SynaptiCAD, in a NASA SBIR which ended in 2015 (contract NNX15CP26P), created a software environment which facilitated the creation of engineering models, subsystems which use those models, and integration of the subsystems into a coherent system model which could then be executed using a time & event simulator based on SystemVerilog. The work was continued under an Air Force SBIR which emphasized system of systems (SoS) and acausal simulation. SynaptiCAD proposes to enhance this modeling and simulation environment with functionality designed to improve collaboration, multi-fidelity modeling, and analysis of architectural variants. These three themes follow each other naturally and form a nucleus around which to build a highly scalable complex systems design toolset. Collaboration will include the use of web-based libraries so multiple parties can work concurrently on models, subsystems, or system simulations. Multi-fidelity modeling will feature tools to replace models of differing fidelity, map variables automatically between fidelity levels, and wizards to help the user perform these tasks. The toolset will be able to introspect the system being developed to discern its architecture and allow trade studies to take place by varying architectural parameters. The proposed environment will be designed flexibly, to accommodate future insertion into 3rd party workflows such as MBSE/SysML. The use of time & event simulation will provide the mission planner with a comprehensive understanding of a proposed spacecraft in relation to its scientific mission at an early conceptual stage and extending throughout its life. The same simulation tool will be usable in later stages of design given its ability to manage multiple layers of fidelity and the associated collaboration features undergirding this capability. The tool will provide a rigorous understanding of the science potential of a mission vs. cost, risk, schedule, and other programmatic factors.
Complex design projects will benefit across the spectrum of NASA Science, Space Technology, Human Exploration and Operations, and Aeronautics. Future missions such as LUVOIR, HabEx and Lynx would especially benefit. The proposed technology benefits a wide range of user roles: management support, science mission planning, engineering, fault analysis, etc. Initial applications will include satellite systems, telescope design, and robotic exploration. A strong role is anticipated at centers that already use MBSE technology (e.g. JPL, GSFC).
Beyond NASA, applications will be focused primarily on the aerospace and defense sector where the DoD and prime contractors, such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have already indicated an interest in these capabilities. After establishing penetration in A&D, SynaptiCAD will pursue secondary markets such as automobiles, heavy equipment, and shipbuilding. Siemens has shown some interest in this idea.