As snow pummeled the U.S. northeast once again, I set off back on February 7th for an unusual triangle trip – Washington, DC (to meet with the leadership of Open Health Tools, which is building open-source healthcare IT solutions based partially on OMG standards); then to Santa Barbara, California to meet with Ivar Jacobson and Bertrand Meyer (together we are leading an effort to reinvent software engineering as a rigorous engineering discipline). Last stop on this whistle-stop tour was San Diego, California, to meet with the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) at the Point Loma United States Navy base in San Diego harbor.
And a whistle-stop it was, too – while I had intended from the start to avoid California driving by taking the lovely train ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego, the week started out unexpectedly with a 7 ½-hour ride from Boston to Washington as the third major storm of the year blanketed the U.S. capital with another 50cm (20”) of snow. It was quite strange to see no snow at all on the ground on the entire trip south until noticing a light rime in Philadelphia and perhaps 10cm (4”) in northern Delaware. My hometown of Baltimore, however, was staggering under about 30cm (12”) of snow, and the capital was essentially in lockdown from yet another blizzard. The quiet of downtown Washington (except for people sloshing about in snow, ice & slush) was in fact quite lovely. I will resist the impulse to make metaphorical comparisons between a city closed for business, and political processes in a similar state nearby!
Instead I’d like to focus on an excellent meeting at JPEO JTRS where I was privileged to share a cup of coffee with John Armantrout, Chief Technology Officer (and briefly meet Dr. Rich North, Technical Director as well). This is the group that manages the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition process for software radios, an important area of standards development at OMG.
JTRS JPEO has strongly supported open standards in general and OMG in particular for years. In addition, OMG has worked alongside the Wireless Innovation Forum (WIF, previously known as the SDR Forum) for years. OMG and WIF are committed to strengthening, deepening and extending the cooperation between our two organizations, and have several projects currently underway to not only strengthen current cooperation, but also to look for more opportunities to serve our members and the industry. This includes my own personal focus, moving standardized software radio technology into the commercial sphere – where immediate benefits will include better mobile phone interoperability, wider and cheaper roaming capabilities, and not coincidentally lower cost for military software radio installations. Look for OMG and WIF to make some interesting announcements in the coming weeks!