Transforming System Engineering through Model-Based Systems Engineering (Model-Centric Engineering)
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
Report Number: SERC-2014-TR-044-2
Publication Date: 2014-08-15
Project: Transforming Systems Engineering through Model Based Systems Engineering-NAVAIR
Dr. Mark Blackburn
This is an interim process report for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) research task (RT118). The RT focuses on a Vision held by NAVAIR’s leadership to assess the technical feasibility of creating/leveraging a more holistic Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach, which we are now referring to as model-centric engineering. The expected capability of such an approach would enable mission-based analysis and engineering that reduces the typical time by at least 25 percent from what is achieved today for large-scale air vehicle systems. The research need includes the evaluation of emerging system design through computer (i.e., digital) models. The effort extends RT-48 to investigate the technical feasibility of moving to a “complete” model-centric lifecycle and includes four tasks as shown in Figure 1. The key tasks include:
- Task 1: Surveying Industry, Government and Academia to understand the state-of the-art of a holistic approach to MBSE (model-centric engineering, “everything digital”)
- Task 2: Develop a common lexicon for MBSE, including model types, levels, uses, representation, visualizations, etc.
- Task 3: Model the “Vision,” but also relate it to the “As Is” and Airworthiness processes
- Task 4: Integrate a Risk Management framework with the Vision
Our NAVAIR sponsor envisioned this research effort would take approximately two years, but due to the ending of the original SERC contract in December of 2013, this first phase (Phase I), under RT-48 had a period of performance of nine months. This report provides the interim process status about these ongoing tasks under the follow-on research task, RT-118, which started 1-April-2014. Since the kickoff 8 of RT-118 there has been considerable emphasis on the discussions we are having with industry, government and academia.
We have conducted over 20 discussions with industry, government, and academic organizations, and have a few remaining. We see a movement towards a more widespread adoption of model-centric engineering, however not a radical transformation as desired of the NAVAIR vision. We have seen demonstrations of mission-level simulations that are being integrated with system simulation, digital assets and aircraft products providing new type of services. We have seen demonstrations of 1D, 2D, and 3D modeling and simulations with a wide array of solvers and visualization capabilities. We have been in an immersive Cave Automated Virtual Environment. We have seen the results of platformbased approaches directly focused on speed-to-market, and more, which is discussed in Section 2. However, as we are focusing on the goal of “25 percent reduction in time” for large-scale 5 th generation air vehicle systems that must satisfy airworthiness and safety requirements as required by NAVAIR, we’ll discuss some challenge areas that are detailed in Section 2.5 that have been discussed at most meetings:
Our NAVAIR sponsor often mentions in our discussions with organizations that 90 percent of the functionality of in a 5th generation air vehicle system is in software
o The growth and complexity of software is creating verification challenges
o The significant amount of software verification, which are essential to airworthiness and safety often has long durations
o The aspects of software were not originally high on our list, but in model-centric engineering, software connects almost everything, and while the impact of software was not believed to be an issue in the past, it is likely to be going forward
It was stated in meetings that there is an “explosion of models,” however
o There is a lack of cross-domain model interoperability, consistency, and limitations in our ability to transform models with the required semantic precision to provide accurate information for decision making
o Unvalidated models are used leading to incorrect or invalid results and organizations are not identifying design or integration problems until late in lifecycle
This list is not comprehensive. We need to understand the conditions associated with these challenges and their impact on the overall objective. The report discusses implications and alternatives to the transformation for NAVAIR. We have had follow-ups to our meetings on several different topics, and have more planned that are focused on some of the challenge areas. We have been asked to bring industry together to share their perspectives on challenges, issues, concerns, and enablers for a transformation. We want to explore ideas and concepts to improve the efficiencies and break down the barriers that inhibit speeding the needed capabilities to the NAVAIR and the warfighter.
The document is structured so that the key new efforts under the new RT-118 for the in-process review
are described in Section 2. Section 1 provides some updated clarification on the scope given by our
NAVAIR sponsor. Sections 3 through 6 provide additional detail to summarize the efforts that are
aligned with tasks 1 through 4. Section 7 provides some conclusions and discusses the next steps and
information planned for the RT-118 final technical report.