Q. What is FACE?
A. FACE is a technical standard that defines a common operating environment supporting portability and reuse of software components across Department of Defense (DoD) aviation systems.
Q. What issues does FACE address?
A. Current airborne systems are typically developed for a unique set of requirements by a single vendor, causing long lead times for urgent needs, platform-unique designs, limited portability of software components, increased costs, and creating barriers to competition within and across platforms.
The aviation community has not created the open standards and open architectures to sufficiently enable portability of software components across DoD aviation systems. Contracts typically do not require conformance to a common set of open standards. Furthermore, Program Managers are not funded to assume cost or schedule risk of multi-platform requirements.
Q. What are the benefits of FACE?
A. FACE provides the open standards and common operating environment that:
- Reduces life cycle costs
- Enables, enhances, and accelerates capabilities to the Warfighter
- Provides standardized software interfaces
- Increases software portability across platforms
- Facilitates standard conformance to maximize interoperability between software components within the avionics system
- Endorsed by DoD and Industry Program Management
- Establishes a business model beneficial to both the DoD and Industry
- Fosters innovation and competition
Q. What is the business motivation for FACE?
A. FACE creates an open, modular avionics environment that enables high re-use of software applications and infrastructure across multiple programs and platforms. This architecture expands the selection of military avionics applications, reduces up-front procurement costs, reduces system integration cost and risk, reduces upgrade and technology refresh costs, and therefore reduces total life cycle costs.
Q. What is the FACE Consortium?
A. The FACE Consortium was formed in 2010 as a collaborative approach to develop a common operating environment supporting portability and reuse of software components across DoD aviation systems.
The FACE Consortium formed under the auspices of The Open Group and is a “Voluntary Consensus Standards Body”, as defined by the National Technology Transfer Act and OMB Circular A-119. The FACE Consortium operates as a managed consortium of The Open Group. It is composed of DoD and Industry member organizations, their representatives, and advisors, creating an acquisition-neutral setting where Industry has direct access to the DoD customer and can work together to produce open standards and to influence procurement and policy.
The Open Group’s internationally recognized and proven processes provide the FACE Consortium members with a commercially and legally solid foundation ensuring fairness, market credibility, and the resources to ensure maximum impact.
The FACE Consortium organization and roles consist of:
- Steering Committee: Provides oversight, governance and direction to the consortium.
- Technical Working Group (TWG): The technical body responsible for all FACE Consortium technical aspects. The TWG defines the Technical Standard for the FACE Reference Architecture, provides guidance supporting the standard, develops additional support documentation, provides implementation guidance, and defines procedures for FACE Conformance.
- Business Working Group (BWG): Defines business models to communicate FACE goals to DoD and Industry leaders and promotes the use of FACE in avionics developments, procurements and upgrades. The BWG establishes the library consisting of capability-based software components and other intellectual property for reuse across military aviation, and defines the policies for FACE Conformance.
- Advisory Board: Provide guidance and advice to the consortium.
- Academia: Provide prototyping, research, and validation support to the consortium.
Q. Who belongs to the FACE Consortium?
A. The FACE Consortium consists of sponsor members, principal members, and associate members. Current members list can be found here .
Q. How does my organization join the FACE Consortium?
A. Contact the FACE Consortium Membership Team at email@example.com 
Q. What products are being developed by the FACE Consortium?
A. There are multiple work products being developed by both the TWG and BWG. Those documents and definitions are listed below. The published documents can be found and downloaded from The Open Group Bookstore .
- Technical Standard for FACE Reference Architecture : Defines a standard for developing and verifying infrastructure software components and application components.
- Reference Implementation Guide for FACE™ Reference Architecture: Provides implementation and integration guidance and development scenarios for using the FACE Technical Standard.
- FACE Business Guide : Describes the business aspects of FACE and highlights to DoD and Industry acquisition professionals how FACE may affect aviation electronics procurements, developments, and upgrades.
- FACE Contracts Guide: A reference guide for including FACE specific content in a contract or solicitation.
- FACE Library Guide: Defines the infrastructure to promote and enable the sharing and marketing of FACE conformant products with the necessary access controls and configuration management processes for security, version control, and to preserve the authenticity of these products.
- FACE Conformance Business Plan: Describes the business structure supporting the conformance verification and certification program.
- FACE Segment Product Standard: Provides the conformance requirements to be verified as part of the conformance verification and certification process.
- FACE Conformance Certification Guide: Guides software suppliers through the conformance verification and certification process.
Q. What is the FACE Consortium website?
A. The FACE public web site is: http://www.opengroup.org/face/ . This site contains general information about the consortium. There is also a private, members-only collaborative website that supports the work of the consortium. If you work for a FACE Consortium member organization and would like to participate in the consortium please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 
Q. Are the standards produced by the FACE Consortium truly “open” standards?
A. Yes. Anyone can download them and use them, after agreeing to The Open Group’s terms and conditions for use.
Q. How does FACE relate to Open Architecture (OA), Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA)?
A. FACE builds upon the tenets of OA, IMA, and MOSA by defining a standardized method of interface between software components and architectural segments. FACE maximizes the use of existing DoD and Industry standards where applicable.
