A Path and Methodology to Airworthy, Cost-Effective, Aviation Software

Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™)

The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium has established a path to aviation software reuse which meets four core goals: improve affordability, speed, agility, and excellence.

The FACE Technical Strategy is to provide a software environment that enables the repurposing of FACE applications from one DoD aircraft or war-fighting platform to another with minimal software revision. Called the FACE Reference Architecture and detailed in the current edition 3.0 of the FACE Technical Standard, this environment embraces design principles that enhance software portability – for example, by providing a common set of interfaces to each portable FACE application.

The FACE Reference Architecture is comprised of five layered segments where a FACE portable capability or Unit of Portability (UoPs) may reside:

  • Operating System Segment (OSS)
  • Portable Components Segment (PCS)
  • Transport Services Segment (TSS)
  • Platform-Specific Services Segment (PSSS)
  • I/O Services Segment (IOSS)

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The LDRA FACE solution

The LDRA tool suite has been enhanced to support all five segments of the FACE 3.0 or 2.1.1 reference architecture, by means of complementary automated software testing and conformance assurance. The LDRA tool suite generates artifacts from testing, code reviews, and external sources and references them to the FACE Conformance Verification Matrix (CVM). The FACE Conformance Tool Suite (CTS), invoked from within the LDRA tool suite, then provides the obligatory evidential artifacts in readiness for submission to the Verification Authority (VA).

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The result is an intuitive, feature rich infrastructure, designed to ease the FACE adoption process by providing guidance throughout a successful verification experience.

Traceability
The TBmanager component of the LDRA tool suite facilitates the import of any of the FACE architectural segments. Importing a segment initiates the creation of a TBmanager project and tree containing a complete set of objectives, each correlating to the requirement that is defined in the FACE technical standard for the selected segment.

The newly created TBmanager project will include only those requirements from the FACE CVM that are relevant to the selected FACE segment, supplemented by “Software Supplier Artifact – Cross Reference” placeholders for the artifacts that must be generated for proof of conformance. These may optionally be complemented by leveraging one or more template artifacts.

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Coding standards
The FACE Technical Standard restricts the use of certain API calls while requiring others. Non-conformant calls listed in the FACE Technical Standard and other FACE coding violations can be detected statically by the LDRA tool suite’s TBvision component. For example, the checks for adherence to specific sections of the POSIX API ensures that the UoP function signatures are syntactically correct, enforcing the proper use of critical language constructs. The FACE coding standard can be applied in isolation, or alongside others – perhaps from MISRA or CERT.

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As an increasing number of programs embrace the interoperability promoted by this FACE standard, economical and scalable conformance and verification practices are vital if suppliers are to remain competitive.

LDRA is committed to working closely with industry and contributing to standards organizations including The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium with the aim of optimizing labour-intensive and error-prone elements of the lifecycle, while reducing cost and streamlining the development process, ensuring delivery of safe secure, and reliable portable software units of conformance.

The LDRA tool suite helps software suppliers achieve FACE™ conformance through automation, coding standards compliance, traceability, and artifact generation. From an airworthiness perspective, the LDRA tool suite supports DO-178B/C certification up to and including Design Assurance Level A.

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