Below are some situations where we've seen defense organizations benefit from digital engineering. Do any look familiar? Now may be the time to consider a digital-first approach.
1. You want to accomplish research and development (R&D) objectives faster, with greater accuracy.
R&D focuses on fast-track exploration such as testing hypotheses, discovering insights, and experimentation. Starting with a digital architecture allows you to speed progress and tackle "what-ifs" up-front.
- Create prototypes faster and adapt them rapidly for iterative improvement.
- Supply a digital model in your request for proposal (RFP) to receive more precision in your responses.
- Create a model to evaluate prospective vendors with speed and accuracy.
- Understand the impact of decisions from first steps through critical design review (CDR).
2. You're working with disparate partners.
In today's development environment, you may be working with teams around the world. Moreover, stakeholders like program managers need a bird's-eye view over the entire program, whereas other stakeholders have specialized roles. MBSE keeps you on the same digital thread, at the correct permission levels.
- Ensure every partner receives up-to-date information to inform decision making.
- Create a digital twin so all can assess real-world impact before and after a system is fielded.
- Provide visualizations showing each type of stakeholder a view of the data tailored to their interests.
3. Your system needs to integrate into a larger ecosystem.
More and more programs today require interfaces to subsystems or larger networks. A digital record allows traceability across connections and ensures all components work together.
- Plan ahead for integration with other systems in development—for the Artemis space program, for example, we're preparing interfaces for the Deep Space Gateway to integrate with the Human Landing System.
- Receive updates that ripple through the systems model in real time for accurate, fast updates.
- Gain speed and agility with reusable reference architecture—with fewer errors.
4. You have to upgrade a legacy system, including updates and maintenance for units in the field.
If you need to modernize a system that's already in operation—even if it's an older system—digital engineering will extend the lifespan of that system. "It requires investment up-front, but once you see the benefits of standardizing devices, systems, or equipment in the field, you'll begin to reap the benefits," says Kevin.
- Set up an open architecture to manage updates.
- Use model-based product support to simplify upgrades and maintenance.
- Employ the model to explore additive manufacturing possibilities.
Insert new technologies rapidly, across cycles if needed.