Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a systems engineering methodology that focuses on creating and exploiting domain models as the primary means of information exchange between engineers, rather than on document-based information exchange. MBSE is generally defined as a formalized application of modeling to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later life cycle phases
MBSE covers five value streams each playing a crucial role in the orchestration of digital information across mechanical, electrical/electronic, and software domains. They lay as a foundation, a fundamentally different set of work practices, and a refactoring of development methodologies.
To begin, manufacturers will need to evolve to more model based and systems focused work practices across their engineering domains. This will open unbounded opportunities for reusability, simulation trade studies, and support a much earlier verification cycle.
Second, they need to have their engineering teams connected within a logical digital enterprise. This means having exposure early and often to a transparent and frictionless exchange of product information, providing traceable evidence from concept on through the whole product maturity lifecycle.
Third, manufacturers need a mindset shift away from physicals, to one that not only trusts but values virtual simulation and verification across a continuous and integrated engineering lifecycle. This allows for an exponentially greater alignment across disciplines and with management, yielding higher quality, higher confidence, increased transparency, and earlier diagnosis of issues. This has the effect of freeing valuable time for engineering teams to foster the innovative solutions needed to meet ever-expanding and increasing customer and market demands.
Product Definition as part of an integrated MBSE approach is the primary creation phase where all the required assets are authored such as requirements, parameters, system architectures, interface diagrams, and domain architectures to 1D/ 3D models, calibration specs along with software and test specifications. The collection of these elements is then used to build models that represent system and subsystem physics, and the connection of those systems through interfaces across all relevant development domains. Once available, these reusable digital models can be used in later development stages of simulation and product validation. This results in a fully specified and traceable product aligned to stakeholder requirements.
Connected Engineering has two major objectives in support of an integrated MBSE approach. The first is to simplify access to system, product, and process models authored in the Product Definition phase. The second is to make these models available and actionable to anyone empowered to influence the development process. These two goals work in tandem to connect the models, their creators, and the information consumers. The result is improved visibility and communication across the various development disciplines.
Concurrent and contextual access support continuous development cycles, enabling each engineering domain to drive their own agile cycle while maintaining a tight connection to the model. With this approach, software and hardware engineers can work in a true co-development environment, enhancing creativity and collaboration.
Verification and validation are similar but distinct processes as part of MBSE used to check that a product or system meets requirements and specifications established to fulfill its intended purpose. Validation assures that the product meets the demands of the customer and any other identified stakeholders. Verification, on the other hand, is meant to evaluate whether a product, service, or system complies with a regulation, requirement, specification, or other imposed condition. Validation can be expressed as "Are you building the right thing? “and verification by "Are you building it right?". Building the right thing refers to the user's needs while building it right checks that the specifications are correctly implemented by the system.
Quality engineering is part of the MBSE approach and process of meeting requirements for safety, reliability, and security of a product. This involves a transformation from “quality assurance” (typically downstream testing) with a shift left for engineering quality during the initial concept and preliminary design phases.
Safety, reliability, and security can be expressed by the following:
Safety, reliability, and security are important in their own rights and should be maximized; however, the needs of each are often at odds due to conflicts in the priority of stated requirements or how risk will be managed. Each is typically measured by comparing test or simulation results to the government or industry standards.
IPP&E establishes consistent planning and execution practices as part of an integrated MBSE approach to efficiently manage the development of complex products across both technical and organizational domains. A systematic approach to program planning and execution allows timing, cost, resource scheduling, and technical requirements to be integrated into a fully planned, resourced and budgeted program.
MBSE in Aerospace & Defense
Aerospace and Defense companies face several challenges in systems engineering processes. Orchestrate your technical program using system modeling to: