Navy develops video series on open systems conformance testing

Select members of the Air Combat Electronics program office (PMA-209) avionics architecture team gather for a review of the video learning series the team is creating to provide better insights on how to conduct open systems conformance testing during the acquisition development and testing phases. Members from left to right: Dr. Erin Colvin, Matt Drew, Lt. Cmdr. Kristen Whitesell, Dr. Hebin Luan, and Shelia Fortner.

The Navy’s Air Combat Electronics program office (PMA-209) avionics architecture team is creating an instructional video series providing answers to frequently asked questions and other insights on the topic of open architecture/open systems conformance testing for participants in the acquisition process. As part of the Navy’s broader initiative to enhance capability and increase affordability, increasing understanding of open systems conformance testing advances the interoperability open systems provide.

As open systems mandates have increased with the commitment made by the tri-services of the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force to advance open systems solutions in 2019, so has demand for instruction and clarification on how open systems conformance testing is correctly completed. As the Navy’s co-lead for the development of the Conformance Test Suite (CTS), the PMA-209 team routinely fields questions and receives many requests from other DoD program offices, industry partners, and academia regarding how to effectively set up and conduct conformance testing for Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE).

To facilitate understanding and streamline the implementation process, the program office team is developing the new FACE CTS learning path video series, designed to serve as a guideline with focused topics to address specific tasks using the CTS. Straightforward and concise, each video is less than ten minutes and allows users to view or download additional videos based on their specific needs.

“With the production of these CTS videos by our highly skilled team, industry developers will be provided the opportunity to obtain a better grasp on successful Open Architecture software development and employment, resulting in interchangeability in software products and making capabilities more affordable,” said Jon Drof, PMA-209 avionics architecture team co-lead.

The FACE CTS video series is intended for lab users, software developers, software vendors and engineers with minimal software background, as well as other new users needing guidance to conduct FACE conformance testing. The FACE consortium currently has more than 1,350 member participants who represent more than 95 government, industry, and academia organizations and companies.

The series includes topics such as: Introduction; Environment Set-up and Installation; the User Interface; Data Model Conformance Verification; and Testing Units of Conformance. Chapter one, entitled “Testing Methodologies and Theory of Operation”, is the first of six chapters in total.

PMA-209 is a collaborative team of proactive acquisition professionals enabling current and future foundational aviation requirements led by Capt. Margaret Wilson, PMA-209 program manager. The program office is NAVAIR’s executive agent for the development and management of cutting edge air combat electronics systems.

Established in 1988, PMA-209 is responsible for providing critical capabilities to the warfighter in the form of common, fully developed, supportable, and reliable systems that align with the strategic and operational requirements of our platform PEO/PMA customers. By delivering the highest quality products and services on time and within budget, PMA-209 has built a solid reputation for superior quality as well as sound business practices.

Implementing state-of-the-art technology solutions across the Naval Aviation Enterprise, PMA-209 meets the goal of supporting “Tomorrow’s Capabilities within Today’s Budget.”