The FACE™ Approach is the New Foundation of Affordable Military Avionics
By Chip Downing
I am truly excited that The Open Group FACE™ Consortium has just released the latest FACE Technical Standard, Edition 3.0. This is a milestone in creating open standards for next generation military avionics systems and includes incremental improvements to the existing standard, as well as an enhanced data architecture, graphics, and lifecycle management services. With these enhancements the FACE Technical Standard and Business Approach forms the new foundation of affordable platforms for critical global systems.
The FACE approach is now ready for building affordable, efficient, and competitive next generation aircraft systems. The FACE standards are ready for use, the Government is ready to procure, and the industry is ready to provide the latest capabilities using this advanced open interface software foundation.
The goal of the FACE Consortium is to enable agile, innovative solutions that give the military a strategic advantage. Traditionally, the military has focused its avionics financial resources and engineering efforts on single-platform, stove-pipe architectures and software designs. With the FACE architecture, it is now free to focus on driving innovation across many platforms over the entire asset life cycle. This increased application capability and utility speeds cutting edge technology to those who defend freedom globally.
The FACE Technical Standard stands on the shoulders of over 60 proven commercial and military standards to provide value. It can immediately leverage the design and operational efficiencies proven in commercial aircraft and drive these to new capabilities into airborne systems.
The FACE Approach has four very powerful characteristics — Affordability, Speed, Agility, and Excellence:
Affordability. Creating an open standard to be used for all future military avionics platforms builds an open and stable marketplace for these next generation systems. This is good for both industry and government – it reduces the product development costs for industry because they can now create a product line for multiple capabilities for future platforms. It is good for government because they can now select the best-of-class capability and use that capability across a wide range of programs and aircraft.
Speed. The FACE Technical Standard directly enables greater speed and agility with a set of standards that have been proven and critically vetted by the consensus participation of the members. The FACE Consortium has not reinvented another wheel nor created yet another open architecture (OA) standard in our own image. This focus on proven commercial and military software foundations drives down risk, and accelerates schedule performance, allowing system builders to achieve objectives that were not possible using traditional methods, processes, and standards.
Agility. Achieving innovation agility is critical to get to the higher levels of interoperability and mission performance from aircraft. By using a common data architecture and characterizing data according to best known practices, it achieves higher interoperability across domains, systems and capabilities. This reduces the workload required to deploy new components and drives higher levels of mission situational awareness by leveraging standardized platforms and data architectures.
Excellence. The FACE Technical Standard establishes a software architecture that leads to a more robust structure for how components are built, innately driving excellence into software design, acquisition, and deployment. The FACE approach provides the entire standards infrastructure needed, for both business and technical operations, for both new and upgrade opportunities. The FACE Technical Standard is based upon proven rules of construction that leads to more resilient designs coupled with an enforceable conformance model that facilitates faster, more robust integration of software components. The first wave of certified FACE conformant software products are already listed in the FACE Registry, and we expect to see many more this year.
Using the FACE capabilities is the best way to create innovative solutions for future generations of airborne systems. Deploying FACE solutions will optimize scarce financial and engineering resources and enable the US and its coalition partners to extend their strategic military advantages over all global adversaries.
All members of the FACE Consortium are available to contact to help train and guide organizations to advance the airborne systems into a highly-efficient, standards-based future.
Click here to get more information about Wind River’s certified conformant FACE solutions.
Feel free to contact any member for more information. You may also join the FACE Consortium and help create the foundation for all next-generation advanced avionics platforms. For more information go to: http://www.opengroup.org/face