WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – In an effort to promote adaptability, cyber resiliency and interoperability of Air Force weapons systems and subsystems, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base recently "stood up" the Open Architecture Management Office.
The new office will work with program offices throughout AFLCMC to find ways to integrate open architecture standards into the acquisition process, which officials say will reap enormous benefits for the Air Force.
Open architecture is a system that employs modular design, uses widely supported and consensus-based standards for its key interfaces, and has been subjected to successful validation and verification tests to ensure the openness of its key interfaces. Some of the benefits are that it allows for increased competition, creativity and makes it easier to upgrade or add components to the system.
Chris Garrett, OAMO lead and avionics expert said that two primary forces led to the creation of the OAMO, including the Air Force Rapid Capability Office wanting a tool to implement open architectures across weapons systems and the Cyber Campaign Plan which included a goal to create the OAMO, expand open architecture to make weapons systems adaptable enabling a more rapid response to emerging cyber threats.
“This office is important because as program offices better apply open systems standards to create open systems architecture, there will be a lot of benefits,” Garrett said. “There will be better weapons system adaptability, better weapons system resiliency, better interoperability, and faster technology transfer. We can improve the schedules in our programs and lower risks.”
Garrett went on to compare the application of open architecture in Air Force systems to smart phones.
“We are seeing an explosion today in developers providing open-source applications that has created an entirely new ecosystem for how people interact with the world around them,” Garrett said.
Mitch Miller, senior leader for United States Air Force Avionics, said that the office is supporting existing and new programs including the F-22, JSTARS, and Global Hawk just to name a few.
“We want to expand it [open architecture principles] to every new avionics modernization and new program that we are doing,” Miller said. “[And] we have to do it on areas that make sense because we have to deliver a capability.”
The OAMO along with the Air Force Research Laboratory will host an Open Mission Systems and UAS Command and Control Initiative Industry Day Nov. 15 – 16 at the Hope Hotel. The event will allow industry to learn about future opportunities as well as give government employees information on incorporating OMS/UCI in acquisition processes. For more information about the event visit http://www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc/oms-uci.