Under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), the grant for the Research Action call on the topic of ‘Force protection and advanced soldier systems beyond current programmes’, subtopic ‘Generic Open Soldier Systems Architecture’, was concluded.
The awarded project, called GOSSRA, was signed on 27 April 2018.
Led by Rheinmetall Electronics (Germany), GOSSRA’s consortium encompasses 8 other participants from 6 countries: GMV (Spain), iTTi (Poland), Tekever-ASDS (Portugal), Larimart (Italy), Leonardo (Italy), SAAB (Sweden), Indra (Spain) and TNO (the Netherlands).
The project, which has a duration of 22 months, will receive an EU grant of roughly €1.5 million.
GOSSRA will carry out research in the development of a Soldier System Reference Architecture ready for standardization which covers electronics, voice and data communication, software, human interface devices, sensors, and effectors.
The GOSSRA study on Generic Open Soldier Systems Reference Architecture researches in the development and validation of the desired Reference Architecture by identifying trends and potentials with respect to operations and technologies; reviewing, refining and integrating the STASS I+II architectures; validating and enhancing the integrated architecture with respect to operational issues, maintenance and logistics, and technical issues; formulating the architecture for standardization; and finally technically validating, demonstrating and refining the architecture.
Technical challenges in the Soldier Systems domain
With the success of miniaturized, powerful electronics and computing capabilities in the civil domain and the need for networked systems and sub-systems with extensive information exchange in the military domain, Soldier Systems are getting more and more complex.
Moreover, Soldier Systems can be used more efficiently with all relevant data available. This data will not only be generated by the soldiers themselves or by the systems they carry, but will increasingly be originated from other sources (higher echelon units, vehicles, other soldiers, unattended sensors, etc.). Exchange of data between Soldier Systems and these sources via a common communication network is therefore paramount.
A trend of growing diversity in communication systems that the soldier is likely to have available was observed (military radio systems with different, specific and optimized capabilities in terms of range and throughput, in addition, communication devices based on commercial technologies e.g. such as WiFi, LTE, 5G, and optical communications might be possible).
Challenges in development, procurement and interoperability
Architectures for the Soldier Systems to be procured are individually developed in many European nations by their national Soldier System companies. The architectures of these Soldier Systems are called Target Architectures as they represent an architecture for a specific Soldier System.
Today, most European nations have their own approaches to soldier modernization programmes. Many nations are still in the prototyping stage or working on concepts for the modern Soldier Systems. The results are nation specific systems which, with exceptions, are proprietary and totally lack interoperability for all electrical, electronic and IT aspects. However, operating in an EU-/ NATO-Coalition-Context or even with non-military partners, demands a high level of interoperability.
Generic architectures and its benefits
Over the years, Open or Generic Architectures have started to be seen as a key to make such complex systems manageable and realizable. At the same time, such Reference Architectures enable affordability of this Soldier Systems by:
- increasing operational effectiveness by complete networking of all systems,
- reducing integration effort through standardisation,
- allowing innovation by upgrading sub-systems which can be easily integrated,
- enhancing competition for sub-systems by making them interchangeable,
- reducing technical risks by using sub-systems and integration approaches with high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL),
- reducing logistic and maintenance efforts by lowering the variety of different sub-system,
- increasing the number of suppliers and by using a common technical approach.
Such reference architecture recommends specific approaches, guidelines, system structures and standards to be used such that the individual Target Architecture to be procured:
- is easier to develop,
- includes all necessary aspects, and
- uses specific common standards enabling interoperability.
GOSSRA Project aim
The purpose of GOSSRA is to develop a Generic Open Soldier System Reference Architecture (GOSSRA), which can be used as common reference architecture on EU-/NATO-Level for deriving the above mentioned Target Architectures at country-level.
This Reference Architecture for Soldier Systems should be ready for standardization to become openly available and not implying any protected intellectual property. The Reference Architecture comprehensively focuses on:
- voice and data communication
- human interface devices
The architecture represents “best practice”, “future trends and developments” and suggests standard interfaces. It shall be used as a reference to derive the “Target Architecture” which is the architecture for a specific Soldier System to be procured.
The Reference Architecture will be formulated according to the NATO Architectural Framework (NAF) v3 and built upon work already performed in the EDA studies STASS I and STASS II. It will be analysed and refined along the most important comprehensive aspects and validated by tests and a demonstration.
EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) 2017
The Research Action Call on the topic ‘Force protection and advanced Soldier Systems beyond current programs‘ with the subtopic ‘Generic Open Soldier Systems Architecture’, was concluded under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) 2017.
The awarded project “Generic Open Soldier System Reference Architecture” (GOSSRA) was signed on 27 April 2018 and receives an EU grant of roughly €1.5 million over 22 months (1st July 2018 to 31st March 2020).
The GOSSRA consortium includes major European Soldier System companies which developed and have delivered Soldier Systems in large numbers. Also, smaller companies which provided components or took part in Soldier System studies are involved in order to provide their specific expertise.
Led by Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH (Germany), GOSSRA’s consortium encompasses 9 parti-cipants from 7 countries: GMV (Spain), iTTi (Poland), Tekever-ASDS (Portugal), Larimart (Italy), Leonardo (Italy), SAAB (Sweden), Indra (Spain) and TNO (the Netherlands) and receives an EU grant of roughly €1.5 million over 22 months (1st July 2018 to 31st March 2020).
Current Status and Achievements
Future Developments Document
The intended GOSSRA Standard shall be valid and applicable in a few years. A comprehensive trend and market analysis was performed in order to cover future global, operational and technological trends in the domain of dismounted soldier system.
The resulting “Future Developments Document” was delivered on 31-01-2019.
Extended GOSSRA Architecture Document
The “Extended GOSSRA Architecture” was the main result of the first project phase and represents a comprehensive architecture covering all important aspects. It serves as a pre-stage for the intended GOSSRA Architecture, proposed for standardisation.
The current mature draft 2, version 2, was delivered on 28-06-2019 and is according to NAF v3, which includes the following views:
- All View (NAV)
- Background View (Stakeholder Engagement, Key Soldier System Issues, Concepts, Technologies, Business View, Overview on Current Soldier Systems)
- Capability View (NCV)
- Operational View (NOV)
- Service Oriented View (NSOV)
- Security View
- Technical View (NTV)
- System View (NSV)
The different views
focus on the domains “Soldier Personal”, “Small Tactical Unit”,
“Inter-Platform”, “Joint”, and “Combined or Coalition”.
First, the architectures provided by the former EDA OB Studies on “Standard Architecture for Soldier Systems” (STASS) I and II were merged and delivered as Extended GOSSRA Architecture Document, Draft 1 on 28-09-2018.