Q. How are the FACE products developed?
A. The FACE Consortium uses The Open Group’s deterministic consensus-based standards development process to produce the FACE products. The technical products are developed by the TWG, and the business products are developed by the BWG. Formal reviews and approvals are conducted by the Steering Committee before being published by The Open Group. This ensures fairness, neutrality and due process.
Q. What are the key components of the FACE computing environment?
A. The TWG has defined the key vertical and horizontal software interfaces and will provide implementation guidance for using these interfaces. The Technical Standard for FACE Reference Architecture document contains a high level architectural overview and a detailed description of five (5) architectural segments interconnected by three key interfaces. These segments and their interconnections comprise the FACE computing environment.
The five (5) segments of the FACE software architecture are:
- Operating System Segment
- I/O Services Segment
- Platform-Specific Services Segment
- Transport Services Segment
- Portable Component Segment
Q. Is FACE a hardware solution?
A. No. FACE is not a hardware solution and has been designed to be hardware agnostic. It provides “build to” guidelines to both platform and mission equipment Program Management offices.
Q. Is FACE a platform design?
A. No. FACE is not a platform design; however, it provides design guideline inputs to both platform and mission equipment Program Managers.
Q. How does FACE relate to “Plug & Play”?
A. The FACE Consortium has defined a computing environment allowing for portable, modular, software capabilities reusable across multiple platforms.
Q. Does FACE deliver a runtime environment, middleware library, or software package?
A. No. FACE does not deliver a runtime environment, middleware library or software package. It delivers a framework with a reference architecture, standard specifications, and reference designs.
Q. How is the FACE Technical Standard being validated?
A. The FACE Consortium membership, in conjunction with academia, have worked to prototype, evaluate, examine, and demonstrate the FACE environment.
Q. What is FACE Conformance?
A. The FACE Consortium is developing a FACE Conformance Verification and Certification Program Plan. This plan covers three major topics; the FACE Conformance Verification Process, the FACE Conformance Certification Process, and the underlying FACE Conformance Business Structure. The FACE Conformance Certification Process and the Business Structure were developed using The Open Group (TOG®) Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) and Common Operating Environment (COE) Certification Programs as reference models. The development of the FACE Conformance Verification Process benefited from the experience base of existing certification programs, but the details were developed specifically for FACE. The purpose of this plan is to describe the complete FACE Conformance Verification and Certification Program and to document the key trades and evaluations performed in developing the program. The FACE Conformance Verification and Certification Program Plan document is available to registered participants on the FACE member’s website.
Q. What type of business guidance is the FACE Consortium producing to help with the implementation of the FACE Technical Standard and assisting with procurement of FACE conformant products?
A. In addition to a Technical Standard for FACE Reference Architecture, the consortium is creating a business model that is attractive to both DoD and Industry, and defining the acquisition approach, metrics, and contracting language to make FACE meaningful in DoD acquisition processes. An initial version of the FACE Business Guide has already been published by the consortium.
The FACE Business Guide describes the business aspects of FACE highlighting to DoD and Industry acquisition professionals how FACE may affect aviation electronics acquisitions as capabilities are increasingly implemented via software. A mutual DoD and Industry team assessed the potential cost and benefit factors associated with FACE and developed scenarios and acquisition options arising from FACE implementations. This Business Guide lists the potential products, services, and documents that may be created and used during the adoption and implementation of FACE across the DoD and Industry.
Q. Where can I get a copy of the FACE workproducts?
A. They are available for download in The Open Group Bookstore .
Q. Does it cost me money to download the FACE Technical Standard or the FACE Business Guide?
A. No. The FACE Technical Standard and FACE Business Guide are free of charge.
Q. What other work products does the FACE Consortium intend to produce to support its objectives?
A. To support the technical and business activities, the consortium is defining the requirements for Software Development Toolkit (SDK) extensions and test suite, developing an Reference Implementation Guide, developing a FACE conformance verification process, and establishing a repository of modular software applications/services.
Q. Why is FACE trademarked?
A. FACE is trademarked in the United States and other countries. As a distinctive name/sign identifying the Standard and its conformance program, FACE is trademarked to protect the right to use the name/mark only by those licensed to do so. The trademark provides the legal under-pinning for the certification program, distinguishing the licensees (with certified products) from entities passing off as being conformant or certified against the Standard.
Q. Why are the FACE Standard and other FACE Consortium artifacts copyright protected?
A. Copyright protection maintains the integrity of the content in the FACE Standard and other FACE Consortium artifacts that, otherwise, could result in different unsubstantiated versions if left unprotected in the public domain.
Q. Is the FACE Consortium a Program of Record?
A. No. It is an initiative that has sponsorship from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy and participation from the U.S. Air Force.
Q. Will there be FACE Request for Proposals (RFP) or Broad Agency Announcements (BAA)?
A. Since there is not a Program of Record, there will be no FACE RFPs and BAAs. However, it is anticipated there will be RFPs specifying FACE Conformant products.
Q. Is FACE cost prohibitive?
A. No. FACE is not cost prohibitive. It is scalable leading to multiple price points for affordability.