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Diminishing U.S. Combat Superiority Drives New Software Development Requirements

Platform-Specific Services Segment

The PSSS is comprised of three sub-segments. The UoPs in this segment are typically tied to a particular platform and hence are less portable, such as UoPs that abstract the interface to specific GPUs and other platform-unique interfaces. The PSSS uses the OS interface, the I/O interface, and the TSS interface.

I/O Services Segment

The IOSS lives to communicate with device drivers and provide the PSSS with access to I/O information. The IOSS UoPs form abstractions to specific graphic displays, specific sensors, or transport methodologies, such as CORBA, DDS, UDP, or TCP.

FACE Data Architecture

Because FACE applications need to exchange data, data-centric interfaces and common terminology have also been defined. This allows integrators and subsystem developers to understand the data needs of all their UoPs; to describe the things they want to communicate including the data going into or coming out of a UoP; and to enable the integrator to combine UoPs to provide a larger capability. The FACE Data Model Language was defined to document this data exchange and answer questions about the UoP, its relationships, and the data types.

FACE Data Model Language

Figure 3. Example FACE Metamodel “face” Package and in XMI format (© The Open Group)

The FACE Data Model Language is specified by the open and platform-independent Essential Metadata Object Facility (EMOF) metamodel, raising the level of abstraction to help manage complexity, where these models can be exported from one application, imported into another, transported across a network, stored in a repository, and then retrieved.

EMOF models can also be rendered into different formats such as XML Metadata Interchange (XMITM) and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Additionally, the Object Constraint Language (OCL) can also be applied to the EMOF model. This makes it more precise by associating assertions or constraints that supply semantic rules to which the data model content must adhere. OCL also provides object query expressions that cannot otherwise be expressed by diagrammatic notation.

FACE Conformance

The FACE Technical Standard is a robust document containing all requirements needed for a UoP to conform to, in order to be certified. However, the FACE Consortium established a FACE Conformance Program with associated conformance criteria, process, and policy following the process or lifecycle consisting of Verification, Certification and Registration of the UoP. To assist with verification, a Conformance Verification Matrix (CVM) was created. Though the CVM does not replace the FACE Technical Standard, it provides the Product Standard and clarifies the Conformance Requirements that a UoP must meet.

As shown in Figure 4, to expedite delivery of your UoP and enable adoption, LDRA offers an integration package that supports all five segments of the FACE 2.1.1 and version 3.0 reference architecture. Once a software segment is selected, the conformance verification matrix is imported, and LDRA then guides the user through its workflow, consisting of testing activities, artifact placeholders, and template documents.

Figure 4. The LDRA tool suite imports the FACE™ CVM, further enhancing and simplifying efforts in achieving verification and UoP conformance

Conformance Verification Matrix

The CVM has been implemented within a spreadsheet that offers the ability to filter content based on the FACE Architectural Segment the UoP is targeting, including all the requirements to be satisfied. The CVM supports each official edition of the FACE Technical Standard and is used in conjunction with a corresponding version of the FACE Conformance Test Suite, which tests software adherence to the FACE Technical Standard.

FACE Conformance Test Suite

The FACE Conformance Test Suite (CTS) is used to test software and verify adherence to the FACE Technical Standard. Furthermore, the test suite is used by a FACE Verification Authority (VA), which is an entity officially sanctioned by the Steering Committee to conduct or witness For-the-Record verification testing and verify adherence. Nonetheless, the CTS is made available, so that software suppliers who want to conform to the FACE Technical Standard can self-verify to correct any undiscovered errors the tool suite may expose, and obtain peace of mind before submitting the UoP to the VA. The CTS is also hosted on Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS.

Test summary results besides a pass/fail verdict rendered by the CTS are captured and documented. It will contain a summary of each test case result, test configuration settings, version of the CTS used, date and time of the test run, edition of the FACE Technical Standard applied, and more.

FACE Certification and Registration

Once the Verification Authority completes its verification process and the UoP has received a passing verdict, the software supplier may submit the Verification Results Package to the Certification Authority (CA). The CA then assesses the verification results package, manages legal agreements, and issues a FACE Conformance Certificate.

The final step is registration. The software supplier submits the FACE Conformance Certificate, the UoP description, and metadata to the FACE Library Administrator who reviews and confirms the FACE Conformance Certificate. Certified UoPs will maintain certification as long as the software product remains the same as defined by the Conformance Statement and all legal agreements are met. The Library Administrator then updates the Registry with the UoP description, metadata, and FACE Conformance Certificate ID. Government stakeholders can then search the FACE Library for FACE Certified Products to procure.

Affordability, Speed, Agility and Excellence

The Army FACE Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) was held on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville Alabama. Keynote speaker Ms. Philomena Zimmerman, Deputy Director of Engineering Tools and Environments, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Systems Engineering addressed the FACE Consortium and Brigadier General Thomas H. Todd III, U.S. Army, Program Executive Officer, Aviation delivered opening remarks.

The Open Group FACE Consortium members demonstrated how scalable multi-domain operations are readily achieved through FACE Conformant applications. In this way, system-of-systems integration is not only possible but can be achieved in a rapid manner with safety and security built in, verifying objectives in affordability, speed, agility and excellence.

This article was written by Ricardo Camacho, Technical Product Marketing Manager, LDRA (Wirral, UK). For more information, visit here .