Object Management Group floats data distribution service as performant alternative to OPC-UA. Technology promises quality-of-service assured real time data sharing between simulators.

Oil IT Journal likes to keep ahead of the curve. Our first report on the defence-derived ‘high level architecture’ (HLA) standard for synchronous operation of simulation packages from different vendors goes back to our January 2006 issue where we asked if the HLA could have application in the digital oilfield. Interest in oil and gas application of the HLA—or rather its latest manifestation, the Object management group’s (OMG) Data distribution service (DDS)—has been rekindled in a new OMG position paper.

According to OMG, little has been done since the adoption of the WITSML standard for representation of wireline data. In recent years, the Upstream Oil & Gas industry has begun to realize—especially when analyzing the root causes of safety incidents—that the lack of integration and interchange methods and standards has potentially dire consequences. Not only would sharing information create better predictive models and impact real-time operational decisions in a beneficial way, integrating and exchanging models and data for example during drilling, but hoarding information can also damage a company’s image in the eyes of the public and the legislators, ultimately threatening the right to operate.

Here, DDS is described as a successful, quality-of-service based, interoperable publish-and-subscribe mechanism for data acquisition and exchange. According to the OMG, proliferating sensors and growing data volumes in Scada systems present an opportunity for DDS. DDS is claimed to provide ‘more intelligent real-time data management than the widely used OPC-UA.’

DDS specialist UK-based PrismTech’s Peter Steele told Oil IT Journal, ‘DDS brings quality of service, military-strength high data volumes, visibility and internet connectivity that are missing from OPC-UA. One of our simulation customers, Teledyne Brown Engineering, publishes as much as 200k samples per second. To date, customers have been using the technology in training simulators but there is no reason why HLA/DDS could not be applied to any type of simulation that needs to exchange data in a distributed environment. We see DDS as ideal for interoperable real-time data sharing in oil and gas industry processes, such as real-time drilling control.’

In our 2006 article on HLA we identified Norwegian Sintef as an oil and gas user of the technology. Today, Kongsberg is leveraging HLA/DDS in its marine simulators, DDS is also used to link simulations with Esri mapping technology and National Oilwell Varco is rumoured to have leveraged the technology in its Autocon autonomous drilling test rig and in its ‘Novos’ real time operating system. More from OMG and PrismTech.

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