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FACE Standard for Avionics Software

Ansys SCADE solution supports the Future Airborne Capabilities Environment.

What is FACE?

Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE) represents a modular open-architecture approach for the development and verification of avionics software, and meant to promote increased competition, drive down supplier costs, reduce integration risks, and accelerate software modernization efforts. This approach is enabled by a Technical Standard and Business Guide to support Modular Open Systems Approach technical and business objectives and is managed by the FACE Opengroup Consortium. The FACE Opengroup Consortium consists of Government, Industry, and Academia, and the FACE Technical Standard has become increasingly adopted in many new defense acquisition programs. 

FACE icon - Future Airborne Capability Environment

How These Standards Work

This open standard enables interoperability between systems and components by reusing or extending interfaces defined in the standard. The Future Airborne Capability Environment allows application porting from multiple systems and suppliers to field capabilities and technologies quicker, along with better system integration. In addition to leveling the playing field, FACE enables greater collaboration among partners. 


Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA)

A Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) is a business and technical strategy for designing an affordable and adaptable system. It is mandated by United States law for all major defense acquisition programs (Title 10 U.S.C. 2446a.(b) Sec 805). This approach breaks down large entities into smaller modules with standardized interfaces, and contains a system architecture that allows adding, removing, or replacing individual components without significantly affecting others. The 5 Principles of MOSA are to Establish Enabling Environment, Employ Modular Design, Designate Key Interfaces, Select Open Standards, Certify Conformance.

FACE and ARINC 661 are open architecture enabling standards essential to supporting a MOSA for military airborne avionics systems.


Within the FACE Technical Standard, there are different options defined to support graphics rendering within an avionics system.  One of the options includes leveraging an open architecture display system defined by the ARINC 661 specification.

ARINC 661 is a standard that normalizes the graphical interface of a Cockpit Display System (CDS) and defines the communication between the CDS and User Applications (UAs). Separating the graphical interface from the application logic enables MOSA, and if referenced from the FACE Technical Standard for handling graphical HMI applications.  Display Systems based on ARINC 661 supports rapid and incremental technology insertion while reducing integration costs and risks.  

U.S. Army, L3Harris and Ansys Collaborate to Improve Aviation Performance and Affordability

Two-year initiative supports rapid integration of software aligned to the FACE Technical Standard.


Streamline the development effort of embedded control/display/HMI applications aligned to the FACE Technical Standard and is compliant to the ARINC 661 standard.

"Contributions from our industry partners, including Ansys and L3Harris, help exercise and mature the FACE Technical Standard allowing rapid integration of capabilities for our warfighters. This enables us to provide our warfighters a wide variety of new and improved capabilities from any number of technology suppliers."

- Joe Carter / U.S. Army Program Executive Office Aviation G10 Tactical Branch Chief and FACE Consortium Steering Committee chair. 

The U.S. Army depends on the efficiency of safety-critical software development and integration efforts to advance emerging aviation and missile system capabilities while keeping program costs down. The Ansys SCADE software toolset efficiently enables a complete workflow ranging from FACE modeling through DO-178C (up to DAL-A) certifiable code-level generation. Ansys tools support software development aligned to the FACE Technical Standard at both the model and generated code levels, providing users with an easy workflow that passes the FACE Conformance Test Suite (CTS), a necessary test process included in the FACE Technical Standard.

Ansys Supports FACE

Ansys SCADE is a model-based development environment for mission and safety critical embedded applications. It includes several tightly integrated capabilities supporting the development of Applications aligned to the FACE Technical Standard 2.1, 3.0, and 3.1. 

Since 2010, Ansys has been an active participant of the FACE Consortium, the ARINC 661 Cockpit Display Systems Subcommittee, and several related communities of practices.

The following SCADE components enable efficient development and verification processes of complex embedded systems:  

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