Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a methodology for systems engineering that uses visual modeling as the primary means of communicating information.
Unlike the exchange of traditional document-based information, MBSE eliminates the communication of unnecessary information by relying on abstract models that retain only the relevant data. This is a big deal because it makes it easier for engineering teams to communicate design intent, understand the impact of design changes, and analyze a system’s design before building it.
Over the past few years, the use of MBSE has spread to many sectors including automotive, defense, aviation and aerospace. Many observers feel NASA’s planning of the Apollo missions would have been much easier with modern approaches such as MBSE.
That’s because the benefits of using MBSE are considerable. This includes:
- A design environment that is common — A single source of truth for the collaborative design of new systems to ensure every stakeholder is clear on the most up-to-date design.
- Safer and Faster testing — By enabling virtual testing of some relevant model elements, it is possible to make the testing process simpler and easier. Although model testing can’t replace the rigor of physical tests, it can simplify some aspects of it.
- No single point of failure – MBSE models are collaboratively developed and shared amongst participating stakeholders so there is usually no single system, data center or program that would result in a catastrophe were it to fail.
- Customer/requirements-driven – MBSE models can be continually assessed and tested against changing requirements to ensure that new design changes are tracked back to meet specific user needs.
Interestingly, when organizations were polled on why they turned to MBSE, a majority (more than 55%) cited the opportunity to improve systems engineering efforts.
When asked what the primary purpose of MBSE was, the majority said it was specifically to improve the quality of requirements and design to reduce downstream defects.
And while MBSE is not a panacea for all of an organization’s issues, it is a proven approach for improving productivity because it’s a single system model that is authoritative, durable and unambiguous. MBSE also promotes communication, produces more seamless gate transitions, and documents/charts are generated from the mode, which reduces time and the expense of making slides from gate reviews.
Want to learn more about MBSE modeling? Tonex offers MBSE Training with a dozen different MBSE courses that encompass both theoretical and practical material. These include:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.