A consortium representing industry, the U.S. military and academia released its latest edition this week of technical software standards designed to promote open interfaces in military avionics by establishing a more common environment across components and platforms and as a way save money over the long run.

The Open Group, which manages the consortium, released the technical standard edition 2.0 under the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) initiative with improvements for governing the interoperability, while enhancing requirements for exchanging data among FACE components.

Kirk Avery, the chief software architect at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training [LMT] involved in writing the new edition, said the key change was adding a data model that delves into more details, such as how software communicates across the spectrum and more specifically defines the data.

“That was a very key thing that we brought in edition 2.0,” Avery said.

FACE, launched in 2010 and backed by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Army Aviation and the Air Force, is a key open architecture initiative.

Open architecture is seen as a way to create common and open systems to promote innovation, enable more rapid technology insertions, reduce total ownership costs, phase out sole sourced legacy systems that become expensive to maintain and upgrade, and re-compete programs throughout their lifecycle.

Judy Cerenzia, the FACE program director at the Open Group, said the new edition does a better job of clearly defining requirements to meet FACE standards. It focuses “on streamlining the requirements language to enable successful implementation of the conformance program,” she said.

The first edition of the FACE technical standards was released in January 2012.

David Boyett of the Army’s Aviation & Missile Research Development & Engineering Center software branch said the speed at which the standards are being developed is a sign of how FACE is gaining momentum. He said the consortium has been critical to establishing a collaborative environment between government and industry for identifying open interface standards.

“That has been a really a key enabler to allowing us to have such rapid progress in such a short period of time,” said Boyett, who also serves as vice chair of the FACE business working group.