Prototype of a Graphical CONOPS (Concept of Operations) Development Environment for Agile Systems Engineering
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
This research is a continuation of research initiated in July 2009. From the first
research effort, three other efforts emerged. A number of reports have been issued to
document the findings of each phase of this research. Those documents are listed in
Section 2 of this report. The technical reports can be found on the Systems Engineering
Research Center (SERC) website (https://sercuarc.org/).
The goal of the research performed under this task was to continue the investigation of
graphical 3D gaming environments in the construction of a shared mental model during
concept development. A result of the research is an artifact that is a “proof of concept”
prototype, the Integrated Concept Engineering Framework (ICEF). The ICEF is
intended to provide a 3D virtual guide through the development of a CONOPS, and also
to integrate various tools and applications currently in common usage across industry.
This integration is a widely-sought capability, one which will enable current CONOPS
developers and users the flexibility to import and export analysis parameters and results
to and from various familiar and well-used tools. Legacy systems are a fact of life in
operational concerns; this prototype is intended to demonstrate interconnectivity on a
limited scale between specific simulation and mathematical modeling software
packages, via a main operational environment. This environment was built using a
game development engine.
This task was always envisioned as part of a larger CONOPS research agenda. As
research progressed, the potential synergies from merging RT 31 with RT 23, and then
combining development architecture and strategies with RT 30, became apparent.
Some already-developed external interfaces were seen as adjuncts to the activities
performed in RT 30 and these interfaces would certainly be useful in the future. By far,
the greater synergies in the development effort were in architecture and operational
issues – such issues are transparent to the user but vital to successful delivery. Further
exploration led to an integrated data-set and application.
This final report contains significant sections from the previous reports, and is intended
to summarize the culmination of work performed toward improving the process of
generating a concept of operations through the use of 3D graphical tools.