Transforming Systems Engineering through Model-Centric Engineering
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
Report Number: SERC-2020-TR-009
Publication Date: 2020-06-20
Project: Transforming Systems Engineering through Model Based Systems Engineering-NAVAIR
Dr. Mark Blackburn
Dr. David Coe
This is the final technical report of the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) research task WRT-1008. This research task (RT) addresses research needs extending prior efforts under RT-48/118/141/157/170/195 that informed us that Model-Centric Engineering (MCE) is in use and adoption seems to be accelerating. The expected capability of MCE and more broadly Digital Engineering (DE) can enable mission and system-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 overarching time line from the start of the research until today is:
- 2013-2015: Global scan of most holistic approaches to MCE/DE
- 2015: NAVAIR leadership decides to move quickly to keep pace with other organizations that have adopted MCE by Transforming, not simply evolving, in order to perform effective oversight of primes that are using modern modeling methods for mission and system engineering
- 2016: NAVAIR leadership decides to accelerate the Systems Engineering Transformation (SET) based on a SET Framework concept
- 2017: Systematic planning develops six (6) Functional Areas, including SERC Research
- 2018: Phase 1 of Surrogate Pilot experiments complete with mission, systems and a model for the Request for Proposal (RFP) Response from Surrogate Contractor for Surrogate Pilot experiments resulting in:
- Characterized SET Framework concept and approach to Model-based Acquisition
- Provides an implementation and usages for an Authoritative Source of Truth (AST)
- Demonstrated art-of-the-possible doing “everything” in models using new operational paradigm between government and industry in a Collaborative AST
- Surrogate contractor RFP response refines mission and system models with detailed design and analysis information using multi-physics and discipline-specific models
- Digital Signoffs for source selection evaluation directly in RFP response model
- Phase 1 results and models provide evidence/examples of unclassified models being used to develop workforce development and training
- 2019: Phase 2 objectives to align surrogate pilot experiments with SET priorities:
- Align Mission and System models with NAVAIR Systems Engineering Method (NAVSEM)
- Outreach to industry to participate in Phase 2 experiments for other mission and system scenarios using an AST for government and industry collaboration
- Investigations to transform Contract Data Requirements Lists (CDRLs) and Data Item Descriptions (DIDs) using Digital Signoffs in AST
- Created Capability Based Test & Evaluation and Model-Based Testing Engineering modeling methods for Mission and System models
- Refine Model-Centric SOW language
- Investigate how to perform Airworthiness modeling for deep-dive in Surrogate Design (including competency-specific criteria)
- Phase 2 results and models provide more evidence/examples of unclassified models being used to develop workforce development and training
We also supported additional efforts that evolved in 2019 and 2020, such as:
- Support for the Cyber Ontology Pilot and potentially broader roll-out of the cyber ontology for other programs
- Support for the Cross SYSCOM Mission Engineering Schemas
- Support the role of the Surrogate Contractor
- Support based on standardization of View and Viewpoints for the Naval Style Guide
- Investigating how Digital Signoffs can contribute to a new form of baselines
- Analysis correlating Digital Engineering Success Measure (DESM) Categories with lessons learned benefits observed during the NAVAIR Surrogate Pilot
- Investigating developing Cost Model for surrogate experimental system called Skyzer
- Developed Model Curation example for Skyzer
The SET team continued roll-out aligned with six Functional Areas represented in Figure 1 of the Technical Report:
- SET Research (conducted by the SERC, and discussed in this report)
- Workforce & Culture
- Integrated Modeling Environment
- Process & Methods
- Policy, Contracts and Legal
- SET Enterprise Deployment (and Surrogate Pilot Experiments)
NAVAIR leadership decided to conduct multi-phase surrogate pilot experiments using evolving set of use cases to simulate the execution of the new SET Framework, shown in Figure 2 of the report as part of the SET Enterprise Deployment. The broader impacts of this research to the other sub functions of SET is also reflected by the dash boxes shown in Figure 1 of the report. This research provides analyses into NAVAIR enterprise capability and builds on efforts for cross-domain model integration, model integrity, ontologies, semantic web technologies, multi-physics modeling, and model visualization that extend RT-157/RT-170/RT-195 research addressing evolving needs and priorities of SET.
The Surrogate Pilot Experiments discussed in the RT-195 final technical report and this report provide examples demonstrating the art-of-the-possible for many of the cross-cutting objectives of DE; this includes integrating different model types with simulations, surrogates, systems and components at different levels of abstraction and fidelity and provide an enduring AST across disciplines throughout the lifecycle. The integrated perspectives provide cross-domain views for rapid system level analysis allowing engineers from various disciplines using dynamic models and surrogates to support continuous and often virtual verification and validation for trade space decisions in the face of changing mission needs.
