Helyx, Snowflake to advise UK MoD

Specialist information management business Helyx SIS together with data exchange solutions specialist Snowflake Software  have won a programme of work to provide specialist Aeronautical Open Standards consultancy to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The scope of the project is to undertake a study to inform the UK MoD and stakeholders of the implications associated with the MoD’s potential further adoption/restricted adoption of established, maturing and emerging aeronautical standards to exchange aeronautical, weather and flight information.

The partnership draws on a portfolio of previously awarded projects within the last 3 years that are involved in the assessment and development of the more technical aspects of information exchange between aeronautical data providers and central bodies.

The work builds upon Helyx’s experience and expertise in analysis of policy and capabilities and an understanding the UK MoD Aeronautical domain. Drawing on a system engineering background, Helyx have been involved in the development and implementation of standards as part of the System of Systems Approach promoted by DE&S supporting Team ENSURE. Helyx have previously supported AIDU in the analysis and definition of future Aeronautical Information requirements.

Helyx have also worked in the NATO geospatial standards working group and were involved in the definition of requirements for air information standards which provides a wider context for the task.

The work into Aeronautical Standards Research builds on Snowflake’s award winning and leading role implementing the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Model Driven Approach to managed Geography Markup Language (GML) application schema design and optimisation for use in practical applications and web services. Snowflake will provide AIXM, WXXM and FIXM, Aeronautical Data Quality (ADQ) and System Wide Information Management (SWIM) web service expertise.

This project sits alongside recent Snowflake contract awards from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) for an S-100 GML profile and route exchange schemas and FAA and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) projects for the Aviation (AIXM) GML profile and Weather (WXXM) GML application schemas.

Dr Karl West, Head of Business Development for Helyx said, “We have been looking for an excuse to work with Snowflake for some time and this exciting opportunity marks the first formal collaboration between two successful UK SME’s, joining forces to bring expertise and experience to bear to really add value. We are delighted to have teamed with Snowflake and thrilled to have won the competition for this work and look forward to a continued close working relationship in the future”.

Alexis Brooker, Principal Consultant for Snowflake commented, “We are delighted to be working with Helyx on this exciting project. This is a great opportunity to bring major advances, achieved in the civilian Aviation domain, into UK Defence Aeronautical Information Management and wider Exploitation understanding and capability.  Not only that, but key aspects developed through OGC Interoperability trials such as event based notifications and data validation in context ‘as a service’ can be drawn across to the maritime, land and anywhere open standards based GML is used for data exchange”.

DSTL Geospatial Standards Lead Paul Lacey, Senior Geospatial Intelligence Specialist for Dstl commented, “The use of open standards are a key enabler for MoD’s collaboration with its key partners. The work undertaken by Helyx and Snowflake will help inform future decisions by MoD so that it can continue to operate effectively in the Aeronautical domain”.

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