Technical endeavors have always used the concept of models. Models are fundamental to the way humans think and solve problems. Efforts around modeling with software attempt to capture and reflect the abstract nature of human reasoning and memory. As engineering modeling languages and analysis capability evolve, engineering organizations are approaching a transformative condition where Engineering Environments enable modeling as a basis for Engineering work. These environments incorporate sophisticated collaboration and configuration control on top of massively scaled computing, promising a modern digital experience known as a Model-Based Engineering Environment or MBEE. The role of the engineering model today captures designs and analysis that address engineering concerns.
There are challenges for making MBEEs successful. Economically viable implementations are needed to enable organizations to operate MBEEs successfully. MBEEs must be able to evolve in scale to meet the insatiable appetite for compute and data handling that accompany their use. And possibly most important, Engineers using an MBEE are being driven by the requirements for the product they are Engineering. Thus an MBEE must provide significant advantages for the Engineer by both increasing the quality of the creative experience and removing obstacles to productivity.
Open MBEE exists to address these challenges and empower Engineers through the phenomena of the open source collaborative software movement. The community that comes with open source provides a large scale mechanism for developing consensus that is captured as concrete technical products. These technical products represent invariants that can propel Model-Based Engineering Environments to success in adopting organizations. Commodity access is crucial in maintaining the strong pace of innovation and technical capability necessary for MBEEs to evolve quickly enough to meet the needs of Engineers. This vision begins to form a projection of a substantial transformation in the world of collaborative engineering modeling such that MBEEs can be sophisticated, productive, and cost-effective.
JPL is endeavoring to build its MBEE to address these challenges and capture these advantages to enable the next-generation of Missions and Spacecraft as we shift into a digital connected engineering world.
Christopher Delp is currently the Technical Group Supervisor for the Systems and Software Solutions Group and the lead for the Computer Aided Engineering Systems and Software Environments Service (SSwE). He is also recognized as an industry leader in Model-Based Engineering Environments And Ecosystems. He previously led the Model Environment Development (MDev) Team for Europa Clipper. He has also worked in roles on MSL Flight Software as well as MGSS and DSN. He has a background in MBSE and Safety-Critical Systems/Embedded Software And Requirements.