The premiere Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) Summit and Expo was held in Atlanta on September 18 and 19, 2023. The agenda for this first-ever MOSA Summit was packed with keynote speakers and presentations on all aspects of the modular open systems approach. I attended many of the keynote sessions to get a feel for what others were saying about the industry. The keynote speakers solidly represented various defense departments and companies in the industry. From the tone of the event, it is clearly evident that MOSA is being embraced throughout the defense industry. While there continue to be pockets of resistance, the overall indicators show a very positive move to modular open systems approach.
The exhibition area was filled with suppliers and developers showing their latest wares capable of meeting MOSA directives. Several live demonstrations showed attendees the benefit of designing with MOSA. I was impressed with the crowd on the exhibition floor, and bringing in a complimentary lunch certainly helped. I talked with many of the exhibitors, all of whom were pleasantly impressed with the quantity and quality of discussions they were having with attendees. Everyone at the Summit was on a mission to learn what they could about MOSA and the current state of affairs. This level of engagement further indicates that the industry is solid and heading in the right direction. The only negative feedback I heard pertained to the always-present dissatisfaction of how long it takes to get from concept to deployment. The critical embedded computing industry is certainly not for those in the race to riches, as it can take years to reap the rewards – as anyone that has been in this industry for any time realizes.
The two-day agenda (events.techconnect.org/MOSA_2023/detail.html) was packed with topics ranging from acquisition to standards. The breadth of subjects covered was incredible and even overwhelming to the less initiated. Even I – a seasoned veteran of MOSA – found much to learn about the ecosystem and state of affairs. There was ample opportunity for attendees to meet with subject-matter experts on all aspects of MOSA.
Representation from FACE and SOSA, both Open Group organizations, were present at the summit; both consortia held their regular meetings after the MOSA Summit. SOSA used the event to conduct its annual technical interchange meeting, hosting demonstrations on the exhibition floor and technical paper presentations at the sessions.
The work that these organizations have performed has directly impacted the positive shift to embracing a MOSA mentality. They have corralled existing technology and standards in a way that is starting to pay off for everyone. There is still much that needs to be done, but the ship is moving in the right direction and at a speed that might satisfy some of those in a hurry to garnish the riches.
While most of the focus has been on U.S. domestic adoption of MOSA, interest is rising in other parts of the world as well. Defense contractors worldwide face rising cost and system complexity; they see MOSA as a way forward in their own programs. Several of the keynote speakers as well as summit attendees represented international efforts.
I look forward to next year’s event for further updates and news on MOSA.
In this issue of VITA Technologies, we will take a look at key working group efforts that will influence the VITA technology and standards roadmap. Several VITA working groups are deep into developing new standards that address the next wave of smaller and faster critical embedded computing solutions. The challenge ratchets up at every generation and these projects are no exception.
Rock ‘n Gipp arrived in September! My wife and I have been learning all we can before we start our Great Loop adventure in December. Boats today come loaded with all sorts of electronics – chart plotter, radar, sonar, engine monitoring, communications, and entertainment systems, all networked together. We have battery, solar, and shore power options that must all work as one. Our phones are loaded with apps that help with weather, navigation, logistics, communications, and social media. My computing background is certainly going to come in handy!
Fair Winds and Following Seas!