On January 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memo, signed by the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, mandating the use of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). The memo states that “MOSA supporting standards should be included in all requirements, programming and development activities for future weapon system modifications and new start development programs to the maximum extent possible.” In fact, this mandate for MOSA is even codified into a United States law (Title 10 U.S.C. 2446a.(b), Sec 805) that states all major defense acquisition programs (MDAP) are to be designed and developed using a MOSA open architecture.
The MOSA directive has accelerated the adoption of a variety of open standards, such as The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture™ (SOSA) and the U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center’s C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), that have been adopted by the three military branches.
The MOSA Imperative
Modular Open Systems Approach drives faster time to market, lower cost, increased software portability, technology innovation, and interoperability among systems across all defense domains. This Position Paper will guide you through why MOSA exists, its history and context, and why MOSA is ideally suited to creating the capabilities required to counter an uncertain and dangerous world of rapidly shifting threats.
Building on our years of experience and participation in the development of open standards, we design our range of semi-rugged to ultra-rugged solutions to bring the benefits of a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) architecture to deployed ground, airborne, and naval platforms. Curtiss-Wright sets itself apart by leveraging proven components of our previously deployed, high-TRL designs and incorporating the latest rugged technology and cutting-edge capabilities. And, our hardware is manufactured through a trusted supply chain process and tested to the highest quality standards to minimize program risk.
Explore our solutions aligned to key standards influenced by the MOSA directive:
Explore the Standards
MOSA itself is not a technical standard, but an acquisition and design strategy that prioritizes the use of open standards-based technology.
Aims to standardize approaches to bring open standards solutions to avionics systems.
Promotes the use of open standard physical and logical interfaces between LRU systems.
Developed to offer new capabilities including reducing SWaP as well as interoperability functions.
Mandates the use of open, modular, and scalable architectures in the design of new and upgraded ground vehicles.
Adopting a MOSA open architecture offers a wide range of benefits:
- Seamless Sharing across Domains and Machines: Common standards enable seamless interplatform communications, sharing of information across all domains, and facilitation of JADC2
- Rapid Innovation and Integration: Interoperability simplifies insertion and deployment of new or future technologies, as well as reconfigurability, portability, scalability, and reuse with little or no modification
- Vendor Independence and Reduced Obsolescence: Moving away from proprietary interfaces increases the sources of supply and support, eliminating vendor lock-in and increasing vendor competition
- LifeCycle Supportability: The ability to choose parts from multiple vendors lowers life cycle management risks and costs by increasingly availability and reducing required training
- Minimized SWaP: Increased interoperability reduces the number of systems required to field new technology, which in turn eliminates clutter caused by redundant cabling and accessories
Leveraging MOSA for Modified COTS
Choosing a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware solution for your program reduces development time, cost, and risk, since the technology is commercially available and field proven. For certain programs, however, a COTS solution may meet a large portion of the requirements, save for a few unique specifications. In these situations, Modified COTS (MCOTS) services can deliver all the benefits of a COTS product while satisfying I/O and OS support requirements – without greatly extending timelines or adding significant NRE.