The New FACE of Avionics
By Chip Downing
Earlier this year, Wind River announced its support of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) technical standard, which hopes to resolve two fundamental problems with military procurements.
First, current aviation systems are typically developed for a unique set of requirements by a single vendor for a single aircraft, resulting in limited portability of software components, increased costs, and creating barriers to competition within and across airborne systems.
Second, the military aviation community has not created standardized architectural and software interface standards to sufficiently enable portability of software components across DoD aviation systems. Commercial aerospace suppliers have standardized on open common core platforms based upon ARINC 653, which is a standard API for integrated modular avionics (IMA), but this has simply not occurred in military avionics systems.
The FACE technical standard will create an open, modular, multi-vendor software environment enabling portability and reuse of software components across multiple programs and platforms. Combining this technical standard with a the FACE Business Guide will expand the selection options for military software components, reduce up-front procurement costs, reduce system integration cost and risk, and reduce upgrade and technical refresh costs.