Boeing backs off industry interoperability goal

Boeing’s ultimate goal for its rapidly growing modeling andsimulation enterprise is no longer to eventually become fully interoperablewith similar networks operated by other major defense contractors.

Guy Higgins, vice president of Boeing Advanced Systems’ analysis,modeling, simulation and experimentation group, said that most models andsimulations do not required detailed data about competitors’ platforms, renderingfirm links between proprietary corporate laboratories unnecessary.

“Most of the time we just need to be accurate and byaccurate it just needs to be about right,” Higgins said. “It doesn’t need to beprecise.”

Higgins’ remarks come four years after the Network Centric OperationsIndustry Consortium (NCOIC) was formed expressly to create the standards that wouldallow the defense industry’s various wargaming centers to communicate with each other.

Since 2002, the US defense industry has stood up vastmodeling and simulation networks, to include the Boeing Integration Center(BIC), Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation Lighthouse and the NorthropGrumman Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN).

Their purpose is to provide a service to military weaponsbuyers and internal decision-makers, exposing the strengths and weaknesses ofnew technologies and operational concepts in the digital world to help inform investmentdecisions.

As each proprietary network was formed, Boeing spearheaded theeffort to establish the NCOIC to address concerns that the industry wascreating “stovepipe” modeling and simulation centers that would feed into themilitary’s interoperability problem.

However, Boeing’s philosophy on the value of interoperablenetworks since 2004 has shifted. Networking concepts have until recently beenguided by Metcalfe’s Law, which states that the value of a network isproportional to the square of the number of nodes.

New research appearing in 2006, however, claimed that thisprinciple was incorrect, Higgins said. Instead of increasing at such a highrate, new research suggests the increase in value by adding additional networkusers is significantly more modest, he said.

Nonetheless, Boeing is continuing to dramatically expand thenetwork its network of modeling and simulation centers in the US and abroad. Boeinghas teamed with Qinitiq in the UKto open “The Portal” center. In September, Boeing also plans to open a7,500ft-squared facility in Suffolk, Va.

New modeling and simulation capabilities will be opened in South Korea in 2009, even as the company expandssimilar efforts in Japan andIndia.

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2 Responses to Boeing backs off industry interoperability goal

  1. Jjohns 14 August, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    love this:

    http://www.washingtontechnology.com/online/1_1/33332-1.html

    So lmco (and the other big primes) caused the interoperability problem by not adhering to open standards now they will solve it with no doubt a somewhat closed standard

    Lockheed Martin Corp. will assist the Office of Naval Research in developing data-sharing technologies under a three-year, $12 million contract.

    Lockheed Martin will help develop and refine technologies for net-centric data distribution, fusion and visualization, company officials said.

    The contractor plans to develop various technologies within a service-oriented architecture for Maritime Operations Centers worldwide to facilitate data sharing for intelligence purposes. The technologies will improve data access, sharing and collaboration and support virtual and forward-deployed operations centers.

  2. EG 14 August, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    ” So lmco (and the other big primes) caused the interoperability problem by not adhering to open standards now they will solve it with no doubt a somewhat closed standard

    Lockheed Martin Corp. will assist the Office of Naval Research in developing data-sharing technologies under a three-year, $12 million contract.”

    Here is what will happen in three years:
    “ONR plans to negotiate on a sole source basis with Lockheed Martin Corp. as the only known source of supply”

    Can you say “sole source”?

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