Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SOA and OGC Standards for AIM - Part 3, New Services

This is the third part of our blog series focused on OGC standards for Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) - in this edition we look at new online services for AIM. The first and second parts are available here and here.

In the AIM thread of OGC's OWS-6 Testbed the bi-directional flow of digital data to and from Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) is based on Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) - with core services supported by OGC Web Map Services (WMS), Filter Encoding, and AIXM/WXXM Web Feature Services (WFS) from providers like Snowflake Software. To connect to these services The Carbon Project used its CarbonTools PRO API. We found that the Source-Handler-Data® architecture embedded in CarbonTools made transitioning from geospatial sources to 'aviation' sources straightforward. With these off-the-shelf capabilities we were also able to bring some new views to the EFB - including imagery tiles from Microsoft Virtual Earth, WMS from CubeWerx, as well as real-time cloud radar updates from CustomWeather WMS.

In addition to the core AIXM/WXXM WFS, a proof-of-concept stateless peer-to-peer Event Service was also developed and demonstrated in the OWS-6 Testbed. This new service uses SOAP messaging to send event notifications to registered systems. The messages sent by the Event Service contain AIXM-based data with all relevant geographic and temporal traits. This allows the NextGen EFB to receive a real-time event such as ‘runway closed’ and provide textual and geographical indications to users.

Our development of an Event Server 'end-point' used a cutting-edge Microsoft technology for communicating with services called Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). Using WCF we built a peer listener that uses very few processing resources and doesn't require a cumbersome Web service platform such as Internet Information Service (IIS). The ability to provide light standalone peer functionality is extremely important when considering performance and environmental limitations of the cockpit technology. In addition, this approach increases dependability and security of the future NextGen systems.

In the next few weeks CarbonCloud blog will be providing some final thoughts on results of OWS-6 in this thread - and I hope you'll check in for the discussion. Examples of geospatial SOA for AIM in action are also on YouTube - with AIXM/WXXM viewing capabilities featured.

- Jeff H and Nuke G


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