The Open Group FACE Consortium announced that organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom will be eligible for membership of the aviation-focused professional and technical group. The move is a response to a growing demand from both businesses and the US and other governments as international cooperation grows in importance.
Membership will be open to any business or organization incorporated in or registered to do business in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. Organizations will be able to sign up for three levels of membership (Principal, Sponsor, or Associate), with unique benefits per level. Once an organization becomes a member of the FACE Consortium, all its employees are eligible to participate, provided they are persons of one of the five countries and complete the appropriate paperwork to become onboarded.
“We are delighted that organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK will be able to join the Consortium,” said Alicia Taylor, The Open Group FACE Consortium director. “As a membership-driven organization, opening up to organizations from outside the US will be essential for the next phase of the Consortium. We see the international expansion as an opportunity to learn about the unique needs and initiatives of each country, while maximizing the benefits to all members.”
Steve Nunn, CEO and president of The Open Group commented: “As a global organization, we are proud that with concurrence from the US Department of Commerce, organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK will be able to join the Consortium. We believe that the membership expansion will bring new ideas and expertise, allowing current members to learn from new members and vice versa, and we are excited about the new synergies that this will create.”
Chip Downing, Senior Market Development Director, Aerospace & Defense at Real-Time Innovations (RTI) added: “Opening up The Open Group FACE Consortium membership to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom is a watershed event for our organization. We can now tap into the highly diversified expertise of these nations, and deliver joint solutions that accelerate more powerful and interoperable airborne capabilities to global militaries.”
The Open Group FACE Consortium collaborates on developing open software standards to innovate processes and practices, and accelerate FACE adoption. With 90+ government, industry, and academic member organizations, the FACE Consortium has business processes that promote competition and are equitable to both suppliers and end-users; technical practices that enhance and accelerate the development and integration of capabilities; and component-based software standards that define a layered architecture with standard interfaces and a way to describe what data crosses those interfaces.
The Consortium is also addressing all five principles of the US Department of Defense directive of Modular Open System Approach (MOSA), which are equally applicable to global markets. When applied, these principles, combined with the practices and processes described above, enable software portability, reusability, and interoperability.
Aitech Systems, a provider of rugged boards and system level solutions for military, aerospace and space applications, now offers the low power U-C9140, a PowerPC-based 3U VPX single board computer (SBC) that is aligned to The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Technical Standard, Edition 1.0, providing for fast integration, improved time-to-market and lower risk.
“This unique combination of the PowerPC CPU architecture and alignment to the SOSA Technical Standard provides excellent performance in open standards-based real-time applications,” said Alex Trigoub, director, Board Level Product Line for Aitech. “It will also be Aitech’s first SOSAaligned SBC supporting FACE conformant Wind River VxWorks 653 OS and a compliant BSP. It fulfills a market need for designers looking for lower power consumption or who may want to reuse the widely-available existing PowerPC application code.”
Military and defense applications benefitting from this cost-effective SBC include mission computers, sensor signal processing, signal intelligence and electronic warfare, since it provides excellent performance per Watt. In addition, the SBC’s FACE compliance (and future conformance) facilitates especially fast integration into airborne mission computers and applications.
The SOSA aligned U-C9140 is Aitech’s latest generation 3U VPX PowerPC SBC, based on NXP’s QorIQ T1/T2 Series SoC multi-core, multi-thread processors. For improved security assurance and protection against cyber-attacks, the U-C9140 also includes the latest QorIQ Secure Boot and Trust Architecture 2.0.
The variety of on-board I/O and large memory resources, including up to 8 GB of DDR3L and 64 GB of eMMC flash on-board mass storage, in combination with the powerful SoC processor, make the U-C9140 an ideal SBC for many real-time, rugged applications requiring superior SWaP-C optimization. An industry standard XMC slot provides flexibility and expandability, along with the availability, convenience and cost benefits of COTS.
