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Model-based Systems Engineering Report Sample


Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) is an emerging approach to address multi- disciplinary and distributed system engineering. In this assignment, you are required to create a short annotated bibliography on MBSE. You should select at least 3 references from recent (within 10 years) prestigious international journals to address either What, Why or How the MBSE is developed.

For each reference selected, you should provide at least three paragraphs, as follows.

• Description – to describe the author(s), the journal, the article title and the year published, and then to evaluate the authors’ credentials and the journal’s reputation (e.g. are they an expert in the field of MBSE).

• Explanation – to summarise the key themes or arguments presented in the reference, and to explain how the research was conducted (methodology).

• Evaluation – to critically analyse the reference including comments about aspects such as: how reliable you think the information is, whether there are any flaws in the research or the conclusions, how you think it contributes to the knowledge of MBSE, who should read the reference (its audience), or how the reference may be useful for this audience.

Please note this is an individual assignment. The word limit is 1500 approximately.

Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria are as follows (out of 60):

1. Introduction (5 marks)

2. Annotations (three references) (total 45 marks)

2.1 Annotation for Reference 1

• Description (5 marks)
• Explanation (5 marks)
• Evaluation (5 marks)

2.2 Annotation for Reference 2

• Description (5 marks)
• Explanation (5 marks)
• Evaluation (5 marks)

2.3 Annotation for Reference 3

• Description (5 marks)
• Explanation (5 marks)
• Evaluation (5 marks)

3. Conclusion (5 marks)

4. Writing skills and presentation (5 marks)

The references should be arranged in alphabetical order of the author’s last name. The annotations should be written in paragraph structure. Avoid using dot points unless you are listing information.

The weighting of the assignment is 30%. I expect that the report will consist of 3 sections corresponding to criteria 1-3 with section 2 consists of 3 subsections to address criteria 2-1, 2-2 and 2-3. All references must be verifiable. If a reference is available online, the URL must be provided. For other references, unless it is the textbook, scanned images of the relevant pages must be provided.


1. Introduction

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a methodology of systems engineering which uses the formation and exploitation of domain models as the fundamental method of exchanging information to facilitate reduction of documents for exchanging data. For Assignment Help, In order to increase productivity and reduce the unnecessary usage of manual techniques, the MBSE methodology was widely publicized by The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) which is a professional and not-for-profit membership organisation. The aim of this report is to provide annotations for three articles based on why MBSE is applied to the field of aerospace industry and Mechatronic Engineering. The report consists of a short introduction of the topic, followed by the annotation section of three articles and subsequently a conclusion which will summarize the key points from the prior sections.

2. Annotations

2.1 Annotations for Reference 1

Citation: Gregory, J., Berthoud, L., Tryfonas, T., Rossignol, A. and Faure, L., 2020. The long and winding road: MBSE adoption for functional avionics of spacecraft. Journal of Systems and Software, 160, p.110453.

This paper was published in 2020 by the Journal of Systems and Software which is a reputed journal with an impact factor of 2.450, that publishes papers on software engineering. This article is about why MBSE is being adopted in a spacecraft’s functional avionics recently. The journal describes the benefits and justification of the application of MBSE in aerospace for further enhancement of the functionality aspects of spacecrafts. The authors of the journal are Joe Gregory and Lucy Berthoud who are associated with the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the University of Bristol. Theo Tryfonas is associated with the Department of Civil Engineering in the University of Bristol, Alain Rossignol is in Airbus Defence and Space in Rue des Cosmonautes Toulouse, France and Ludovic Faure is in Airbus Defence and Space in Gunnels Wood Road Stevenage, UK.

The authors have started with the argument of the abolishment of the traditional approach towards systems engineering and increasing the application of MBSE in aerospace projects. This is supported by the evidence that the traditional Document-based systems Engineering (DBSE) used paper to store data and information. This manual method was costly and labour-intensive because of the manual evaluation, review and monitoring required. Hence, the application of MBSE which is a formal application model for supporting systems requirements to store data is being popularized. It is also argued that since spacecraft technology is considered to be a complex system, therefore, it can be simplified with the application of MBSE which will help in reducing the development costs associated with spacecrafts. An investigative methodology is administered for this study which uses semi-structure interviews with a sample size of 25 engineers from Airbus to collect primary data. The authors have obtained a total of 205 responses from 9 interviews. The data obtained has been thematically analysed to highlight notable relationships and obtain inferences. It is inferred from the responses obtained from the engineers of Airbus that MBSE evidently promotes better communication, consistency, maintainability and clarity with systems engineering projects. It also addresses the complexity of the projects and attempts to simply them safely and in a cost-effective manner which supports why it should be applied in aerospace engineering.

A significant limitation of the paper is the small sample size of only 25 engineers from Airbus were questioned for the collection of primary data. While the number of responses which is 205, were considerable to understand the various aspects of the topic concerned and providing reliable inferences, it cannot be considered enough for investigating all purposes of Functional Avionics. In spite of this limitation, this paper contributes widely to the understanding of why MBSE should be applied to aerospace engineering over the DBSE discussing the benefits of MBSE and providing valuable recommendations for the future.

