[erlang-questions] Erlang based C2ISR system

Rizwan Khan <>
Fri Feb 20 05:44:47 CET 2015


Thanks a lot for the input Craig. Highly appreciated.

Do you have any experience with Safir SDk?

Rizwan Khan



On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM, zxq9 <> wrote:

> On 2015年2月17日 火曜日 11:47:32 Rizwan Khan wrote:
> > Any one knows if Erlang is being used anywhere for Command and Control or
> > ISR systems which are normally for the armed forces.
> >
> > I am not too sure if that would be a good fit either. May be in terms for
> > distributed computing and surely not for image processing related
> > applications.
>
> A somewhat long-winded response follows, much of it anecdotal. I'm trying
> to
> give enough background for the OP to understand the situation that exists
> at
> the C2 level, the tactical level, and what I have seen in a C2&T project
> I've
> worked on, and what I have externally observed about another very similar
> one.
>
> ~~~~~~
>
> I doubt it is. In any case, of the bajillion or so supposedly
> interoperable C2
> systems I ever took the time to peek into, every one seemed to be written
> against a different combination of language/platform/environment
> assumptions.
> Whether or not Erlang is a good fit for C2 (and in many cases it certainly
> may
> be), it seems to have about zero mindshare within the military.
>
> At a larger TOC there was usually a guy or section whose task it was to
> aggregate data so various folks could access it or use it -- more often
> than
> not, though, a TOC (whether a FOB, JSOTF, JSOTF-forward, or an *actual*
> TOC)
> is a blackhole for information.
>
> In SF our 18E/F/Cs (or whoever on the team had significant computer
> knowledge
> and could work with the 18E) would deal with receiving, say, UAV imagery
> directly from the pilot's direct feed or (usually better) from whatever
> laptop
> software could talk to it, convert it to something he could send over the
> air,
> and relay it that way. Data from outside the team might be handled the same
> way (if there was time), but usually a one-off system existed for each
> type of
> asset we might be working with (like an application that handles one
> specific
> type of video from one particular source, an entire
> hardware-kit-in-a-suitcase
> for receiving P3 imagery live, a special video box with no digital output
> so
> we could (maybe) watch a particular feed, etc.) and very often there just
> isn't time to mess with aggregation in a useful way until long after the
> fun
> is over.
>
> Of course, at the TOC, where all the folks who don't actually do anything
> operational hang out, all sorts of data is supposedly aggregated -- but
> I've
> seen exactly zero evidence of that in practice. I suspect that roughly half
> the blame for the blackholiness of TOCs (and other echelons beyond reality
> in
> general) belongs to the bureaucratic sloth that manifests in any large,
> rigid
> organization, and the other half probably belongs to the fact that every
> single system is completely different from every other system (and that
> itself
> is a product of the nature of acquisitions within large bureaucracies).
> Sorting through all the miles of piles of data that pour in to a TOC after-
> the-fact is a much lower priority than ongoing operations (or than printing
> random memoranda about authorized holster models, etc.), so the monumental
> task of untangling the digital/analog Gordian Knot appears to rarely be
> undertaken in a serious way -- at least from what I witnessed. I don't
> think
> there is really any way around this, though the situation could certainly
> be a
> bit less ridiculous.
>
> So with that anecdotal picture in mind, the search for use cases of Erlang
> in
> C2 systems (of any kind) is either going to be extremely difficult (sifting
> through thousands of one-off systems by vendors reluctant to expose their
> tools), or purely academic.
>
> Colt is doing some interesting work on an integrated C2 system for the
> tactical level, but I don't think any Erlang is involved there (mostly C
> and
> Java, from the looks of it -- I've never looked inside, though). I was
> leading
> a project last year at a company developing a conceptually related system
> which had very different origins and a different focus (The company
> imploded
> midway through! Very frustrating!). While I was actually going to use
> Erlang
> for the (somewhat limited) tasks that existed server-side, much of the
> rest of
> the project code was C and Scala. A lot of what was required was either
> directly dependent on unique hardware or had to run on Android, everything
> required careful power usage, most of the system was peer-oriented up to a
> certain layer, and Erlang just did not fit most of the roles.
>
> Regards,
> -Craig
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