The United States Army has awarded Intellisense Systems, Inc., a contract for development of the Secure Modular Architecture for Reusable Transfer of Display Data (SMART-2D) technology. SMART-2D enables pilots to securely upload key data like flight plans, mission data, or display configurations onto the aircraft via a smart carry-on device like a tablet or electronic flight bag.
This system incorporates an open-architecture approach that will significantly expand opportunities for interfacing aircraft displays with carry-on devices. SMART-2D implements Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE)-conformant data models and innovatively exchanges display data over a secure network backbone that mitigates the impact to and integrity of mission-critical systems.
“We’re very excited to continue development of this new technology,” said Juan Hodelin, vice president and general manager of Airborne Systems at Intellisense. “This innovative use of a standards-based approach to achieve a common display solution with severability from federated aircraft systems is critical to supporting platform technology adoption. This includes support for domain separation that decouples the display system from core aircraft avionics, allowing mobile device connectivity to the display.”
In Phase II, Intellisense will develop a fully functional prototype and test it with various avionics vendors to verify interoperability with multiple display implementations and avionics suites. The development effort involves working with avionics prime systems integrators and identifying opportunities to collaborate with the Army’s Combat Aviation Brigade Architecture Integration Lab (CABAIL) to augment Intellisense’s diverse and cutting-edge avionics display offerings.
Abaco Systems, Inc. and Green Hills Software announced that the rugged, 3U VPX SBC3511 single board computer supports the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP real-time operating system (RTOS) for avionics and security-critical applications. The combined solution features a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) that is aligned to the SOSA Technical Standard and certified to the FACE™ Technical Standard. Together the products address many requirements of security-critical systems including both functional security and assurance requirements. Additionally, INTEGRITY-178 was certified to the NSA-defined Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) high-robustness security and Common Criteria EAL 6+, and INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the first and only RTOS to be part of a cross-domain solution (CDS) certification to NSA’s new “Raise the Bar” standards.
“The high-performance of the multicore Intel Xeon E processor on the SBC3511 can be fully realized with the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP multicore RTOS,” said Richard Jaenicke, director of Marketing for Green Hills Software. “The built-in multicore interference mitigation capability in INTEGRITY-178 tuMP enables safe and deterministic performance even in the face of contention for shared resources by multiple processor cores.”
“The design of the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP RTOS to high-robustness security and Common Criteria EAL 6+ complements the wide range of security features built into the SBC3511 hardware and firmware designed to assist with the prevention of exploitation of critical technologies and data,” said Pete Thompson, Abaco’s VP of Product Management. “The combination of advanced security, high-performance, and leading-edge thermal management on the SBC3511 enables the joint solution to meet the demanding requirements of security-critical avionics systems.”
The SBC3511 3U OpenVPX rugged single board computer derives its high performance from the new, highly integrated Intel Xeon E-2276M 6-core/12-thread processor (formerly known as Coffee Lake Refresh) operating at 2.8GHz with TurboBoost up to 4.5GHz. It also features a 40 Gigabit Ethernet data plane, delivering a high-speed interconnect aligned with the SOSA I/O intensive profile for maximum multi-vendor interoperability. The SBC3511 utilizes an onboard Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC with built-in security capabilities. It can be utilized to instantiate a range of Abaco-defined security features or by customers to embed application-specific features. Support is also provided for Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology.
The INTEGRITY-178 tuMP high-assurance RTOS is designed to meet the strictest requirements for both airborne safety and security simultaneously, including RTCA/DO-178B/C design assurance level (DAL) A and the SKPP for High Robustness. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is a multicore RTOS with support for running a multi-threaded DAL A application across multiple processor cores in symmetric multi-processing (SMP) or bound multi-processing (BMP) configurations. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the only RTOS to be part of a multicore certification to DO-178C and CAST-32A. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP was the first RTOS to be certified conformant to the FACE Technical Standard, edition 3.0, and it is the only RTOS with multicore interference mitigation for all shared resources. That bandwidth allocation and monitoring (BAM) functionality ensures that critical applications meet their required deadlines, significantly lowering integration and certification risk. The INTEGRITY-178 RTOS is the only commercial operating system ever certified to the Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) published by the Information Assurance Directorate of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). That certification was done by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) to Common Criteria EAL 6+ “High Robustness,” and included all the functionality required to run multi-level security (MLS) applications, such as cross-domain solutions (CDS). INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is also the only RTOS to be part of a certification to NSA’s “Raise the Bar” standards for cross domain solutions.
Collins Aerospace – in collaboration with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Parry Labs, Tektonux and Palantir Technologies – successfully conducted a multi-domain operation (MDO) demonstration at the recent Open Group FACE and SOSA Consortia Technical Interchange Meeting to highlight the benefits of an open systems architecture.
As the integration lead, Collins worked with the team to successfully bring together individual capabilities of government/third-party software and multiple third-party mission computers – including Parry Labs’ Stellar Relay – into a helicopter flight deck using the company’s digital backbone, hardware, software and integration expertise. A total of 19 different FACE Units of Portability (UoPs) were integrated into a rotary-wing flight deck, demonstrating these components had the ability to be moved from one aircraft to another or replaced by a compatible component.
“In conjunction with our industry partners, we demonstrated an operational open systems solution that will support the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) guidelines and standards required by the U.S. Army,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager for Military Avionics and Helicopters at Collins Aerospace. “These standards have been put in place to ensure complex aviation systems are designed to reduce integration time and ultimately increase rapid, affordable deployments of innovation.”
Collins also conducted a similar MDO demonstration with the same industry partners at its new Open Systems Center of Excellence at the recently launched Customer Experience Center (CEC) in Huntsville, Alabama. The CEC was created so Collins can work more closely with its service and industry partners on critical Army Aviation initiatives, including Future Vertical Lift and enduring fleet modernization.
The Open Group FACE Consortium is a government and industry partnership to define an open avionics environment for multiple airborne platform types. The SOSA Consortium enables government and industry to collaboratively develop open standards and best practices to enable, enhance and accelerate the deployment of affordable, capable, interoperable sensor systems.
DDC-I, a leading supplier of software and professional services for mission- and safety-critical applications, announced that it will be at Aerospace Tech Week demonstrating the industry’s first RTOS to pass Operating System Segment (OSS) Conformance Testing for the Safety Base and Safety Extended Profiles of the FACE Technical Standard, Edition 3.1. DDC-I will also present a technical paper on Accelerating Avionics Safety and Airworthiness Using the FACE Architecture.
Aerospace Tech Week will be held in Toulouse, France November 3-4. DDC-I will exhibit in Booth # 900 directly adjacent to the Open Group FACE Consortium Pavilion, the first public Future Airborne Compatibility Environment (FACE) event in Europe. Attendance at this event expands the exposure of the FACE capabilities and associated software portability into NATO countries and strengthens its relationships with global coalition partners.
Deos is a certified FACE conformant OSS on ARM, PowerPC and Intel processors. At the show DDC-I will provide a live demonstration of its Deos SafeMC™ multicore kernel running on a quad core NXP Layerscape ARM Cortex-A53 processor. To highlight its ARINC 653 and FACE application portability, Deos will run RTI’s FACE aligned DDS connectivity software as the Transport Services Segment (TSS). The demo will also highlight Deos development tools, which provide visibility into the resource availability and timing of the multicore system.
“FACE is gaining market acceptance as a standard framework for software portability that reduces cost and speeds time to market by fostering standard, open interfaces that enhance portability, interoperability, and reuse,” said Greg Rose, vice president of marketing and product management at DDC-I. “We’re excited to be involved with this first FACE event at Aerospace Tech Week and look forward to introducing the avionics community to the advancements in portability of our safety-critical DO-178C DAL A verified RTOS, the industry’s first FACE 3.1 conformant COTS RTOS certified on ARM, PowerPC, and Intel processors.”
The Deos RTOS Platform for FACE combines the time and space partitioned Deos RTOS and SafeMC multi-core technology with RTEMS (Real Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems), a mature, deterministic, open systems, hard real-time POSIX executive. The integrated platform combines the strengths and pedigree of both ARINC-653 and POSIX RTOSs, providing the industry standard interfaces and feature set required for conformance with the FACE Technical Standard, Safety Extended and Safety Base Operating System Profiles, all in a time- and space-partitioned, hard real-time, multi-core execution model.
Green Hills Software announced the selection of the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP real-time operating system (RTOS) by Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) for their offering of the Military Global Positioning System User Equipment (MGUE) Increment (Inc) 2 Miniature Serial Interface (MSI) with Next-Generation Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). RI&S is developing one MSI card for aviation and maritime systems and another MSI card for ground-based systems, and INTEGRITY-178 tuMP will be used in both solutions running on the Arm® processor-based ASIC. RI&S selected the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP RTOS based on its use in previous programs and for its ability to simultaneously meet both safety and security requirements. Those requirements included the highest DO-178C design assurance level (DAL A) and the NSA-defined separation kernel protection profile (SKPP) for “high robustness” security. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is also certified to the FACE Technical Standard 3.0 for both the safety and security profiles.
The Military GPS User Equipment is the GPS receiver for the modernized GPS Enterprise, and it is capable of receiving military code (M-Code) from newer satellites, including GPS-III. M-Code is a more robust, jam-resistant form of GPS that also uses more modern and flexible encryption methods to make it resistant to spoofing. The MGUE Inc 2 MSI program is developing a smaller M-Code ASIC and receiver card that consumes less power while increasing functionality, security, and performance. The smaller card will enable use in handheld and dismounted applications as well as mounted, maritime, and aviation platforms. The Government Accountability Office estimates that approximately 700 different types of weapon systems will ultimately require M-Code cards and M-Code-capable receivers, including ships, aircraft, ground vehicles, munitions, and handheld devices. RI&S was one of three companies awarded by the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command for the MGUE Inc 2 MSI with Next-Generation ASIC program.
“Green Hills Software has a long history of working with RI&S on GPS & navigation systems, and we are pleased to be part of their MSI with Next Generation ASIC solution,” said Dan O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Green Hills Software. “Airborne GPS solutions require both safety and security, and the INTEGRITY-178 RTOS has an unrivaled pedigree in the combination of certified high-robustness security with certified DO-178C safety assurance.”
The INTEGRITY-178 tuMP high-assurance RTOS from Green Hills Software is uniquely designed to meet both DO-178C DAL A airborne safety requirements and the NSA-defined Separation Kernel Protection Profile. INTEGRITY-178 is the only commercial operating system ever certified to the SKPP, and that certification was done by the National Information Assurance Partnership to Common Criteria EAL 6+ and “High Robustness.” Beyond the separation kernel, INTEGRITY-178 tuMP provides a complete set of APIs for use by multi-level security applications within a secure partition, e.g., an MLS guard, which is a fundamental requirement in a cross-domain system. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is also the first and only RTOS to be part of a cross-domain solution certification to NSA’s new “Raise the Bar” initiative. INTEGRITY-178 was the first commercial RTOS approved as complying with DO-178B Level A objectives, and INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the only RTOS to be part of a multicore certification to DO-178C and CAST-32A multicore objectives. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP directly supports a Modular Open Systems Approach, and it was the first RTOS to be certified conformant to the FACE™ Technical Standard, edition 3.0.
Gone are the days when the United States could tower over all adversaries with unmatched technology projecting global power. Today, our near-peer adversaries can procure and build competitive (if not dominant) systems and capabilities that challenge our best weapons and defense systems.
