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The Global AIM Reference Architecture


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This presentation provides a high-level introduction to Semantech's Global AIM Reference Model / Architecture Initiative. Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) is the data architecture underpinning civil aviation across the globe. Semantech Inc. is a world leader in providing sophisticated architecture solutions.

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The Global AIM Reference Architecture

  1. 1. Semantech Inc. 2008 - Lecture Series AIM – Global Reference Architecture Aeronautical Information Management (AIM): ICAO RM Framework Presented by Stephen Lahanas Principal Consultant, Semantech Inc. March 5th, 2008 Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved I
  2. 2. <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This presentation is meant to provide a high level overview of a proposed reference architecture for global implementation of Aeronautical Information Management (AIM). This is the first of several presentations on the Global AIM RM. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The reference architecture represents a generic solutions design perspective that potentially applies to all ICAO member states. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal of this exercise is to facilitate a dialog among global civil aviation organizations and service providers. </li></ul></ul>I Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. <ul><li>What is ICAO ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ICAO” stands for “International Civil Aviation Organization” and is an official agency of the United Nations. ICAO somewhat precedes the United Nations but its mission is essentially the same as described originally in 1944. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICAO’s primary mission is the development and dissemination of civil aviation standards and practices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICAO’s Headquarters are located in Montreal, Canada but the agency has offices across the globe. The ICAO council has approximately 70 members representing nearly 30 nations. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  4. 5. <ul><li>What is AIM ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ AIM” stands for Aeronautical Information Management and represents part of the next generation IT solution for managing civil aviation data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AIM is meant to be a replacement for AIS, Aeronautical Information Services, which is a product-focused IT solution based upon ICAO requirements delineated in Annex 15. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annex 15 defines how an aeronautical information service shall receive and/or originate, collate or assemble, edit, format, publish/store and distribute specified aeronautical information/data. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  5. 6. <ul><li>What is AIM, part 2 ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to Eurocontrol, the European Union organization chartered to manage civil aviation, the primary strategic objective for AIM is: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ To achieve a uniform and efficient aeronautical information management structure, based on system wide information management, to support all phases of flight.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In other words, while AIS provided a data foundation for other aviation systems or activities, AIM is meant to provide an integration framework that unifies all civil aviation IT architectures & processes. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  6. 8. <ul><li>The Global AIM Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are two primary AIM Modernization efforts underway and many secondary ones under development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The two primary efforts are being undertaken by Eurocontrol (European Union) and the Federal Aviation Administration FAA (United States). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The FAA effort is part of a larger initiative called NEXTgen, the Eurocontrol effort is part of SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The entire ICAO Global civil aviation community are stakeholders… </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  7. 10. <ul><li>The Global AIM Solutions Community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are dozens to 100’s of participants in AIM-related solutions and systems. There are likely 1000’s of AIM requirements and 100’s of architecture variations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is critical that there is a global AIM dialog & related community of practice in order to ensure that interoperability expectations are met both internally and across national boundaries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM architecture dialog began last Fall in Beijing. The first step was acknowledging that cooperation, coordination and collaboration are needed to make the transition to AIM… </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  8. 12. <ul><li>What is Actionable EA ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first step to producing a Global AIM reference model or architecture is understanding that no one framework or design approach is likely to be universally adopted. There are too many different players, too many different approaches already underway… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actionable Enterprise Architecture is not a formal EA framework, it is rather a paradigm shift that recognizes the necessary correlation between various architecture elements and disciplines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM RM follows an actionable EA approach. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  9. 14. <ul><li>Architecture Mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The primary AIM Modernization initiatives already have a variety of complex architecture deliverables to build upon. They consist of different types of architectures though. Eurocontrol has built much of their work based upon UML and the FAA has built a significant repository based upon DoDAF. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The previous diagram illustrates that in today’s IT environment, any typical database architecture already consists of multiple layers of complexity with translations between them. This example does not take into account further mappings to formal frameworks like Zachman, DoDAF or even ITIL. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  10. 16. <ul><li>Process Mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As one might imagine, data architecture is not the only place where complex mapping may need to occur in order for the Global AIM community to arrive upon a common reference model. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process is especially important to the Global Civil Aviation community given the priority focus on safety. AIM processes involve not just those associated with managing the solution itself (from an IT perspective), it also encompasses the processes utilized to gather, aggregate and validate data and then those processes used to integrate AIM data into operational Air Traffic Management systems. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  11. 18. <ul><li>Frameworks & Transformation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One reason that Enterprise Architecture is considered vital to any IT initiative is its ability to provide a comprehensive view of what’s going on. This view often takes into account both internal and external variables. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EA Frameworks are often adopted because they provide a common frame of reference for larger communities (for example “DoDAF” supports the entire Department of Defense community). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any major transformation from one systems solution paradigm to another needs to be aligned with some architecture or reference model framework in order to provide holistic context & visibility. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  12. 20. <ul><li>Complexity in Civil Aviation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On any given day, there are perhaps 25,000 aircraft flying in global airspace at any moment in time. There are civil aviation organizations in nearly every nation on earth. There are likely 100’s of individual information systems dedicated to managing AIM data. Even within individual organizations, such as the FAA, there can be significant complexity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity is a problem that’s not going away. The new AIXM has nearly 10,000 XML elements within it, AIM systems are continually required to add more data to their repositories. The amount of air traffic is expected to increase and the capabilities for data interoperability between controllers and pilots is only just now being explored… </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  13. 22. <ul><li>Current AIS Architectures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AIS systems have been progressing slowly towards a more dynamic data architecture approach, however their chief expectation is still support for AIS publications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The AIS data lifecycle is not then designed for “digital” exploitation – those features when added have been done so as a secondary resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The immediate question that this implies is whether current AIS architectures require significant redesign or complete re-visioning. The answer more than likely will be yes… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, this may not imply that all legacy capability has to be abandoned or that incremental AIM is impossible. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  14. 24. <ul><li>It’s the Data… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AIS & AIM may be characterized as either products or services but the bottom line is that they are both all about civil aviation data. AIM is and will be largely a data-focused architecture endeavor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There has been a lot of discussion about exploitation of SOA to support AIM-related initiatives, however a traditional SOA-focused applications view of the architecture will not serve Global AIM (or the local initiatives) well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If AIM could be characterized as a logical warehouse and SWIM the transport medium, there still needs to be a fusion architecture and COP that integrates AIM with ATM. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  15. 26. <ul><li>Time is of The Essence… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The current AIS process has data managed in time cycles of days, weeks or months. The projected AIM approach will or should allow for real-time data update and validation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All data has a temporal context, nowhere is this more important than with Air Traffic Management. Thus data accuracy translates directly into airspace safety. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The current AIXM (AIM Data Exchange Model) has embedded within it the GML timeslice model. This is an improvement over current capability but requires further review regarding its application to the actual AIM solution architectures. (i.e. AIXM is not the AIM architecture / RM) </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  16. 28. <ul><li>Data Integrity, Easier said than Done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An important consideration for Global AIM is the ability for member states to send AIM data back & forth. This of course adds a layer of complexity to the current situation where AIM data already has an extended “chain of custody.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A data chain of custody refers the fact that once data has left an origination point it can be modified or otherwise enhanced. This can happen many times which then begs the question, what is the authoritative source for the data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM RM must take this into account both from an internal (member state) and external (global) perspective. There must be provisions for validation at the source. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  17. 30. <ul><li>The Business of AIM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If we begin to view Global AIM as a holistic framework rather than just a modern replacement for AIS, then we must recognize that the AIM lifecycle cannot be artificially separated from the rest of the larger goal of airspace management. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AIM is in fact not just digital, it is dynamic and in many ways the notion of SWIM is just a corollary to it. AIM must allow for data creation through fusion & exploitation within one unified set of processes and practices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Business of AIM can be divided into Data Acquisition, Data Fusion and Data Exploitation… </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  18. 32. <ul><li>Global AIM Consists of Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is perhaps a little ironic that AIS is in fact a product-centric architecture yet is referred to as services and AIM doesn’t seem to imply services at all. However, viewing AIM from a service perspective is important (and this is a generic perspective rather than a SOA architectural construct). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Services’ philosophy allows us to help abandon long-held organizational or systems stovepipe perspectives and view the entire business within a single mission construct. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services allow us to abstract the systems and service providers from implementation architectures, a vital first step to Global AIM. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  19. 34. <ul><li>An Example AIM Service - NOTAM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOTAM, or Notice to Airmen, is universally recognized as one of the areas where AIS system approaches have fallen short. While there are variations on NOTAMs globally, most are still produced and disseminated manually. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both Eurocontrol and the FAA are moving forward with Digital NOTAM pilot projects. This represents a significant challenge as the primary AIM architectures are not yet completed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While Eurocontrol has the EADS AIM data repository and FAA has the NASR, neither is yet fully integrated with their larger initiative contexts (SESAR, NEXTgen and SWIM). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital NOTAMs would only be one of many AIM services. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  20. 36. <ul><li>Global AIM – An Industry Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The requirements in ICAO Annex 15 have been updated many times since they were first introduced, yet it is important to understand that weren’t originally written for the Information Age. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Technology has and will fundamentally continue to change nearly every aspect of civil aviation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For Global AIM, it is important to keep pace with advances in data solutions architecture and practice. The Global AIM RM can be mapped directly to major data technologies and trends. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT is our best hope for improving air traffic safety. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  21. 38. <ul><li>Global AIM & SOA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The discussions surrounding AIM & SOA illustrate the challenges facing the Global AIM community over the next few decades as well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pace of change and innovation is increasing almost exponentially, our ability to respond it will need to adapt as well. It is quite probable that by the time we build our NEXTgen solutions we will already be behind for the following modernization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOA is new and has influenced current architecture, we must be able to continue to adapt our solutions ‘in motion’ to accommodate increasingly complex expectations. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  22. 39. <ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global AIM will happen. Civil Aviation will become a fully digital domain within the next decade. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can make that transition smoother and reduce the turbulence through constructive collaboration. The first place for the collaboration needs to be AIM, and the first part of that needs to focus on architecture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The reference architecture can serve as a guidepost and not a mandate, a way to “think through” AIM issues in context before designing next generation solutions. </li></ul></ul>I Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  23. 40. Semantech Lecture Series - 2008 Thank You… For more information, contact: Stephen Lahanas [email_address] Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  24. 41. Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc. – All Rights Reserved <ul><li>Future Global AIM Presentations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global AIM & Data Federation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inside Digital NOTAMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrating with AIXM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other Global AIM Resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Global AIM Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*** coming soon to the site </li></ul></ul>