them for the feasibility of their technology and the functionality of what they planned to do."

CMOSS has become more and more a foundational concept in terms of proposing, prototyping, testing and fielding. After the Plug Fest winners were announced, the team called attention to pntOS. Leveraging MOSA, pntOS has been developed and designed to allow isolated development of plugins, sensor integration, integrity approaches and network buses. A developer who is a domain expert in a particular field can write a plugin incorporating their field of knowledge into pntOS in isolation, without needing to understand any part of pntOS.

"The pntOS is still in its early stages," said Jais. "With open architectures and the OIL we will continue to build upon that while at the same time we’re looking for early adopters and industry innovators making this another opportunity to partner with us and the Army."

"When we first started we weren’t quite sure where we were going to go with the OIL; specifically how we were going to proceed." said Jais. "We knew how we wanted to attack it, we knew the broad approach we wanted to use. What we’ve seen from the community is the ability of industry to get started very easily and show us their capabilities."

Photo By John Higgins | "PM PNT hosted government partners, OIL stakeholders and over 90 companies virtually... read more



Story by John Higgins 

Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors  

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