A Holistic Approach to Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) for Aerospace and Defense

In the rapidly evolving Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry, the adoption of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is gaining momentum. This innovative approach which is proving essential in managing the increasing technological complexities and challenges faced by industry professionals. MBSE provides a holistic development process that enables efficient management of the development lifecycle, ensures traceability, and maintains consistency throughout system development. Companies like Dassault Systèmes are at the forefront of advancing methodologies and solutions to meet the growing demand for MBSE capabilities in the industry.

“Systems engineering is more important- and more valued- due to rising complexity, increased interconnectivity, and societal impacts.” INCOSE Vision 2035

What is Model-Based Systems Engineering?

Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is an approach to designing and managing complex systems that focuses on creating and using models as a central tool to help improve system requirements, design, analysis, verification, and validation activities. In MBSE, various aspects of a system are represented through graphical and textual models that capture the system’s structure, behavior, functions, and interactions. These models help stakeholders visualize and understand the system more comprehensively, leading to better communication, collaboration, and decision-making throughout the system development lifecycle.

A Holistic Approach

From the System of System (SoS) perspective to the embedded systems and components of a product, MBSE methodologies offer a versatile application throughout various levels of product development. By emphasizing a holistic approach, MBSE facilitates the alignment of stakeholders from contractors to suppliers, ensuring that the system is built as intended. Managing the complexities of product development involves defining requirements early, maintaining traceability, configuration management, and fostering continuous alignment across development domains. By embracing Model-Based Systems Engineering, organizations aim to enhance collaboration, ensure compliance, and streamline the entire development process for improved agility and innovation.

Current Challenges faced by Aerospace and Defense

The current challenges include:

  • Increasing complexities – Technological advancements, system of systems, multiple subsystems, interfaces and interdependencies.
  • Integration of systems and data – Management of various data sources, interfaces, subsystems, and components causing significant downstream implications.
  • Cost management – Increased pressure to reduce costs to develop more complex systems.
  • Regulation, compliance and risk management – Managing and maintaining compliance to strict regulatory standards (safety and security) while managing and tracking risk implications.
  • Requirements management – A structured approach to capturing, tracking, managing and validating requirements throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Supply chain and data management – Manage the supply chain involving multiple suppliers and partners delivering on-time and to required specifications.
  • Time to market – A&D organizations are under pressure to reduce time it takes to bring new products to market in accelerated timelines.

A Digital Solution

Model-Based Systems Engineering emerges as a digital solution that holds the key to overcoming these obstacles. By integrating digital platforms with MBSE capabilities, organizations can improve efficiency, reduce development time and costs, enhance collaboration, and gain comprehensive visibility into the product development lifecycle. Transitioning from traditional document-centric approaches to MBSE not only addresses the challenges faced in A&D product development but also brings significant enhancements in project performances in terms of quality, cost, and schedule adherence.

“Model-Based Systems Engineering is a fundamental change in the way we think about systems engineering. It’s not just a set of tools or a new way of documenting requirements; it’s a paradigm shift that is transforming the entire engineering process. MBSE allows us to model and simulate complex systems, reducing risk and improving decision-making. It enables us to design and analyze systems in a more efficient and effective way, and ultimately, to deliver better systems to our customers.“

Dr. William Roper, Former Director of Strategic Capabilities Office at the US DoD

To learn more, explore our Whitepaper for additional insights.