Deepak Shankar, Mirabilis
EETimes (1/3/2011 11:03 PM EST)
Today’s defense systems contain broad requirements that encompass the design of a complex set of interconnected components that operate seamlessly across ground, air and space. Understanding the requirements, operating challenges and schedule to size and price the contract is a significant challenge. It is difficult to get an accurate estimate of the schedule and pricing solely by resorting to prior experience, building prototypes or even creating models of the algorithms.
Unknown and uncertain conditions can only be identified with a system simulation prototype that captures the operation of the entire system. The development of a functional virtual model that traces the end-to-end operations of the entire system, without adding the details of the algorithms, hardware implementation details and software code, is the only viable approach to test feasibility during the proposal writing phase and design specification.
New mandates are requiring that the Government be highly involved in the simulation phase. Simulation studies and the transfer of these models are a requirement of most proposals. In addition, these models must be correlated against the prototype system, used for specification, communication and operator training. The low-cost approach of Government and Defense contracts require extensive architecture exploration and conformance modeling for constraints such as processor utilization, memory sizing, communication systems and environmental impacts. The models must describe the hardware and software systems to maximize the modeling efforts to the unknown regions of the design. Models must be shareable with the government without huge investment from both sides for demonstration compliance and design superiority, either as part of the documentation or using a Web-based interface.
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