Industry forces take MILS architecture to the edge in public demonstration

By Courtney E. Howard

WASHINGTON - Systems integrators and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vendors are combining technologies to demonstrate a secure multiple independent levels of security (MILS) software architecture that protects military and intelligence communications networks on the global information grid (GIG).

The Open Group, headquartered in San Francisco, drew nearly 400 information technology professionals and technology experts to its Architecting to the Edge conference in Washington, where they discussed the issues, challenges, and innovations involved in getting the right information to the right people at the right time.

Systems involving a distributed architecture, the interaction of a multitude of services, fault tolerance, and real-time operation are considered to be on the edge, according to officials of The Open Group.

One conference session of particular value to the defense industry, “MILS Architecture and Demonstrations,” was well attended by more than 200 members of the defense community, including personnel from the Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The MILS architecture applied to a networked environment.
Click here to enlarge image

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), systems integrators Raytheon Co. in Waltham, Mass., and Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Md., middleware developer Objective Interface Systems in Herndon, Va., and COTS software vendors Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif., LynuxWorks Inc. in San Jose, Calif., and Wind River Systems in Alameda, Calif., contributed to the session’s presentations, demonstrations, and question-and-answer panel discussion.

The session opened with an address by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brett Telford, deputy director of the DOD’s Open Systems Joint Task Force, who stressed the critical need to secure warfighting systems in a network-centric environment.

Flowers’s words were brought home by the event that followed: the first public demonstration of a simulated airborne reconnaissance mission, directed by Raytheon. The simulation employed a MILS workstation to present an on-screen display of animated reconnaissance aircraft as they traveled to, passed over, and gathered imagery of a set of predetermined targets.

Arousing applause from the audience, the aircraft were simulated on embedded processors running MILS separation kernels from competing vendors. The MILS-compliant real-time operating systems (RTOS) used in the real-world demonstration included COTS software systems from Green Hills Software, LynuxWorks, and Wind River, as well as MILS middleware from Objective Interface Systems. A Linux workstation represented the GIG.

“That commercial products based on the MILS architecture have become available is a major step forward,” says David Lounsbury, vice president of government programs at The Open Group.

In the end, products from Green Hills Software, LynuxWorks, and Wind River, as well as MILS communications middleware from Objective Interface Systems and commercial operating systems like Linux, worked in tandem in a real-world scenario.

At the same time, multiple levels of data having different security classifications were successfully protected and separated using the commercial communications infrastructure made up of readily available network hardware and software solutions.

“This has huge benefits for military and intelligence organizations by enabling the secure and safe separation of classified, highly classified, and top-secret information,” Lounsbury continues. “Such work has direct application in … organizations for which security breaches are not an option.”

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

TFX-19 Trifold Rackmount LCD

The TFX1-19 is a rugged military grade high performance 2U rackmount LCD panel display offering t...

CCXR-17 Slideways Side Access Rackmount LCD Keyboard

The CCXR-17 is a unique Side Access space-efficient military-grade high-performance 1U rackmount ...

P317xx Portable Computer System w/ Three 17" LCDs

The P317xx portable " lunchbox" system is unique in offering three 17" 1280x1024 resolution LCD d...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

M4U20xx 4U Rackmount Military-Grade Computer

A 4U rugged military-grade computer offering the latest long-availability high-performance mother...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

Large Fiber Collimators

Diffraction Limited Large Fiber Collimators are designed for long distance beam propagation with ...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

American Infrared Solutions

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Trenton Systems Inc

Designs and manufactures rugged rackmount computers and MIL-STD-810 systems using both standard COTS as well as custo...

Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems

Manufactures near-IR (NIR) and shortwave IR (SWIR) cameras (available fully packaged or as OEM imaging modules), line...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Low Viscosity, One Part Cyanoacrylate Is Non-Toxic and Meets ISO 10993-5 Specifications

Master Bond MB250NT is widely used for a variety of applications ranging from repair to high speed producti...

Thermally Conductive, Two Component Epoxy Passes USP Class VI Tests and ISO 10993-5 Specifications

With biocompatibility and cytotoxicity certifications, Master Bond EP21AOLV-2Med is often selected for bond...

One Component, Snap Cure Epoxy Features High Strength Properties

Suitable for a variety of applications in the electronic, aerospace and OEM industries, Master Bond EP3SP5F...

One Part Epoxy Resists up to 500°F and Meets NASA Low Outgassing Specifications

Master Bond Supreme 12AOHT-LO is a one component epoxy for a variety of bonding and sealing applications in...

VICTORY Shared Processing, Fire Control Computer, and Switch for Ground Vehicles Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced a new fully i...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Defense Solutions division applauds Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) o...

Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Mobile IP Router Subsystem Features an Integrated Cisco® 5915 ESR Router

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division, a Cisco® Systems Solution T...

GE Announces First Sub-Credit Card-Sized Multi-Function High Definition (HD) Video Tracker

HUNTSVILLE, AL.— OCTOBER 13, 2014—GE’s Intelligent Platforms business today announced at AUSA (October 13-...


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

April 2015
Volume 26, Issue 4

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles