FAQs

Q. What issues does the FACE approach address?
Q. What is the FACE Approach?
Q. What are the benefits of the FACE approach?
Q. How does the FACE approach foster innovation?
Q. What is the FACE Consortium?
Q. How is the FACE Consortium structured?
Q. Who belongs to the FACE Consortium?
Q. Is membership in the FACE Consortium restricted?
Q. How does my organization join the FACE Consortium?
Q. What work products have been published by the FACE Consortium?
Q. What work products are currently in development by the FACE Consortium?
Q. How are the FACE work products developed?
Q. Where can I get a copy of the FACE work products?
Q. Does it cost me money to download FACE documents?
Q. What other work products does the FACE Consortium intend to produce?
Q. Are there US-Only restrictions for accessing the published FACE Work Products?
Q. What are the key components of the FACE architecture?
Q. How do I get access to the FACE Consortium members-only website?
Q. Are the standards produced by the FACE Consortium truly “open” standards?
Q. How does the FACE approach relate to OA, IMA, and MOSA?
Q. How does the FACE initiative differ from other OA initiatives?
Q. Is the FACE approach a hardware solution?
Q. Is the FACE approach a platform design?
Q. Does the FACE approach deliver a runtime environment, middleware library, or software package?
Q. How is the FACE Technical Standard being validated?
Q. Will the FACE Consortium have a certification program to provide formal recognition of software products conforming to the FACE Technical Standard?
Q. Why is the FACE acronym and logo design trademarked?
Q. Why are the FACE Technical Standard and other FACE work products copyright protected?
Q. Is the FACE Consortium a Program of Record?
Q. Are there Request for Proposals (RFPs), Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIRs), Request for Information (RFIs) and other solicitations that reference the FACE Technical Standard?
Q: Are there any current DoD contracts that require FACE conformance?
Q. Will using the FACE approach drive additional costs affecting the overall affordability of procurements?
Q. Do small businesses participate in the FACE Consortium?
Q: Will a non-US company be able to obtain FACE Conformance certification?
Q. What type of business guidance is the FACE Consortium producing to help with the implementation of the FACE Technical Standard and assisting with procurement of FACE conformant products?


Q. What issues does the FACE approach address?

Current airborne systems are typically developed for a unique set of requirements by a single vendor, causing long lead times for urgent needs, platform-unique designs, limited portability of software components, increased costs, and creating barriers to competition within and across platforms.

The aviation community has not created the open standards and open architectures to sufficiently enable portability of software components across DoD aviation systems. Contracts typically do not require conformance to a common set of open standards.

Furthermore, Program Managers are not funded to assume cost or schedule risk of multi-platform requirements.

Q. What is the FACE Approach?

The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) approach is a government-industry software standard and business strategy to:

  • Acquire affordable software systems
  • Rapidly integrate portable capabilities across global defense programs
  • Attract innovation and deploy it quickly and affordably

Q. What are the benefits of the FACE approach?

The FACE approach provides benefits to both Government and Industry. These benefits are outlined below.

  • Government Benefits:

    • Better Buying Power 2.0

      • Increase competition, achieve affordability, and control life cycle costs
      • Incentivize productivity and innovation in Industry and Government
      • Reduce software development times through modularity and portability
    • Cross-Platform Decision-Making
      • Ability to re-use software components across multiple platforms without cross-platform dependencies
      • No need to invest multiple times for the same capability
      • Enable integration of cross-program requirements
  • Industry Benefits:
    • Enables new markets

      • Creates software-centric market opportunities
      • Enables penetration of formerly closed platforms
      • Provides opportunity for software applicability to multiple aircraft types
    • Lowers cost of doing business
      • Common standards lower cost and schedule risks
      • Standardization of software interfaces allows for rapid integration of capabilities
      • Re-use of software components enables integrators to optimize platform performance

Q. How does the FACE approach foster innovation?

Since it aligns with the U.S. DoD’s Better Buying Power Initiative, the FACE approach lowers the traditional barriers for providing software into modern military aircraft, expanding software supplier choices and enabling interoperability.

In addition the FACE approach has created a new set of business relationships fostering cross-platform decision making, enabling rapid deployment and re-use of software.

Q. What is the FACE Consortium?

The Open Group FACE Consortium was formed in 2010 as a collaborative approach to develop a common operating environment supporting portability and reuse of software components across DoD aviation systems.

The FACE Consortium formed under the auspices of The Open Group and is a “Voluntary Consensus Standards Body”, as defined by the National Technology Transfer Act and OMB Circular A-119. The FACE Consortium operates as a managed consortium of The Open Group. It is comprised of DoD Government, Industry and Academia member organizations, their representatives, and advisors, creating an acquisition-neutral setting where Industry has direct access to the DoD customer and can work together to produce open standards and to influence procurement and policy.

The Open Group’s internationally recognized and proven processes provide the FACE Consortium members with a commercially and legally solid foundation ensuring fairness, market credibility, and the resources to ensure maximum impact.

Q. How is the FACE Consortium structured?

The FACE Consortium organization and roles consist of:

  • Steering Committee: Provides oversight, governance and direction to the consortium.
  • Enterprise Architecture Standing Committee: Defines and develops formal architecture products (artifacts) to create a clear, top-level picture of the FACE enterprise for a wide variety of FACE Consortium and outside audiences, addresses the FACE role in the context of related initiatives and programs, and ensures internal consistency across the FACE business and technical architecture.
  • Technical Working Group (TWG): Defines the Technical Standard for the FACE Reference Architecture, provides guidance supporting the standard, develops additional support documentation, provides implementation guidance, and defines procedures for FACE Conformance. The TWG is the technical body responsible for all FACE Consortium technical aspects.
  • Business Working Group (BWG): Defines business models to communicate FACE goals to DoD and Industry leaders and promotes the use of the FACE approach in avionics developments, procurements and upgrades. The BWG establishes the library consisting of capability-based software components and other intellectual property for reuse across military aviation, and defines the policies for FACE Conformance.
  • Advisory Board: Provides guidance and advice to the consortium.

Q. Who belongs to the FACE Consortium?
A. The FACE Consortium consists of over 75 member organizations from Government, Industry and Academia. The current member list can be found here.

Q. Is membership in the FACE Consortium restricted?
A. Yes. The founding FACE Consortium members decided to restrict participation in the consortium to only U.S. Organizations and U.S. Persons who work for them, due to the nature of the discussions and the industry we are focused on. However, prior to publishing any documents, all Open Group members globally can participate in the final review and comment process prior to formal publishing of the documents in The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. How does my organization join the FACE Consortium?

Contact The Open Group FACE Consortium Membership Team at ogface-admin@opengroup.org.

Q. What work products have been published by the FACE Consortium?

The following work products have been published and can be downloaded free of charge from The Open Group Bookstore here:

  • FACE Business Guide
  • Edition 1.1 of the FACE Technical Standard
    • Technical Corrigendum 1 to Edition 1.0 of the FACE Technical Standard
  • Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard
  • FACE Conformance Policy
  • FACE Conformance Authorities Plan

Q. What work products are currently in development by the FACE Consortium?

There are many work products in development, both business and technical. Those documents and definitions are listed below:

  • FACE Business Guide: Describes the FACE business aspects and highlights to DoD and Industry acquisition professionals on how the FACE approach may affect procurements, developments, and upgrades.
  • FACE Conformance Policy and Procedures: Guides software suppliers through the conformance verification and certification process.
  • FACE Conformance Verification Matrix and User’s Guide: Provides the conformance requirements to be verified as part of the conformance verification and certification process.
  • FACE Contracting Guide: A reference guide for including FACE specific content in a contract or solicitation.
  • FACE Library Policy: Outlines the framework for the FACE Library by describing who interacts with the FACE Library, what users need to able to do, and how users gain access to FACE Library components.
  • FACE Library Administration Plan: Outlines the administration, operation, maintenance, and support responsibilities of the FACE Library and defines the lines of authority and individual roles and responsibilities for administration of the Library. It describes the relationship of the FACE Consortium to FACE Library policies and day to day administration. Additionally, it describes a process for selecting an organization to serve as the FACE Library Administrator.
  • FACE Library Requirements: Outlines the architecture and functionality for the FACE Library and defines the Library’s requirements. This document is written for developers responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of the FACE Library as well as anyone interested about the operation of the FACE Library.
  • FACE Reference Implementation Guide: Provides implementation and integration guidance and development scenarios for using the FACE Technical Standard.
  • Edition 3.0 of the FACE Technical Standard: Defines a standard for developing software components. This new edition of the standard further promotes software component interoperability and portability with enhanced guidelines for exchanging data among FACE components and emphasis on defining common language requirements for the standard.

