Navy to Develop Airborne Computer Standards

By Tish Drake | June 2, 2010
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The Navy's Air Combat Electronics program office (PMA-209) is developing a new set of standards and processes for airborne computer systems, designed to establish an open, modular, partitioned and more flexible computing environment.

Officials at PMA-209 in Paxtuxent River, Md., described the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) system as a method to develop and deliver more capability faster.

“The problem we see over and over is how to deliver new capabilities to our warfighters fast. Today’s mission system upgrades are very expensive, take a long time to complete, require extensive testing and the network implementations are often not interoperable,” said Capt. Ralph Portnoy, PMA-209 program manager. “With FACE, we are looking to develop a modern processing environment that’s open, modular, portable, partitioned, expandable and secure.”

At the recent PMA-209 user’s conference in Reno, Nev., five companies brought and ran demonstrations of their versions of a FACE prototype. The Open Group is leading development of the FACE Consortium to select those existing industry and government standards that will provide clear requirements for what defines FACE. Mike Williamson, PMA-209 deputy program manager for mission systems, said the initial kick-off for the FACE Consortium is in early June and interest to participate has been high.

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