Digital Pipelines combines modern DevOps practices with MBSE to accelerate continuous integration (CI), verification (CV), and delivery (CD) of complex systems. Digital Pipelines enables automated and scheduled workflows with digital threads that connect models/data of a system distributed in multiple tools. With Digital Pipelines, system engineers can schedule an automated workflow that fetches the latest state of models in a digital thread, runs test suites, and on success generates reports and baselines the digital thread. System engineers can schedule and automate model transformations between tools—requirements to system architecture to mechanical/electrical design and software.
The Phase 1 project successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of the Digital Pipelines concept using a Spacecraft system testbed with system architecture models (SysML), requirements models, PLM/CAD models, project tasks, and software modules. A novel approach was developed for defining test cases as graph queries and representing system configurations as digital thread sub-graphs.
The Phase 2 project will architect and develop software prototypes of Digital Pipelines as a scalable service that can move, verify, and document digital engineering information in a scheduled and automated pipeline, saving an organization thousands of hours in manual movement and reconciliation of data between disciplines. Digital Pipeline service will include capabilities to: graphically author a pipeline, develop libraries of verification test cases, schedule and track execution of pipelines, and automatically generate reports. Digital Pipeline service will provide a frontend Web-Dashboard and backend REST API for automation and programmatic access.
The Intercax team has finalized a work plan with use cases from three early adopters—NASA Gateway, NASA JPL, and Lockheed Martin Space—to test and provide feedback on the Digital Pipeline service developed in Phase 2 project.
Digital Pipelines are applicable to all current and future NASA missions, both human exploration and robotic, that need revolutionary MBSE approaches to accelerate integrate-verify-deploy cycles. Some notable examples are Lunar Gateway, Human Lander, and Orion as part of the Artemis program; Mars Sample Return, Europa Clipper, and Europa Lander. Intercax is actively engaged with the Gateway (JSC) and JPL teams to target high-value use cases with Digital Pipelines in Phase 2.
Collaborative and distributed MBSE is part of digital transformation initiatives underway in many industries, such as aerospace, defense, automotive, transportation, energy, healthcare, and electronics. Intercax has customers across these industries. Automated and continuous integration, verification, and delivery of products are crucial for these industries to remain competitive globally.