2.2 Annotations for Reference 2

Citation: Mas, F., Racero, J., Oliva, M. and Morales-Palma, D., 2019. Preliminary ontology definition for aerospace assembly lines in Airbus using Models for Manufacturing methodology. Procedia Manufacturing, 28, pp.207-213.

The study was published by Procedia Manufacturing journal which is a reputed journal in the scientific community with an impact factor of 1.79 as in 2020. The journal was published in the year 2019 with peer review under the responsibility of the scientific community of the International Conference on Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production. The authors of the paper are Fernando Mas and Manuel Olivia who are associated with Airbus in Spain along with Jesus Racero and Domingo Morales-Palma who are associated with the University of Sevilla in Spain. The journal has described the implementation of MBSE concepts in manufacturing for aerospace assembly lines.

The inception of the study is with a basic product definition in the aerospace industry manufactured by Airbus. This product is an aircraft structure with 3 levels that can be simplified into the upper, configuration and lower levels.

Figure 1: The 3 Levels of an Aircraft

Every artifact manufactured for assembling each level of the manufacturing process should be planned and designed. It has been contended by the authors that a design solution is accompanied by a manufacturing solution which is supported by the fact that functional designs and industrial designs operate in concurrence.

Figure 2: Design Solutions and Manufacturing Solutions

The study proceeds to developing a Design Scope Model using MBSE approach which has two benefits of implementation in the design and manufacturing of aerospace artifacts. The first advantage is that MBSE has the ability to abandon the traditional system of passing information and the second is that it has the ability to simply complex procedures. Using these two fundamental reasons the authors have developed a model which passes assembly line data from one level to another using the MBSE methodology.

Figure 3: Assembly Line Data Model developed using MBSE

The methodology of the paper is a descriptive analysis of the topic using secondary sources to develop a Design Model for the assembly line for manufacturing aerospace artifacts which will pass information from one level to another without any hindrance.

The paper concludes by providing a short summary of the work done throughout the study with specification towards future proceedings in this area. A significant limitation of the paper is limited quantitative research which makes the paper too descriptive. The contribution to the knowledge of MBSE is also limited and not too detailed which leads to question the application of the method to develop the models.

2.3 Annotations for Reference 3

Citation: Kübler, K., Scheifele, S., Scheifele, C. and Riedel, O., 2018. Model-based systems engineering for machine tools and production systems (model-based production engineering). Procedia Manufacturing, 24, pp.216-221.

This study was published by Procedia Manufacturing journal which is a reputed journal in the scientific community with an impact factor of 1.79 as in 2020. The journal was published in the year 2018 with peer review under the responsibility of the scientific community of the 4th International Conference on System-Integrated Intelligence. The authors of this paper are Karl Kubler, Stefan Scheifele, Christian Scheifele and Oliver Riedel who are associated with the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units, University of Stuttgart, Germany. The study is about integrating engineering disciplines in the aerospace industry through the implementation of MBSE methods which has been demonstrated in this paper through a roadmap.

The paper introduces the argument that production facilities should be rapidly adapting to changes through upgradation and configuration of the control systems and mechanical designs. The study proceeds with the discussion of the significant deficits of the Mechatronic Engineering Process some of which are the adaptability and individual processes of the production system, the manner of handling the increasing complexity of the model, finding optimal control and design of the production systems and so on.

Figure 4: Persisting Deficits in the Mechatronic Engineering Process

The following provides the development of a model using MBSE methods which addresses the deficits of the Mechatronic Engineering Process that should be incorporated in the production systems. In this model a four layer system is used which represents and defines the metamodel which derives a higher level of abstraction using Unified Modelling Language.

Figure 5: Four-Layer Model-Drive Architecture

The authors have discussed in a comprehensive manner why MBSE should be applied in Mechatronic Engineering which begins with the simplification of the feedback loops in the production phases. Subsequently the automated regeneration of the artefacts in the engineering and validation phases is enabled through the application of MBE approach which makes it effortless. Furthermore, the time saving aspect of the application of MBSE in mechatronic engineering leads to the execution of the phases earlier and more often. This study is descriptive in nature with qualitative analysis of secondary data obtained by the authors from external sources.

Figure 6: Application of MBSE to Mechatronic Engineering

The methodological approach of this study is descriptive which highlights the absence of quantitative research by the authors. However, the conclusion summarizes the findings and inferences obtained by the authors. The overall contribution of the paper to the understanding of MBSE can be regarded as high with the detailed discussion of the models developed and establishing a systematic flow of the research starting it by mentioning the deficits of the existing system used in mechatronic engineering.

3. Conclusion

It can be concluded that the MBSE methodology has a potential to simplify complex systems in an inexpensive manner. This explains why MBSE should be applied in the field of aerospace which involves huge development costs. Furthermore, the application of MBSE helps develop simple models that can be applied in the designing and development of products in the aerospace and mechatronic engineering. This further strengthens as to why the application of MBSE in aerospace industry and mechatronic engineering is beneficial and gaining substantial popularity.


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