In March 2023, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Technology (OSD ManTech) and the ARM Institute’s fellow Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs), the ARM Institute hosted a workshop at our facility in Pittsburgh centered on Point of Need Manufacturing Challenges. This event included an OSD-led Requirements Workshop and pitch presentations from MII project teams that were selected from the associated MII Point of Need Manufacturing Challenge Project Call.
This meeting convened key stakeholders from OSD, including BG David Trybula of Army DEVCOM and Dr. Karl Dahlhauser of OUSD(R&E) Science & Technology Futures, and representatives from the Joint Staff, the Services, and Defense Agencies. The event and associated Project Call take critical steps towards finding solutions to Point of Need Manufacturing Challenges. The event also strengthened connections between OSD leadership and the MIIs, as well as providing insights into MII member organization solutions.
From this event and associated Project Call, the ARM Institute’s project with ARM Member Corsha – Securing the Digital Backbone with Corsha’s Zero-Trust Platform for Machines – was selected for funding. The project will be demonstrated in an extreme cold weather (arctic) environment.
This Project Call centered on this scenario: U.S. forces are engaged in an operation at an austere forward operating base (FOB) in a remote location and have no access to normal logistics support. Manufacturing at the FOB will provide capabilities and sustain personnel and equipment to successfully complete their operation.
The reach of U.S. forces is global. For the sake of the challenge, the demonstration location could be either a cold weather (i.e. arctic-type) location or a hot/humid location. DoD will determine a location within the continental United States (CONUS) to host the manufacturing challenge event and this location will be either cold weather or hot/humid. Project teams had to account for both scenarios.
The Securing the Digital Backbone with Corsha’s Zero-Trust Platform for Machines Project will address the cybersecurity and operational limitations that forward-operating bases (FoBs) face in austere environments by providing zero-trust (ZT) network access across the manufacturing network and automating cybersecurity hygiene to its fullest extent in these Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) environments.
Corsha will be deploying its platform on-premise at the point of need and demonstrating regulated access to a tabletop FANUC Robotic Arm but also controlled, ZT access to a shared artifact repository. This ability to cross OT and IT networks and treat all “machines” uniformly is one of Corsha’s key differentiators, be that a robotic arm in the field, an artifact repository in a datacenter, or workload in the cloud. As communication and data movement from OT equipment at the PoN to IT applications and the cloud and back again are becoming the status quo, seamless and uniform cybersecurity solutions like Corsha are key to protecting an ever growing and dynamic landscape.