Joint Reference Implementation Laboratory

Q&A with Dr. Rich North, JRIL Director, Chief Engineer of the Network Enterprise Domain

What is the goal of the JRIL and why was it created?

Dr. Rich North: While the mission of JTRS has not changed (continuing delivering a family of affordable, secure, interoperable, IP-based networking radio products to all services of the Defense Department), the approach to meeting this mission is evolving to include more non-developmental activities acquired through agile processes. The goal of the Joint Reference Implementation Laboratory (JRIL) is to facilitate the porting and integration of JTRS software into the JTRS Program of Records (POR), Vendor Funded R&D initiatives, and other radios-based products for the DOD Warfighter.

The JRIL will allow JTRS to provide centralized subject matter expertise on waveforms and make that information more readily available to qualified vendors. Support provided by the JRIL is basically a one-stop shop for all things waveform; it will include, but is not limited to: Information Repository access, JTRS standards compliance testing, NSA certification process assistance, JITC certification process assistance, waveform software maintenance and enhancements, software porting support, and integration test and evaluation.

Finally, the JRIL will serve as a critical approving body. The JRIL will serve as the Joint Tactical Network approving authority for all JTRS radio/waveform sets introduced to the DOD Warfighters, thereby ensuring battlefield interoperability between radio form factors and waveform versions.

JRIL Business Functions JTRS 2012

What is the business process for the JRIL?

North: DOD Vendors interested in collaboration with the JRIL should monitor the Federal Business Opportunities website ( This domain has been, and will be, used to announce JRIL opportunities in order to ensure all vendors have equal access to announcements. Requests for Information (RFI) will be released to announce entry windows periodically to various JRIL business functions. DOD Vendors can request to be admitted into the entry windows and access will be granted based on criteria established in each RFI. These will generally be a fee for service construct whereby vendors pay for services offered by that JRIL business function.

As an example, last month JRIL announced an upcoming entry window to provide assistance to DOD Vendors getting into the NSA Commercial COMSEC Endorsement Program (CCEP) through a RFI posting on Interested DOD Vendors were instructed to complete a questionnaire that will be evaluated to ensure their JTRS future products meet the entrance criteria. The group of DOD Vendors selected will then receive JRIL assistance in achieving NSA Type-1 certification for those specific JTRS future products submitted.

This process allows the government to adequately plan for the appropriate number of participants in a business function event. The plan is to offer these entry windows periodically throughout the year based on vendor needs and/or upcoming Service test event(s). For example, a JRIL Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) performance/interoperability test is planned for CY12 to be used as an entry gate into the Army's next Network Integration Evaluation (NIE).

We have heard about the establishment of a “gold waveform standard” through the JRIL. Can you please elaborate on what the gold standard will be and how it will assist DOD Vendors?

North: The JRIL is being established in a phased approach. The first phase was initiated in 1QFY12 for the JTRS networking waveforms --- SRW, Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) Waveform -- and the JTRS Enterprise Network Manager (JENM). During this phase, the waveform software will be maintained in the same ecosystem it was originally developed on (such as hardware, operating environment, software development tools, etc.). All software maintenance and enhancements will be performed in the specific waveform ecosystem and all vendor JTRS products performance and interoperability will be tested against the waveform software running in that ecosystem. The term “gold waveform standard” refers to this waveform software running in this reference implementation of hardware/operating environment. As an example, the WNW gold standard is currently version 4.0.5 running in GMR EDM hardware with GMR OE version 2.5.7. The second phase is to be initiated in out years to migrate all JTRS waveforms to a common reference implementation.

As a fee for service, the JRIL will make these waveform specific ecosystems available to DOD Vendors to assist them with porting and integration into their specific JTRS radio products. Most reference implementations include internal test probe points with test vectors to ensure DOD Vendors have the ability to debug each software component within the waveform individually. After waveform porting and integration is complete, the gold waveform standard operating in the reference implementation will be used to verify performance and interoperability with the DOD Vendor JTRS radio product.

To date, the JTRS waveform software and its design artifacts have been available to DOD Vendors through the JTRS Information Repository (IR) but not the waveform Reference Implementations, waveform porting support, nor the integration T&E support. Additionally, there was no NSA process support nor JITC process support – both of which the JRIL will provide. A recent independent assessment of JTRS identified these areas (and others) as critical barriers to entry for many DOD Vendors. JRIL is chartered with addressing this through its business functions and processes.

How does the JRIL support the Enterprise Business Model of open standards, competition in production, and code reuse?

North: The JTRS Enterprise Business Model is founded on creating a community that reuses waveform and application software through an open standard-based software infrastructure. All JTRS products to date have been designed and developed on these open standards, including the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) and Application Program Interfaces (API) standards. The result has allowed complicated networking waveform software to be reused in vastly different JTRS radio products. For example, recent U.S. Army field tests have demonstrated SRW networks composed of radio products from six different vendors ranging from handhelds, to vehicle radios, to airborne radios.

One of the business functions of the JRIL includes maintaining the current JTRS standards through the ongoing Interface Control Working Groups (ICWG) and the evolution of standards to SCA NEXT (an effort that includes important updates to the SCA scheduled to be released in early CY12). Another business function of the JRIL is to provide DOD Vendors with a facility and tools to test to these software standards -- the JTRS Test and Evaluation Laboratory (JTEL).

When will this capability be available to vendors?

North: The JRIL was established during 1QFY12. Many of the business functions incorporated into the JRIL have been operating successfully for many years (such as the JTRS Information Repository, JTRS Standards, and JTEL) and will continue to be available to DOD Vendors in a similar fashion as before. The other business functions of the JRIL ( NSA certification assistance, JITC certification assistance, SRW Reference Implementation Laboratory (RIL), WNW RIL, MUOS RIL, JENM RIL) will begin to become available to DOD Vendors early in CY12.

What is the next step for an interested vendor? Where can a vendor go to get more information on participation with the JRIL?

North: Interested vendors should check RFIs will roll out throughout the year. For more information about the JRIL, please contact the JPEO JTRS Help Desk at: [email protected]

About this Report

This report was commissioned by the Content Solutions unit, an independent editorial arm of 1105 Government Information Group. Specific topics are chosen in response to interest from the vendor community; however, sponsors arenot guaranteed content contribution or review of content before publication. For more information about 1105 Government Information Group Content Solutions, please email us at [email protected]