August 30, 2012

TES Assists Organizing and Exhibits FACE Products at the FACE Army TIM

On 31 July 2012, Tucson Embedded Systems exhibited at the US Army’s PEO Aviation FACETM Army Technical Information Meeting (TIM) 2012 in Huntsville Alabama.

295 attendees, 26 participating organizations within 21 exhibitor booths were on hand for the FACE Army TIM at the Jackson Center. FACE (Future Airborne Capability Environment), a publication of the Open Group, is a technical standard for a software common operating environment (COE) designed to promote portability and create software product lines across the military aviation community.

During the TIM, FACE Consortium members showcased their efforts developing FACE applications, components, systems, and new war-fighting capabilities for the services.  These open portable reusable products are targeted for US Military platforms.

The event leveraged the success of the Navy sponsored FACE NAVAIR Exposition at Patuxent River, Maryland in June.  This event increased in both size, venue, and included a more formal event with Command presentations from the Army’s Chief of Staff of PEO Aviation, the Director of AMRDEC, PEO-AVN, and two industry perspectives from Rockwell Collins and Lockheed Martin.  Additionally the TIM included four FACE 101 briefings providing an introduction to the FACE Standard to attendees.

Figure 1 - US Army Chief of Staff, Mr. Dennis Williamson, and Director of AMRDEC, Dr. Bill Lewis

Figure 2 - PEO AVN, Corwyn Tiede; RCI's Rick Tomy; and LMCO's Mark Swymeler

TES demonstrated US Army Applications and FACE development and verification tools.  We demonstrated two products: R2C2 - reusable radio control component – a communications domain application; and MIS – modular integrated survivability - a situational awareness domain product and simulation.  We also showcased our industry-unique embedded lifecycle toolset for FACE development efforts.

Figure 3 - US Army AMRDEC and TES present FACE applications and capabilities at FACE Army TIM 2012

“Our toolset positions us to respond rapidly to our Customer’s needs and requests, and allows us to show them proof of proper operations of their products,” states Stephen Simi, Program Manager of TES’ US Army Aviation Programs.  “A week before our FACE demonstrations the US Army Software Lead for the R2C2 Program requested that we integrate the brand new Harris PRC-152A SRW radio and enhance our R2C2 displays to show that radio being controlled using a common radio control software alongside of the Army’s legacy waveform radios (i.e., AN/ARC-201D and AN/ARC-231).”  These radios are used in Army Aviation’s Apache, Chinook, Blackhawk and Kiowa Warrior platforms.  “A week later, our Customer was able to demonstrate that capability.”

Figure 4 - R2C2 Software Lead briefing PM-AS the Army’s Reusable Software for Communications

The R2C2 software is one of the Army’s first reusable software components (RSC).  R2C2 is written to FAA’s DO-178B Level-C Design Assurance Level (DAL), and is aligned to the FACETM reference architecture standard and to the FAA’s AC-20-148 guideline for reusable software components.  For our R2C2 FACE demonstration we showed common control of three CCI military radios (201D, 231, and 152A) ported across two operating systems with live control.

The demonstrations included the Harris’ 152, ITT’s 201D, Raytheon’s 231 radios all driven by the Army’s R2C2 program software hosted on Ballard’s AB-2000 and AB-3000 family of ruggedized computer products.  These computers were running Linux’s Red Hat and WindRiver’s VxWorks real-time operating systems (RTOS).

The MIS program demonstrated the modeling and simulation (M&S) of two US Army Platforms, the AH-60D Apache and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior simulating controlled flight through terrain (CFTT) under degraded visual environment (DVE) conditions.  Our simulation suite models the aircraft platforms, simulates flight, and controls the operations of actual or simulated aircraft survivability equipment (ASE) to illustrate enhanced situational awareness (SA) of the platform in flight in DVE conditions.

This demonstration included Outerra for real-world environment and flight simulation, WorldWind’s moving map, Radiance’s WeaponsWatch for hostile fire detection, ESA’s SWORD for obstacle detection, the Navy’s PMA-209’s eTAWS for terrain detection, a simulated platform mission computer, simulated multi-function display (MFD) with warnings, cautions, and annunciations (WCA).

Figure 5 - TES's Stephen Simi and Sean Mulholland demonstrating MIS and R2C2 program efforts

TES is contracted by the US Army to develop and deliver FACE-aligned software applications and APIs for the R2C2 and MIS programs.  TES maintains ownership of its’ tools, but delivers all products to the Government with unlimited rights.  “That’s how the Government wants to do business forward, and that’s how we develop and deliver products to them,” says TES Chief Architect and TES Co-Founder Sean Mulholland.  Additionally, TES is developing and will deliver (“candidate”) FACE TSS, IO, and OE segment layer libraries to the Government as royalty-free products since these are not first produced products.

“TES has an extremely talented team of engineers working on our US Army Aviation Programs.  We are supporting both the PEO Aviation’s PM-AME and the AMRDEC’s SED organizations,” states Stephen Simi, Program Manager.  “We are developing common reusable software for the Army aligned to these evolving FACE standards and to the FAA’s AC-20-148 guidelines.

Figure 6 - TES US Army Aviation Team, Stephen Simi, Tom Brixey, Tim Daniels, Steve Koester, Richard Zepeda, Bill Tanner, Robert Francis (Outerra), Chris Cox, Sean Mulholland, and Jeff Giese

“Our toolset allows us to perform rapid integration, and develop non-proprietary interfaces of military equipment faster than anything else in industry.  These non-proprietary standard interfaces allow the Platforms to integrate war-fighting capabilities faster and minimize effects of device-level changes.  With our toolset we can perform requirements development, develop API interfaces and control code, perform verification efforts, and demonstrate simulations to illustrate actual or simulated performance of the integrated distributed system(s)” states Sean Mulholland.  

Our next product for the PM-AME is an automated comprehensive control test tool (ACCT).  This architecture will enhance PM-AME’s capabilities in automated testing of bussed-controlled avionics and will be used to test a 1553-bussed and Ethernet controlled LRU’s against its MICD for box qualification efforts.  This product will assist in ensuring that software product release testing is sufficient and will assist in ensuring that the product is ready for aircraft integration.”

Tucson Embedded Systems and FACE

TES is an Associate Member of the FACE consortium.  Sean Mulholland and Stephen Simi are active contributors to the FACE standards.  Sean is currently active in the data model subcommittee and is a principal author contributing to the FACE standard.  Stephen is active in Outreach and Conformance subcommittees.  Stephen took the FACE outreach lead role for the Army TIM, and assisted PEO AVN and AMRDEC organize the FACE Army TIM 2012 event.  It is expected that the Army will sponsor another FACE TIM event in the summer of 2013.

The US Air Force at Wrights Patterson AFB in Ohio will host the next FACE TIM in Spring 2013.  You can track FACE events and consortium efforts at

About Tucson Embedded Systems

Founded in 1997, TES is a leading provider of products, services, and embedded systems to the Aerospace, Defense, and Commercial industries.  Its staff of highly skilled and experienced engineers provides complete systems solutions from concept to production and into maintenance.  TES has achieved wide recognition in the IT management and engineering marketplace, especially in the area of mission- and safety-critical software.

Additional Information and Demonstrations

For US-Only demonstrations of TES’ patented process, capabilities, and tools  contact Stephen M. Simi at


Our US Army Program efforts are FOUO.  This article is cleared Distribution-A.


Copyright ©, 2012, Tucson Embedded Systems, Inc.

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