Q. How are the FACE work products developed?

The FACE Consortium uses The Open Group’s deterministic consensus-based standards development process to produce the FACE work products. The technical work products are developed by the TWG, and the business work products are developed by the BWG. Formal reviews and approvals are conducted by the Steering Committee before being published by The Open Group. This ensures fairness, neutrality and due process.

Q. Where can I get a copy of the FACE work products?

FACE work products are available for download through The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. Does it cost me money to download FACE documents?

No. All FACE publications are available for free download through The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. What other work products does the FACE Consortium intend to produce?

To support the technical and business activities, the consortium is defining the requirements for a FACE Conformance Test Suite, developing a Reference Implementation Guide, developing a FACE conformance verification and certification process, establishing a repository of modular software components/services, and developing contracting guidance for procuring FACE conformant products.

Q. Are there US-Only restrictions for accessing the published FACE Work Products?

No. Anyone globally can download the published FACE work products. They are available for free download through The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. What are the key components of the FACE architecture?

The TWG has defined the key vertical and horizontal software interfaces and provides implementation guidance for using these interfaces. The FACE Technical Standard contains a high level architectural overview and a detailed description of five (5) architectural segments interconnected by three key interfaces. These segments and their interconnections comprise the FACE computing environment.
The five (5) segments of the FACE software architecture are (see also diagram below):

  1. Operating System Segment
  2. Input/Output Services Segment
  3. Platform-Specific Services Segment
  4. Transport Services Segment
  5. Portable Component Segment


 

Q. How do I get access to the FACE Consortium members-only website?

If you work for a FACE Consortium member organization and would like to participate in the consortium and access the members-only website, please contact us at ogface-admin@opengroup.org. We will send you member onboarding instructions. If your organization is not yet a member, we will send you instructions on how to join the consortium.

Q. Are the standards produced by the FACE Consortium truly “open” standards?

Yes. Anyone can download them and use them, after agreeing to The Open Group’s terms and conditions for use. They are available for free download through The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. How does the FACE approach relate to OA, IMA, and MOSA?

The FACE approach builds upon the tenets of Open Architecture (OA), Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) by defining a standardized method of interface between software components and architectural segments. The FACE Technical Standard augments existing DoD and Industry standards.

Q. How does the FACE initiative differ from other OA initiatives?

The FACE Consortium is methodically addressing both the business and technical issues that have limited the success of other OA initiatives and prevented large-scale software reuse across DoD avionics. The FACE ecosystem expands on the powerful business model of commercial open architecture concepts and creates a marketplace for innovative and reusable FACE conformant software. The FACE Technical Standard defines an open architecture for embedded software systems and the conformance processes to ensure openness at key interfaces.

Q. Is the FACE approach a hardware solution?

No. The FACE reference architecture does not include a hardware solution and has been designed to be hardware agnostic. It provides Program Management Offices with “build to” guidelines for both platform and mission equipment.

Q. Is the FACE approach a platform design?

No. The FACE approach is not a platform design; however, it provides Program Management Offices with design guideline inputs for both platform and mission equipment.

Q. Does the FACE approach deliver a runtime environment, middleware library, or software package?

No. It delivers a framework with a reference architecture, standard specifications, and reference designs. This framework can execute on any hardware platform, and it enables the layering of any of the FACE portable segments from combinations of software suppliers.

Q. How is the FACE Technical Standard being validated?

The FACE Consortium members, in conjunction with Academia partners, have worked to validate the standard by prototyping, evaluating, examining, and demonstrating the FACE environment.

