The System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program use of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) technology allows software applications in the National Airspace System (NAS) to interact with one another through information services that can be accessed without knowledge of an application's underlying platform implementation. This simplifies interface requirements to existing NAS systems and ensures new systems can be built with minimum technology (hardware, software, and data definition) constraints. Thus, NAS development and implementation costs and risks for new applications will be lower. SWIM also enables the transition to Net-Centric NAS operations, and from tactical conflict management to strategic, trajectory-based operations. The benefits of implementing SOA in the NAS can be summarized as follows:

  • Business and Information Technology (IT) Alignment
    • Systems design is driven by a market forces model (supply and demand)
    • Systems are grown to evolve with the environment rather than designed and built as a fixed structure (a city vs. a building)
  • Adaptability
    • Agility: allow for rapid enhancement of services capability
    • Flexibility: enable on-demand composition and restructuring of services to meet business needs
  • Interoperability
    • Priority on exposing capability for rapid consumption
    • Create ability for unanticipated utilization (emergent behaviors)
  • Reuse
    • Maximize utility of the services provided
    • Maximize utilization of existing services (eliminate/reduce development)
  • Scalability
    • Distribution of effort: widely distribute the development of capability
    • Distribution of value: enable wide access to capability

SWIM is part of the NextGen portfolio of programs and is critical to ensuring all stakeholders can communicate with each other. For example, SWIM will allow airline operations, air traffic managers and controllers, Federal Air Marshals, and the military to share information in near real time.