The FACE standard is now ready and open for business

19th June 2017
Anna Flockett

This year is a banner year for The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium. It is now crossing its seventh anniversary and has completed the technical and business documents that will drive new FACE procurements with enduring efficiencies for generations of military aircraft. 

Guest blog by Chip Downing.

The FACE approach is now ready for building efficient, affordable, and competitive next generation aircraft systems.

Downing stated: “I was recently elected as the new Chair of the FACE Consortium Business Working Group (BWG), and I am honoured and proud to lead this productive organisation into a new era of FACE utilisation that will accelerate new capabilities for our global military systems. With over 1,300 experts from 95 leading organisations from the US Defence Industry, US Defence Services, and US Intelligence Agencies we are ready to drive this standard to new heights of usage and deployment.”

The goal of the FACE Consortium is to enable agile, innovative solutions that give the military a strategic advantage.  Traditionally it 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.

The FACE Technical Standard stands on the shoulders of over 100 proven commercial and military standards to provide value. It can immediately leverage the design and operational efficiencies proven in commercial aircraft and use these to new capabilities into airborne systems.

The FACE Approach has three very powerful characteristics — Speed, Agility, and Excellence:

  1. 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 – Wind River have not reinvented the wheel nor created yet another open architecture (OA) standard in our own image. This focus on proven software foundation’s drives down risk, and accelerates schedule performance, allowing it to achieve objectives that were not possible using traditional methods, processes, and standards.
  2. Agility.  Achieving innovation agility is critical to get to the higher levels of interoperability and mission performance from aircrafts. By using a common data model and characterising 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 standardised platforms and data architectures.
  3. Excellence.  The FACE Technical Standard establishes a software architecture that leads to 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. It already has its first wave of certified FACE conformant software products listed in the FACE Registryincluding Wind River VxWorks 653 and is expecting to see many more this year.

The companies that supported the first entries into the FACE Registry – Rockwell Collins, Harris, and Wind River – are leading this FACE business and technical transformation. 

Using the FACE capabilities is the smart, intelligent way to create innovative solutions for future generations of airborne systems. Deploying FACE solutions will optimise scarce financial and engineering resources and enable the US and its coalition partners to extend their strategic military advantages over all global adversaries.

Entering a new era with the FACE standard, means transitioning from building and testing the FACE specifications to training users, implementing the standard, and deploying powerful next generation airborne platforms.

All members of the FACE Consortium are available to contact to help train and guide organisations to advance the airborne systems into a highly-efficient, standards-based future.

For more information on the Open Group FACE Consortium, visit here.

Courtesy of Wind River.

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