Q. Will the FACE Consortium have a certification program to provide formal recognition of software products conforming to the FACE Technical Standard?

Yes. The FACE Consortium is in the process of finalizing and launching a FACE Conformance Certification Program. Certification provides formal recognition of conformance to an industry Technical Standard, which allows:

  • Suppliers and practitioners to make and substantiate clear claims of conformance to a Technical Standard
  • Buyers to specify and successfully procure from vendors who conform to and provide solutions conforming to the Technical Standard

Defining conformance and creating a Conformance Policy and Program for this Technical Standard is a vital step in establishing an effective FACE Technical Standard. Without the associated conformance criteria and certification processes, there is no assurance a software supplier has developed products according to the approved Technical Standard.
More details about FACE Conformance are available in the FACE Conformance Policy.
This document can be downloaded free of charge through The Open Group Bookstore here.

Q. Why is the FACE acronym and logo design trademarked?

The FACE acronym and logo design ("the Trademark(s)") are trademarks of The Open Group used in connection with the Future Airborne Capability Environment. Proper use of the FACE Trademark reinforces its role as a brand and helps prevent it from becoming a generic name that can be used by anyone. Guidance for the proper use of the trademark can be found here. If you intend to use the FACE name or logo in any way, please make sure you review these guidelines carefully before using the name or logo.

Q. Why are the FACE Technical Standard and other FACE work products copyright protected?

Copyright protection maintains the integrity of the FACE Technical Standard and other FACE Consortium work products that, otherwise, could result in different, and perhaps even unsubstantiated versions if they are left unprotected in the public domain. Guidance for the proper use of the copyright can be found here.

Q. Is the FACE Consortium a Program of Record?

No. It is an initiative that has membership from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, and participation from the U.S. Air Force.

Q. Are there Request for Proposals (RFPs), Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIRs), Request for Information (RFIs) and other solicitations that reference the FACE Technical Standard?

Yes. There are multiple RFPs, BAAs, SBIRs, RFIs and other solicitations that specify or reference the FACE approach. A list of known FACE solicitations can be found here.

Q: Are there any current DoD contracts that require FACE conformance?

Yes. A Navy C-130T contract was awarded that included the requirement for a FACE conformance.

Q. Will using the FACE approach drive additional costs affecting the overall affordability of procurements?

No. As stated in the FACE Business Guide there are multiple business scenarios associated with procuring FACE software components. In the case of a new development, the cost of developing a new FACE software component as compared to the cost of developing a new non-FACE software component performing the same function will be very similar. With that being said, the real value comes from the cost reduction realized when a FACE software component is re-deployed into an alternate platform’s environment. In the case of an existing software component, the modification of a software component to conform to the FACE Technical Standard will result in additional costs associated with modifying the component’s interface. However, those interface modification costs will be far outweighed by the cost efficiencies achieved associated with the re-deployment of FACE software components maintaining the maturity and pedigree of being previously deployed.

Q. Do small businesses participate in the FACE Consortium?

Yes. The FACE Consortium has several small businesses as members. The consortium is open to all US companies regardless of size. Associate level membership fees are based on company size to encourage small business participation. This should help to increase competition by reducing traditional barriers to entry, and allow a wider pool of innovative products.

Q: Will a non-US company be able to obtain FACE Conformance certification?

Yes. The FACE Technical Standard is an open, publicly available document. Any entity, foreign or domestic, may build to it and seek FACE Conformance Certification. Contracts to procure FACE conformant products must abide by all governing laws and regulations under which they fall.

Q. What type of business guidance is the FACE Consortium producing to help with the implementation of the FACE Technical Standard and assisting with procurement of FACE conformant products?

In addition to the FACE Technical Standard, the consortium is creating a business model attractive to both DoD and Industry. The initial FACE Business Guide has already been published by the consortium, providing several scenarios of how the FACE approach would be used on various platforms, both legacy and new. A FACE Contract Guide is nearing publication. This guide will provide assistance for procuring FACE Conformant software.

 

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