AdaCore and the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE)

The FACE™ approach is a government-industry initiative for reducing defense system life cycle costs through portable and reusable software components. It consists of a technical approach — a software standard based on well-defined common interfaces — and a business strategy for encouraging the development and deployment of FACE conformant products.

AdaCore is committed to the success of the FACE approach, and both the Ada language and the company’s product offerings directly support the initiative’s objectives. Ada is unique in its support for portable, reliable and efficient code. The language was designed for programming critical real-time embedded systems and has a long and successful track record in military / aerospace projects and in other high-assurance domains where safety and/or security are required.

AdaCore has been an active member of The Open Group’s FACE Consortium since 2012. The company’s contributions include:

  • Serving as a key member of the Conformance and OS Subcommittees to formulate effective policies and procedures for FACE Technical Standard conformance including Operating Systems and run-time libraries
  • Working towards incorporating Ada 2012 capability set support in future versions of the FACE Technical Standard so that FACE component developers can take advantage of contract-based programming and other modern features
  • Reviewing the various versions of the FACE Technical Standard and assisting in the definition of the IDL-to-Ada mapping
  • Sponsoring FACE meetings and presenting papers / conducting demos at FACE Technical Interchange Meetings
  • Providing comprehensive Ada development environments with run-time libraries that support the Ada Safety capability sets

AdaCore’s product offerings contribute to the FACE approach in several ways

  • Ada-development environments. AdaCore’s GNAT Pro Ada development environment supports a wide range of native and cross platforms and includes a variety of static and dynamic analysis tools. One of the editions of this product, GNAT Pro Assurance, is especially suited to projects requiring long-term maintenance and/or safety certification based on a specific version of the GNAT Pro technology. 
  • Run-time libraries. GNAT Pro cross compilers for several target platforms include run-time libraries for the Ada Safety-Extended and Safety-Base & Security capability sets. These libraries are available for RTOSes that have undergone or are planned for FACE conformance, in particular Wind River’s VxWorks 653 and Lynx Software Technologies’ LynxOS-178. The libraries help FACE component developers meet the portability goal underlying the FACE initiative while providing the analyzability, predictability and efficiency required in high-assurance real-time avionics systems.
  • Capability set enforcement. The GNATcheck coding standard enforcement tool can check compliance with the restrictions defined by the Ada Safety capability sets.
  • Supplemental tools. Other AdaCore products that are useful to FACE application developers include the CodePeer advanced static analysis tool for detecting vulnerabilities and other errors in Ada code, the SPARK Pro formal methods-based toolsuite for verifying critical program properties with mathematics-based rigor, and the GNATcoverage dynamic analysis tool for checking source or object code coverage.
  • Safety certification. DO-178B/C certification material is available for several run-time libraries, and qualification material is available for a number of GNAT Pro tools.

The bottom line: when portable software at the highest levels of assurance is required, AdaCore offers the trusted technology and support that FACE component developers can rely on. 

For more information about Ada, AdaCore and the FACE approach: