Cloud Net Partnership Eyes Military IoT

Article By : George Leopold

EDJX, Cubic and other partners launch an 'Alpha Lab' to develop applications for an Internet of Military Things.

A partnership between “near-edge” cloud startup EDJX and defense networking specialist Cubic Corp. will seek to launch what the partners dub an “Internet of Military Things.”

The edge platform would initially consist of the EDJX operating system, EdjOS, and Cubic’s computing and networking hardware. The collaboration also includes Blueforce Development, an AI and predictive analytics specialist. The edge concept will be demonstrated on the Public Infrastructure Network Node (PINN), a test bed for autonomous edge applications operated by the Autonomy Institute.

Blueforce will be the first certified application developer on the proposed IoMT platform.

The collaboration also includes the Texas Military Department Camp Mabry based in Austin, which is hosting PINN. The “Alpha Lab” would allow developers to test and deploy new IoT applications that would serve as prototypes for military and civilian use cases.

Among the goals is a platform that would serve as a template for scaling a cloud-enabled “base to battlefield” edge framework designed for the military and civilian first responders. The collaboration combines “key ingredients missing in the pursuit of mobile, intelligent and autonomous systems development,” said John Cowan, EDJX co-founder and CEO.

The proposed IoMT originates from a central “HQ” cloud to decentralized clouds and “cloudlets” that extend the network via the EDJX “pico-cloud” to connect soldiers and first responders at the tactical edge. That is, the front line of a battle or natural disaster where personal are heavily dependent on IT systems and connectivity. The pico-cloud would provide last-mile wireless connectivity to user devices.

According to a DARPA summary of the architecture, “the goal is to reduce latency and increase the effective throughput of content for [soldiers] at the tactical edge,” providing sensor and other information where and when it is needed. That framework addresses the growing need to move users closer to data and computing resources while reducing network latency by reducing data movement.

Given the “densification of sensors” at the network edge, Cowan said EDJX is promoting an open, collaborative approach to forging commonality among cloud-based network nodes. “We’re building a distributed network of computers” that addresses current discrete approaches to linking sensor networks.

The edge computing startup based in Raleigh, NC, has so far raised $23.8 million in venture funding, according to the web site Crunchbase.com.

Cowan added in an interview that EDJX foresees the Alpha Lab eventually becoming a “center of excellence” for developing edge infrastructure. “We’re going to have to get way faster,” he added. IoT deployments represent “a whole new level of risk,” requiring low-latency, low-cost architectures.

Current cloud architectures won’t support those IoT requirements, Cowan argued. Hence, the partners are betting their collaborative approach will yield an open, multitenancy software architecture in which a single instance can support multiple users at the network edge.

This article was originally published on EE Times.

George Leopold has written about science and technology from Washington, D.C., since 1986. Besides EE Times, Leopold’s work has appeared in The New York Times, New Scientist, and other publications. He resides in Reston, Va.

 

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