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The future is open

The first maritime control systems were built as proprietary systems. Only devices from the same supplier could be integrated into one system.

Organizations, where manufacturers are participating, have through several years developed common standards such as NMEA, IEC, Modbus and OPC. A recent initiative is OpenBridge which is establishing standards for user experiences.

Even though more and more standards are available, mainly sub-systems with proprietary solutions are integrated and used in maritime control systems. Integration of proprietary sub-systems can be the source of expensive and unnecessary complications.

An objective for the ioStudio system is to avoid implementing proprietary solutions. Some solutions are only understandable in a certain type of system. ioStudio has incorporated a set of terms that would be recognizable in most system types: Device, port, program, module, sensor, actuator, etc. A sensor from one part of the system can then more easily be recognized and used in another part of the system, for instance.

In the same way as one supplier can send a PDF document to another supplier, it could be possible to share the configuration of different sub-systems between two suppliers using the ioStudio configuration terms. An ioStudio configuration is also version controllable which is required to handle changes in sub-systems knowing which change is made in different versions.

ioStudio also makes available standard NMEA IEC Modbus ways of distributing data. This could enable a supplier to use a standard way of sharing data rather than to choose a proprietary one, and in this way make sub-systems easier to integrate.

The ioStudio user experience is also built completely on the OpenBridge standard. Both the engineering, configuration, simulation, test, logging, plotting and operator front ends are based on the OpenBridge standard.

Open systems also require platform independence. Most maritime control systems today are single purpose and platform dependent. ioStudio systems are both back and front end independent. C++ is used as the source code that can be moved unchanged between different back-end platforms. C# is used as the source code that can be deployed as a packaged application in Windows, a Linux application, a mobile phone application or a web assembly application. The data distribution between back and front end can both be implemented in one application, in more applications on the same device or between applications on different devices on the same network.


There are also open standards for doing co-simulation. The simulator of an ioStudio system is therefore integrating simulation of models with a Functional Mock-up Interface.

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