ETRI Becomes the Spearhead to Advance the National Defense
ETRI Becomes the Spearhead to Advance the National Defense
  • Lee Hyeong-jin
  • 승인 2012.04.28 17:04
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DAEJEON, KOREA — ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) succeeded in developing core Software(SW) to advance the defense weapons systems.

ETRI announced that it had succeeded in developing “communications middleware”, designed to interlock the weapons systems loaded on warships or tanks. Communications middleware means “SW that unites a variety of systems to work as one”.

To date South Korea has been completely dependent on importing communications middleware required in the next-generation defense weapons systems. Communications middleware designed and produced in the United States accounts for 80 percent of the global market share. However, the development of communications middleware by ETRI is considered highly significant in that it has fully localized the software and supplied an innovative turning point in preparing the technological infrastructure for the independence of core defense SW.

Core technology includes the support of 22 different qualities of services (QoS) to meet the multitude of demands of various weapons systems, according to researchers. They have developed more than 200,000 lines of programs for the purpose of technology development.

Compared to other communications middleware based on client-server model, it is possible to more than double the response speed and handle over three million messages or events per second with the communications middleware developed by ETRI. This means it can trace all of the vehicles currently registered in Seoul simultaneously in real time.

Therefore, the technology acts like the an Internet between military systems, providing the groundwork for an instant and automatic counterattack with pinpoint strikes by integrating surveillance patrol, command and control, and different weapons systems organically.

The US DoD define DDS (Data Distribution Service) SW technology standardized by OMG (Object Management Group), an international organization for standardization, as the de-facto standard of its national defense, and recommend loading the next-generation weapons system which is in the stages of development.

ETRI announced in the OMG meeting held on April 21st in Washington DC that it had successfully verified that the technology can be interoperable with various DDS SW programs from major overseas companies. OMG performs the process of verification as to whether the middleware is developed according to international standard and whether its function and performance are up to expectations, which are important quality control factors. ETRI developed this technology as part of a mission “to develop CPS core technology for highly reliable self-control SW”, which was funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy through the consortium collaborating with the nation’s eight major universities.

ETRI also applied for 16 patents and contributed 8 SCI-level international papers. Now it is transferring the technology to the domestic defense industry.

Moreover, ETRI is now attempting to standardize its developed technologies by actively participating in OMG. The institute plans on additional research for its application in the field of large-scale games or the mobile industry which are both booming in South Korea.

The paradigm of the future defense system is shifting to the network-focused NCW (Network Centric Warfare) with the goal of victory in the battlefield based on information superiority supplied by data sharing in real time.

As a result, communications middleware is an absolute necessity in order to make information sharing more efficient and high reliable in real time.

Kim Won-tae, team leader of ETRI CPS research team who is in charge of this research project stated that this technology can be applied in the fields of the traffic control system, advanced electricity power system such as smart grid, as well as hospitals, weather forecast, and finance industry, further emphasizing the versatility of the technology.

According to domestic defense analysis data, if applied to the next-generation weapons system that will be built in South Korea, approximately KRW 240 billion can be saved by replacing the imported SW for five years from the start of 2014. Furthermore, according to Gartner, as of 2012, the global market for middleware is estimated to be USD 18.5 billion, over 50% of which is dominated by communications middleware and it is expected to record a 5.5% growth rate in the future.

In addition, the documents the US Pentagon issued in 2011 show that when DDS was tested on US army blue force tracker DDS was able to reduce the period of development by 7 years, the size of application program by one tenth, and increase the system performance by more than tenfold. Therefore, the outcome of this research by ETRI is expected to provide an innovative paradigm for developing and operating the military weapons system.

Yoo Hyeon-gyu, head of SW-SoC convergence R&D in ETRI, said that the localization of DDS technology is absolutely necessary because once software is developed and applied, it must be operated in the long-term for more than thirty years due to the unique characteristics of the military weapons system. He also predicts the ongoing development of domestic DDS technology, the independence of core SW technology for the next-generation weapons system, and the improvement of the overseas competitiveness of domestic weapons systems with the defense industry launching into the global market to occur. ETRI named this technology EDDS (ETRI DDS) after ETRI and DDS.

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