What is Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA )?
MOSA is an integrated technical and business strategy for designing affordable and adaptable systems. A MOSA is the DoD preferred method for implementation of open systems, and it is required by US law.  This memo from the Tri-Service (Navy, Air Force & Army) mandating MOSA “in all requirements, programming and development activities for future weapon system modifications and new start development programs to the maximum extent possible.” [Ref. MOSA tri-Service memo, Modular Open Systems Approaches for our Weapon Systems is a Warfighting Imperative.”] (Ref.  Defense Standardization Program)

What is Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA™)?
SOSA is a unified technical MOSA standard for EW, SIGINT, radar, communications, and EO/IR that is being developed by the SOSA Consortium. The SOSA Consortium enables government and industry entities to collaboratively develop open standards and best practices to enable, enhance and accelerate the deployment of affordable, capable, interoperable sensor systems. As sensor systems increase in usage and functionality, they need to be flexible and reconfigurable, while also addressing issues such as affordability, versatility and capabilities. (Ref.

How is SOSA being implemented?
The SOSA Consortium is developing MOSA architectures which employs a modular design and use widely supported, consensus-based, non-proprietary standards for key interfaces between modules. (Ref. SOSA Consortium Website)

Who is supporting SOSA?
The Air Force, Navy, Army, other government agencies, industry and universities.  Other standards such as Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) and C5ISREW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) are being included in and managed under the SOSA initiative.  SOSA Members List



Why is MOSA/SOSA important to Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions’ (CAES) customers and the end users and what are the benefits of SOSA?
At a high level, MOSA and SOSA standards initiatives are synergistic with CAES’ markets, capabilities, and strategic focus. The standards improve subsystem, system and platform affordability, re-configurability, upgradability, and hardware/software/firmware re-use – and shorten capability cycle times. (Ref. AoC Panel Briefing, 2019). Having well defined interfaces alleviates additional development costs, reduces costs and program schedules, and increases platform re-configurability. In SOSA, these connections/interfaces are defined at the card/board slot and carrier card (e.g. XMC) level, such that boards may be interconnected, which helps simplify system design efforts.

MOSA-enabled standards are “needed to ensure rapid sharing of information across domains with quick and affordable updates or improvements to hardware and software components” (Ref. Modular Open Systems Approach Overview and Efforts – A DSPO and Office of the Secretary of Defense Perspective by Himanshu Patni). MOSA/SOSA helps develop technology compatibilities across systems. It also allows flexibility in the selection and acquisition of sensors and subsystems that provide sensor data collection, processing, exploitation, communication and related functions over the full life cycle of C4ISR systems.

MOSA Chassis with Boards

Significance of SOSA as it relates to Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions.
As a leading provider of mission critical RF, microwave and millimeter wave solutions, CAES has extensive expertise in designing and providing next-generation commercial and defense electronic solutions and is making investments in new technologies and techniques such as RF-to-digital, wideband frequency range, fast tuning and instantaneous bandwidth..

CAES offers a broad portfolio of custom and off-the-shelf RF and electronic solutions that empower radar, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and communications applications, which are central to the focus of the SOSA Consortium.

Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions' key differentiators
CAES provides high performance, SWaP/C-optimized products and capabilities to system providers and primes.  CAES enabled solutions provide operators industry-leading, high density RF package integration, and improved, extensible, high performance capabilities with key performance parameters such as fast tuning, low phase noise, high spurious suppression, and wide instantaneous bandwidth. 

What is Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions doing?
CAES is a contributing member of the SOSA Consortium, by helping to define and mature the SOSA Technical Standard and business objectives.  CAES will also be embedding its industry-leading, high performance capabilities into SOSA aligned products.

When will Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions’ first SOSA aligned products be available?
CAES will be rolling out its first SOSA Aligned product in 2021.  The first product is a RF Payload Card, a Wideband RF Up/Down Converter.  This will be followed by another RF Payload Card at a higher-band in 2022. 


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