Historically, the U.S. has built manned aircraft with both a single mission purpose and prime contractor and a fixed set of suppliers. Modifications to these systems had long lead times coupled with high costs of change. This worked well in a world where the number of aircraft types was constrained, and the cost of aircraft was modest when compared to the cost of aircraft today. But in the new era of unmanned systems and relatively high airframe costs, this is no longer feasible, especially in a world where multiple near-peer adversaries are emerging and evolving faster than the U.S. military can innovate. This challenge is exacerbated by tightening military budgets and equipment shifting to unmanned, robotic and autonomous platforms that drive both software and system complexity higher.
What is needed? Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis stated the demand for a Modular Open Systems Approach succinctly in 2018: “Success does not go to the country that develops a new technology first, but rather, to the one that better integrates it and more swiftly adapts its way of fighting.”
MOSA to the Rescue
How do we compete in this new environment? How does one insert technological advances into military systems at the speed of innovation? There are many vectors we can traverse to achieve this change, but one that has proven to be successful is to build a new procurement and technology approach. Specifically, an approach that creates system capability agility and incorporates a streamlined procurement process that does not need to flow through a platform prime contractor.
The U.S. military has now fully embraced a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) that enables the rapid insertion of best-of-breed technology from a supply chain that supports both legacy defense and new innovative companies.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has codified the use of MOSA into multiple directives, such as the U.S. DoD Tri-Services Memo from 7 January 2019 entitled MOSAs for our Weapon Systems is a Warfighting Imperative and the Secretary of Navy-issued Defense Acquisition System & Joint Capabilities Integration and Development Systems Implementation (SECNAV Instruction 5000.2F) on 26 March 2019, among others.
The benefits of MOSA are now well-proven and are summarized (see sidebar) in the U.S. DoD Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Modular Open Systems Approach document. There is no single “magic bullet” for implementing MOSA. The user must determine the desired outcomes up front to fully realize its benefits.
The FACE Approach
In 2010, almost a decade prior to these directives, government, industry and academia formed a powerful coalition of avionics experts to create an open, standards-based environment for the military avionics industry, with the goal of accelerating agility and warfighter capability in future avionics systems. This led to the creation of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium, which is managed by The Open Group, an independent standards management organization.
The FACE Consortium members created both a technical standard and a business approach that is now in its third major revision – it is a mature and highly relevant standard that can be employed in all military avionics systems.
The FACE Technical Standard is based on a layered architecture designed for rapidly replacing any software component as required. These layers, or FACE segments, consist of a software component or domain-specific data model designed to meet the applicable requirements defined in the FACE Technical Standard for a defined FACE architectural segment. These software modules are referenced as a FACE Unit of Conformance (UoC).
The FACE Consortium also created a UoC conformance and certification program. This is a process where UoCs are independently tested against a rigorous FACE Conformance Test Suite. When independently verified that a given UoC supports all requirements for a at any point in its development and becomes a FACE Certified UoC upon completion of the FACE Conformance Process.
There are eight very powerful structures built into the FACE Technical Standard. The first is this is a not a single service or set of company standards – it is a government/industry collaboration by 90 member organizations on the standard itself and its supporting ecosystem is managed by an independent body. There are no competing abstraction layers between FACE software components. This creates a framework for building multiple product lines that can be readily integrated and deployed.
Another key is that the FACE Consortium only publishes application programming interfaces (APIs), not business logic. Because the majority of these APIs are based upon existing open standards, this eliminates the opportunity to inadvertently export military application business logic when publishing this standard.
FACE deployments are broad in reach and are flexible. FACE systems are applicable for real-time, near-real-time, and non-real-time systems, allowing FACE investments to be supported by a larger customer and program base. There is flexibility designed in below the transport layer, which enables the use of a wide range of network protocol and backplanes. This enables FACE applications to maintain interoperability across different communications and connectivity environments.
