Naval Aviators are accustom to pushing the envelope, and often are the first ones to identify and embrace ideas that show real merit. Case in point is the rapid adoption of tablet-based Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications (such as ForeFlight Mobile), in place of outmoded paper-based Kneeboard Cards. Project sponsors at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) already recognize the potential value that a set of platform-specific (e.g., F/A-18 E/F, EA-18G, F-35, E-2C/D, C-2, MH-60R, P-8A) and mission-oriented applications (e.g., Strike, Electronic Attack, Maritime Domain Awareness, Search and Rescue, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) could offer to the fleet. What they don't have - yet, is the ability to develop, test and evaluate different mobile applications to support these needs.
Like ForeFlight Mobile, iCode's eXtensible Mission Display (XMD) is designed to reduce (if not eliminate) the need to create, print, and carry mission-oriented Kneeboard Cards, Naval Air Training Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Manuals, and other quick reference documents to the cockpit. Furthermore, a collection of downloadable application extensions can be integrated into XMD to address those otherwise manually intensive calculations that are hard to accomplish during flight. XMD's embedded geo-spatial engine can be pre-cached with a rich collection of rasterized, gridded, and vector mapping products, and its built-in follow-me capabilities can be used to dynamically render "ownship" through pre-planned components of a route (Waypoints, Segments/Legs, Action Points, and GeoZones). Event triggers can be used to change the color (and opacity) and line style (e.g., from solid to dashed) used to render past and future route components. Multi-phased mission profiles can be triggered based on ownship's relationship (e.g., distance) to an Action Point or whenever ownship enters or leaves a GeoZone. Today these route components are generated on PC-based Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) applications, but these too can be replaced by tablet-based Mission Planning solutions in the near future, allowing naval aviators make informed decisions using proven algorithmic (flight performance models) and government-provided data sets throughout the flight.
Another characteristic feature mobile apps provide naval aviators is the ease and speed at which EKB software updates can be deployed across the entire World-Wide Naval Aviation Community. Leveraging the Enterprise Store Front model CONUS-based and forward deployed Naval Air Stations (NAS) would provision a Mobile Application Store (MAS) for their local user-base. Aircraft Carriers, Large Deck Amphibious Ships, Naval Combatants and Auxiliary ships with an embarked aviation detachment would host a MAS for provisioning XMD Apps on mobile devices used by shipboard personnel. These MAS servers would subscribe to and receive XMD App updates once, and act as the forward deployed MAS store fronts aviators would download updates from. In practice XMD mobile software updates could reach end-user devices provisioned around the world in a matter of hours.