Architectural Approaches in Evolution of Emerging Technologies

How the FACE Approach can aid the DoD in the deployment of new technologies

The United States has seen an undesirable lag in the deployment of new avionics capabilities to the warfighter based on emerging technologies. Current expectations are that near peer advisories can adopt commercially available technologies at a rate of 7 times the capability of the U.S Military. The complexity of our software intensive weapons systems is partly to blame; the adoption of new technologies into a variety of complex weapons systems increases the delays for wider fielding. The adoption of the FACE ™ Technical Standard is meant to reduce this lag by creating a framework for sharing software systems developed by one platform in one service with all platforms in all services.

The benefits to the distribution of technologies throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) that the FACE Technical Standard has provided are easily observable, however, other benefits are being realized through the use of the Rapid Integration Framework (RIF) in laboratory systems associated with the exploration of emerging technologies. The RIF provides these systems with a set of common architectural approaches beyond the FACE Technical Standard that allows a greater level of reuse across the technology evolution to deployable capabilities. A broader application of a common set of architectural approaches in technology demonstrators can assist the DoD in realizing a more rapid adoption of new technologies in production systems.

A Comprehensive Architecture Strategy (CAS) could be applied to encompass early demonstration systems, integration labs, and production systems. Such a strategy can include architectural approaches like those in the RIF. If applied to more technology demonstrators, human factors labs, flight demonstration platforms, integrations Systems Integration Labs (SILs), and production aircraft systems, the lag from technology development to fielded capabilities across the DoD would be reduced.

The CMS FoS is well positioned to provide a rapid path to the deployment of emerging technologies through its participating laboratories and aircraft. The application of common architecture strategies in MOSA decisions across a wider set of systems will promote the greatest reuse within those systems. These approaches can be codified through a FoS of Reference Avionics Systems utilized in the technology demonstrators as technology is evolved toward production systems.

The use of the FACE Technical Standard, ARINC 661, and the recommended separation of concerns into separate UoCs. Systems participating should use a common DSDM. With greater adoption of these principles to technology demonstrators, the speed at with the DoD can adopt emerging technologies can be dramatically increased. These and the other approaches listed in this paper represent a set of decisions that can aid in the rapid evolution of emerging technologies to production systems.

The application of common architecture strategies cannot eliminate all obstacles in the evolution of technology. There are still several areas to be developed before full production can begin. The development of kits for installation of the new technology will still have to be worked by the teams associated with the production aircraft. The suppliers will need to work out how to produce the needed quantities. Airworthiness factors related to the new equipment will have to be addressed. All these factors can be worked ahead of time to minimize schedule for bringing new capabilities to the war fighter based on these emerging technologies.

The choices selected by the Crew Mission Station (CMS) RIF may not be the most appropriate selections for the widest set of programs; an informed engineering decision should be made by each program to assess how that program fits within the FoS architecture strategies. Programs seeking to take advantage of CMS lessons learned may be better served to adopt the decisions presented here.

Speakers: Crew Mission Station (CMS)
- Chris Edwards, CMS Team Systems Engineering Lead / FACE TWG CVM Lead
- Steve Price, CMS Team / FACE TSS SC Lead
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