MOSA is Here to Stay: A Recap of the 2021 FACE™ and SOSA™ Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) Event

By Chip Downing, Senior Market Development Director, Aerospace & Defense, Real-Time Innovations, Inc.

I continue to be amazed by the promotion and advancement of The Open Group FACE™ and SOSA™ Technical Standards and Business Approach within the U.S. armed services. Nowhere was this more evident than at the recent FACE and SOSA Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) 2021, which was hosted by the U.S. Army, sponsored by TES-SAVi, and supported by over 45 exhibitors. This event proved decisively that the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) is here to stay.   

Held at the Von Braun Convention Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the FACE TIM 2021 had 849 registrants and 638 people attending the event in person, making it the largest-ever FACE TIM in history. These are amazing numbers, especially given the current COVID-sensitive environment in the U.S.  

In addition, the FACE Consortium and SOSA Consortium, both managed by The Open Group, are continuing to grow – we now have 98 corporate and service members in the FACE Consortium. And the number of certified FACE-conformant software products is also increasing, with over 25 software products from 13 suppliers now in the FACE Software Registry.  

The Technical Interchange Meeting started with a welcoming keynote from Mr. Joe Carter, the Deputy G6 of the Program Executive Office (PEO) Chief Information Officer (CIO) / G6 office, and the Steering Committee Chair for the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE). His remarks were followed by a rousing keynote from Brigadier General Robert L. Barrie, Jr., Program Executive Officer, U.S. Army Aviation, who underscored the Army’s commitment to MOSA and standards like FACE, SOSA, and CMOSS that support MOSA implementations. Since the inception of the FACE Consortium, the U.S. Army has always been “all in” for this standard, and BG Barrie continued this proud tradition.

After BG Barrie’s keynote, Stephen Simi, COO of TES-SAVi, kicked off the technical presentations with a talk about TES-SAVi tools that accelerate FACE conformance. This was then followed by 17 white papers that were delivered over the rest of the day. These white papers covered a wide range of topics, from the FACE Transport Services Segment (TSS) to security to DO-178C safety certification to data modeling, and more.

FACE and SOSA TIM and Expos are annual events open to the public and hosted by one of the U.S. armed services. These events are held each year near the acquisition headquarters of the USA: U.S. Army PEO Aviation at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL; U.S. Navy NAVAIR in Patuxent River, MD; and U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. 

I am pleased to announce that the next FACE and SOSA TIM and Expo will be hosted by the U.S. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center (AFLMC) in Dayton, OH in Q3 2022. Like all other FACE and SOSA TIMs, this event is open to the public and free of charge to attend. Upcoming information to be posted as it is unveiled.

Thanks to everyone who worked on this year’s TIM, especially from the U.S. Army and TES-SAVi.  

See you next year in Dayton!

Chip Downing is the Senior Market Development Director of Aerospace and Defense at Real-Time Innovations (RTI).  In this position he manages RTI’s global aerospace and defense business and helps drive the OMG Data Distribution Service (DDS) industry standard into the commercial and military aerospace market with the RTI Connext DDS platform, now used by over 250 customers in over 1,200 global aerospace and defense programs.

Mr. Downing currently serves as the Chair of the FACE Consortium BWG Outreach Subcommittee, promoting the FACE approach globally.  He also serves as the VP, Ecosystem of the DDS Foundation, where he is tasked with growing the sphere of influence of the OMG DDS standard with organizations that have companion specifications.

A veteran of the embedded systems industry and an innovator for creating COTS safety certification for commercial RTOSs, he previously served as Senior Director of Aerospace & Defense at Wind River Systems, where he was responsible for the business development of the company’s global A&D markets. During his 14-year Wind River tenure, design wins grew for certified avionics products grew to more than 500 projects.  Mr. Downing has also led sales, marketing, and consulting organizations at Esterel Technologies (now Ansys), Validated Software, OnCore Systems, and Mentor Graphics (now Siemens).