Blending Techologies for Ubiquitous Real-Time Data Access

2010 to 2012
Complex Software Systems
Project type: 
Project investigator: 
Roberto Baldoni

Geo-Political, Sociological and Financial changes induced by Globalization, the surge of the Internet and online-communities, along with the ever-expanding role of the EU, are creating the need for a connected world where the right information is always available at the right time and. In the future no system will be isolated, every system will be interconnected systems; A System-of-Systems. As a consequence of this trend, a large number of applications in domains, such as, Air Traffic Management, Maritime Surveillance, Financial Services, e-Services, and Real-Time Internet Applications, are being confronted with new scenarios and operational requirements posing unprecedented challenges with respect to:

  1. the scale at which they need to operate,
  2. the ubiquity and multi-modality of data access they need to provide, and
  3. the performance they need to deliver.

The shift required for moving from today’s systems to next-generation mission and business critical system-of-systems is very challenging; the BLEND project takes a concrete step toward addressing these challenges in a generic, interoperable, highly effective and efficient manner.

The BLEND project targets the problem of real-time data dissemination in a System-of-Systems addressing the challenges due to scalability, and adaption of content, quality of service (QoS) and protocol. The main output of the project is the “BLEND-Box” which is composed of :

  1. a generic routing and matching engine that takes care of adapting content, and Quality of Service,
  2. a pluggable protocol framework allowing the box to bridge across an open-ended set of protocols,
  3. a set of connectors to standard-based middleware protocols, such as the OMG Data Distribution Service Interoperability Wire Protocol (DDSI), REST, and WS-*
  4. a new  protocol, namely Ultra-Large Scale (ULS) DDSI, extending DDSI to enable efficient and scalable data distribution for System-of-Systems.

The results of the BLEND project will be immediately applicable in the context of Air Traffic Control applications to implement the technical and operational requirements envisioned by the SESAR Joint Undertaking. Specifically, EUROCONTROL has mandated the use of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Standard for Real-Time Systems (DDS) as the standard for interconnecting Air Traffic Control Systems across Europe. However, without the innovations introduced by the BLEND project, the overall system relying on existing technologies will not be able to scale.