Issue 54 Uncrewed Sytems Technology Feb/Mar 2024 uWare uOne UUV l Radio and telemetry l Rheinmetall Canada medevacs l UUVs insight DelltaHawk engine l IMU focus l Skygauge in operation l CES 2024 report l Blueflite l Hypersonic flight

21 All in the flow The initial work on Zenoh stemmed from experience gained from early work on smart cities that involved fog computing, which provides a layer of computing functionality between devices at the edge of the network and the cloud. One of these smart city projects was Connected Boulevard in Nice, which monitored rubbish bins at parking spots. “We were already being faced with challenges in trying to make sure data could flow from a tiny battery-powered microcontroller embedded in the roadside and running on a proprietary low-power network,” says Consaro. DDS simply could not run on a microcontroller on such a constrained network. “It was just too heavyweight,” he explains. Getting the data to flow involved stitching different protocols together, creating what he calls a digital Frankenstein. “The only winners there are systems integrators, because that is how they make money,” he adds. Defining fog In the 2013-14 timeframe there was some wrangling over the definition of fog computing, with some considering it an extension of the cloud and others regarding it as a synonym for edge computing, Corsaro recalls. The Fog Consortium’s definition now characterises it as the continuum between the data centre and the device in which there has to be computing, communications and storage. The challenges lie in the stitching together of protocols to enable data to flow, where to store the data and, if it is stored at the edge, how to find it. “My primary objective was to come up with a protocol able to run from the microcontroller up to the data centre. At that time there was no such protocol because they had all been designed for one segment; a reflection of systems that were siloed. The other objective was to keep data decentralised and query it from anywhere,” says Corsaro. New protocols He describes the start of roughly simultaneous initiatives in Europe and the US to conceive the Next Generation Internet (NGI) as a fortunate accident, as they coalesced around a new family of protocols based on the Named Data Networking (NDN) concept. Sometimes referred to as Intent Centric Networking (ICN), NDN represents a paradigm shift in how data is found, Corsaro explains. “Today, the internet is built on top of IP, and IP, despite being a packet-switched protocol, always communicates between two end points, and so you need to know the IP address of a machine in order to do something useful with that machine. But this is not how we use the internet. Our use is data-centric; when you want to read The Guardian, The New York Times, or whatever, you don’t care that there is a machine with an IP server that eventually will serve you those pages. You care about given named data,” he says. “NDN proponents were saying, ‘what if we create protocols that instead of routing addresses route data?’ Imagine a file system path such as Guardian/ news/politics, for example. If you had Angelo Corsaro | In conversation Uncrewed Systems Technology | February/March 2024 Zenoh is designed to run above a data link, network or transport layer in a software stack, and it imposes a minimal overhead of just 5 bytes per data exchange (Image courtesy of ZettaScale) Zenoh is designed to be topology agnostic, enabling people to use any network topology that best suits their communications needs, including brokered, routed and direct peer-to-peer (Image courtesy of ZettaScale)