The surrogate experiments have “modeled everything” in order to show that the concept was possible. The team has demonstrated the feasibility of using modeling methods at the mission, systems, and even using models for the request for proposal (RFP), statement of work, and source selection technical evaluation. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 surrogate contractor RFP response models link to the government mission and system models. The surrogate contractor RFP response models includes multi-physics analyses and early design models that illustrate the potential to have deep insight into the design of a proposed air vehicle system prior to contract award. The use of digital signoff directly in the model provides evidence of a new approach for transforming traditional Contract Data Requirement Lists (CDRLs), by documenting and linking digital signoffs with the evidence provided directly in the models.
The latest new model includes a Systems Engineering Technical and Management (SETM) plan model, which provides information beyond Gantt charts or an integrated master schedule and more importantly can link directly to the other mission and systems models in the AST.
The efforts are updating an experimental UAV system called Skyzer, from Phase 1, for a deep dive on search and rescue mission operational scenarios and extending the mission to include a Launch and Recovery, ship-based capability to support experiments for Capability-Based Test and Evaluation (CBT&E). The Skyzer system model is being extended with a landing gear deep dive to bring in Airworthiness use cases. This report blends progress and lessons learned during Phase 1 with knowledge gained during Phase 2 (not yet complete) of these surrogate pilot experiments, where the surrogate team developed:
- Surrogate Project/Planning Model that characterizes the objectives for the surrogate pilot and research
- Systems Engineering Technical and Management Plan model (new)
- Surrogate Mission Model for Skyzer updated to include Launch and Recovery system aligning now with the Integrated Capability Framework schemas
- Surrogate System Model for Skyzer now aligning with latest updates to NAVSEM
- Surrogate Acquisition Model for Skyzer to support Source Selection Evaluation and Estimation
- Surrogate Contractor System RFP model for Skyzer now to be updated by SERC research team and NAVAIR subject matter experts
- Surrogate Contractor Design models for Skyzer now to be updated by SERC research team and NAVAIR subject matter experts
- Design models address aspects of multi-physics analysis and design
- Links disciplines-specific design back to Surrogate Contractor system, which traces back to Government Skyzer System and Mission models
- View and Viewpoints for DocGen and other Libraries
- Used in conjunction with DocGen to generate the specifications from the models based on stakeholder views
- Collaboration Environment for the Authoritative Source of Truth
The focus has been on learning about a new operational paradigm between government and industry in the execution the SET Framework, not necessarily on an air vehicle design. Many of the detailed facets from the surrogate pilot experiments are discussed in this report and are shared on the All Partners Network (APAN) to socialize these new operational concepts, and to solicit feedback from industry, government and academia. This includes more than 60 products that include: models, presentation, reports, videos, and links to the surrogate pilot autogenerated models at the SERC Integrated Modeling Environment hosted on amazon web service (AWS) (https://ime.sercuarc.org/alfresco/mmsapp/mms.html).
In April 2018, the three Navy system commands (SYSCOM) NAVAIR, NAVSEA and SPAWAR initiated a plan to build Navy and DoD interoperable ontologies. This effort is also jointly led by our RT-195 team and NAVAIR sponsors. The initial effort focused on using ontology architecture to scope the identified need, enforce interoperability, creating common terminology across domains, and be an enabler for MCE/DE. A second effort involves a Cyber Ontology Pilot, where our SERC team supported this effort developing a demonstration (video on APAN) for an approach to doing a Round Trip from a SysML model of a computer architecture to a representation that aligns with a Cyber Vulnerability ontology using our ontology platform called the Interoperability and Integration Framework (IoIF). Within IoIF we do some semantic reasoning which associates potential vulnerability with elements of the modeled computer architecture and sends the information back in SysML associating the vulnerability with the elements of the system model architecture. This research supports additional facets of the SET Transformation, which are discussed in this report.
These research results are continually shared with both government and industry in order to share results on the art-of-the-possible and provide industry with the opportunity to make constructive comments on representation and content that will likely be provided as “System Model(s)” as Government Furnished Information (GF)I as part of future solicitations such as Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposals (RFPs).
The strategic plans of SET are forging ahead for focus on implementation. WRT-1008 has support from research collaborators from Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technologies, University of Maryland and Georgetown. This report blends RT-195-related accomplishments into this report to document the ongoing progress in support of the NAVAIR SET. We are also working collaboratively with US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (CCDC-AC) in Picatinny, NJ under RT-168 and the follow-on SERC research task ART-002, and some of the results are from synergies derived from that research such as IoIF.