Requirements on submarine combat system architecture

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The use of commercial off-the shelf (COTS) technologies in submarine combat systems introduce inherent and accidental risks for serious failure to meet functional requirements. This has been the experience of the last 10-15 years and have been subject to much research in the naval communities. The main problem arise from poor system integration, technology heterogeneity and unsuitable COTS technologies. The problems are mainly associated with the "infrastructure" of the system, including operating systems, communciation protocols and network (LAN) technologies. In general, COTS technologies do not support the time-sensitive and mission-critical aspect of naval combat systems. They are designed for commercial applications and in general for “best effort” approaches which have no notion of “quality of service”. Bottlenecks in the various layers of the COTS technologies makes system performance almost impossible to predict. Such issues can only be detected at system integration level. One approach to a better design can be by specifying the functional requirements in quality of service terms and then implementing appropriate mechanisms at the various levels of the architecture. This is the preferred method currently being researched at FFI and elsewhere. This study makes some reccomendations to appropriate requirements to be able to catch such problems and presents an analysis of them using the quality of service enabled architecture by using COTS middleware such as the CORBA (Common Request Broker Architecture).
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