The FACE Technical Standard is data-centric by design. There is explicit governance at the data architecture level that optimizes opportunities for re-use and interoperability by enforcing a common lexicon for component-to-component interfaces. This data-centricity also directly aligns to and supports the DoD Data Strategy, “Unleashing Data to Advance the National Defense Strategy”, which was published in September 2020. The DoD Data Strategy declares that all DoD leaders have the responsibility to “treat data as a weapon system and manage, secure, and use data for operational effect.” This further supports the vision of the DoD becoming a data-centric organization that “uses data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency.”
All published FACE documents are approved for public release: distribution unlimited. This facilitates easy access and inclusion for coalition and supply chain partners.
The FACE Technical Standard is also a standard-of-standards. The FACE Technical Reference Manual did not invent new APIs where existing, proven commercial and military standards were well-established. Instead, sixty industry standards were leveraged to create a larger market for these standards and to immediately add proven reliability and quality.
FACE update Part II will appear in the next issue.
Chip Downing is the Senior Market Development Director of Aerospace and Defense at Real-Time Innovations (RTI). In this position, he manages RTI’s global Aerospace & Defense business and helps drive the RTI Connext product, which is now used in over 1,700 global systems, both commercially and in the military aerospace market. Downing currently serves as Chair of the FACE Consortium Business Working Group Outreach Subcommittee, promoting the FACE approach globally..
Collins Aerospace recently received new Conformance Certificates from The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) for two software products. Collins Aerospace is a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp.
The Collins Aerospace Mission Flight Management Software (MFMS-1000) and Localizer Performance and Vertical Guidance Calculator (LPVC-1000), which provide mature software centric solutions on multiple aircraft types, are two of three Collins software applications to receive the certification, marking one of the highest completion rates in the industry. In 2017, Collins’ Avoidance Re-router (ARR-7000) software product was the first to be certified.
“These certifications are a major milestone for us because they align with the Department of Defense’s Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) standards,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager for Military Avionics and Helicopters at Collins Aerospace. “These standards have been put in place to ensure products are designed to reduce integration time and ultimately increase rapid, affordable deployments of innovation.”
The recently updated MFMS-1000 provides global civil airspace access with seamless integration of existing mission flight management capabilities in a portable software-only solution. Its design maximizes affordability and portability across disparate aircraft platforms while minimizing the time it takes to field worldwide Required Navigation Performance and Area Navigation (RNP and RNAV) flight procedure capabilities.
The LPVC-1000 is a software component that enables fixed and rotary wing aircraft to perform more accurate satellite-based approaches and landings. These procedures provide savings in time, fuel and emissions for aircraft operators. The flexible design of this software product, along with its conformance to the FACE Technical Standard, allows utilization of the LPVC-1000 across numerous aircraft types for all branches of the military.
The FACE Consortium is a government and industry partnership to define an open avionics environment for multiple airborne platform types. FACE Certification proves that a software component has successfully been through an independent verification and certification process defined by the FACE Conformance Program.
It’s very encouraging that the end of the pandemic is hopefully in sight and once these wonderful vaccines are successfully rolled out then life can start to return to some normality. At which point travel and events such as ATW can safely recommence.
We therefore feel it is more prudent to reschedule ATW, one last time, to 3-4th November ’21 giving the vaccine roll out more time. The event will remain at the same Diagora venue in Toulouse, France.
We are very confident that our in-person event will be a great success and it’s even bigger than when it was originally scheduled pre-pandemic! The conference programmes are already in place https://lnkd.in/dmS7FSz and the exhibitions halls are nearly full https://lnkd.in/dTRjzTW.
The hiatus in our event schedule has ironically given us more time to use our new publication, ✈ Aerospace Tech REVIEW to share news and raise even greater awareness of the event for us all. Therefore we expect a significant take up from attendees which will create a much needed business platform for us all.
Thank you to all our loyal supporters and see you in Toulouse!