The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Innovation Foundry “works with internal and external JPL partners to bring their space mission ideas, from the initial concept, all the way to a complete proposal package, targeting an opportunity for flight.” Over the last 25 years and with the institutional knowledge gained through their extensive experience - the Innovation Foundry has developed extremely capable and highly customized modeling and analysis software infrastructure.
The Innovation Foundry has been doing “digital engineering” for many years and well before that term became prevalent. In these facilities, the pace required to conceptualize, model, simulate, and analyze complex space systems for early-stage work has led to the development of custom tools analogous to those that are now being deployed across entire organizations to support full-lifecycle digital engineering. This leads to challenging decisions regarding whether to transition to broader and newer tools or to stay with heritage tools for which there may be a viable commercial or open-source alternative. A flexible, scalable interfacing mechanism between existing internal infrastructure and new digital engineering technologies is required to enable the combination of these capabilities and graceful evolution of JPL’s concurrent engineering environment.
The Open Model-Based Engineering Environment (OpenMBEE) is an open-source collaborative engineering system. Integration of the existing JPL concurrent engineering infrastructure with OpenMBEE will efficiently support this gradual evolution of the JPL concurrent engineering environment that is consistent with the state-of-the-art and positioned to keep up through community contributions. This integration will also enable connections to the Sedaro Satellite platform for unified spacecraft simulation - enabling more mature concepts through integrated, high-fidelity simulation and analysis.
The interfaces developed through this effort will enable the JPL concurrent engineering environment to efficiently leverage new and emerging digital engineering software technologies. This will improve their ability to deliver mature concepts that are less likely to change and cause cost and schedule overruns later in the project. In addition, this incorporation of OpenMBEE and Sedaro Satellite in the earliest stages of the project lifecycle will "seed" the digital thread with model information and simulation assets and ease phase transitions.
Modifications to Sedaro Satellite to support JPL missions will benefit other commercial and government customers developing innovative missions. In addition, the implementation of Sedaro Satellite at a leading organization like JPL will deliver value to commercial organizations using the platform by creating a uniquely high-fidelity mechanism for communication of their COTS capabilities with JPL.