The Open Standard for Unattended Sensors (OSUS) as a Platform for the Internet of Things (IOT)

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Kevin Hallinan


IoT (Internet of Things) frameworks are designed to simplify the development process of IoT devices and applications. However, like any technology, they also have some problems that need to be addressed. Some of the common problems associated with IoT frameworks include: • Security Concerns: IoT devices collect and transmit sensitive data, making them a prime target for cyberattacks. Many IoT frameworks lack built-in security features, making it easier for hackers to access the data. • Interoperability Issues: IoT devices from different manufacturers may use different protocols and standards, making it difficult for them to communicate with each other. • Scalability Challenges: IoT systems can involve large numbers of devices and applications, and the frameworks used to develop these systems need to be scalable. This requires significant computing power and data storage capacity, which can be a challenge for some IoT frameworks. • Complexity: IoT development can be complex, as it involves multiple components and technologies, such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and edge computing. The frameworks used to develop IoT systems need to be able to integrate these components and simplify the development process. • Cost: Developing and deploying IoT systems can be expensive, as it requires specialized hardware, software, and infrastructure. The cost of IoT frameworks can also be a barrier to adoption for some organizations. Just like commercial IoT frameworks, Department of Defense (DoD) unattended ground sensors (UGSs) come in many shapes and sizes and often have many different components. These components range from infrared cameras and magnetometers to Department of Communications equipment and embedded computers. The combination of these different components requires sophisticated software that is often time consuming to develop and difficult to reuse and have the same problems like commercial IoT systems. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Defense Intelligence Agency funded the Open Standards for Unattended Sensors (OSUS) to address solving these problems. The OSUS program, formerly named Terra Harvest, was launched in 2009 to develop an open, integrated battlefield unattended ground sensors architecture that ensures interoperability among disparate UGS components and systems. The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) software system group (SSG) was chosen to work with the ARL to create a reference implementation of the OSUS standard. ARL along with UDRI went to various field-testing and demonstrations to test out OSUS in real-life simulations, integrating various vendors sensor, controllers, radios, using the OSUS simple plug-in-play architecture showing a solution that overcame the typical problems of UGS/IoT systems. After years of field success, the US Army reclassified the technology, allowing it to be used by the public. This has led it to become the standard for various US agencies and The Five Eyes Alliance (FVEYs) intelligence communities. At the FVEY The Technical Cooperation Program's (TTCP) Contested Urban Environment Strategic Challenge (CUE17, 18, 19, and 20 for short), OSUS was the only middleware layer for all of the events. The author led the team to integrate all the various worldwide sensors/systems using OSUS. OSUS has shown through all these demonstrations that it is able to integrate world-wide sensors/systems into a common framework, eliminating most of the problems with UGS/IoT systems as stated above. In this thesis, I will attempt to show that OSUS offers a solid framework to use for IoT. The paper will provide a background of what IoT is, along with the architecture of OSUS. It will then show how one can create a plugin for OSUS and lastly, how to deploy/test these plugins.


Information Systems, Information Science, Computer Engineering, Department of Computer Science, OSUS, Open Standard for Unattended Sensors, IOT, IIOT, Internet of Things

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