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2011-11-12 20:46:03

Frontier Project : Design tool for stably adaptable systems

The RTSync Team wins the Frontier design environment project from DARPA and NASA with other research teams led by the Catholic University of America in 2011. The driving objective of the Frontier design environment is to provide an environment that caters to the interests of a wide variety of stakeholders in the construction of a novel architecture of fractionated satellites. As a core component of this environment, the Modeling and Simulation Environment (MSE) must be capable of providing simulations that evaluate spacecraft system architectures in response to the requirements of stakeholders such as satellite designers, communications specialists, and space experimenters. Key to achieving this flexibility is to provide an appropriate characterization of stakeholders that places users with similar needs and likely uses of simulations in the same category. Stakeholders are not limited to a single characterization; the same user may adopt different characterizations to gain insights available from different perspectives, e.g., switching roles to understand both economic prospects and technical feasibility of a potential solution. Given a stakeholder type, the MSE configures a simulation that outputs a set of architectures that are evaluated and ranked according to their ability to meet the user's requirements. The simulation is based on various levels of abstraction that are designed to support the stakeholder's questions and objectives.

Implementation of the simulation capabilities in the MSE employs the concepts and tools of RTSync: specifically, Discrete Event Systems Specification (DEVS) MSE, System Entity Structure (SES) Builder, and DEVS/SOA. The central feature of DEVS/SOA is that supports executing the DEVS simulator as a web service. The development of this framework helps to solve large-scale problems and guarantees interoperability among different networked systems and specifically DEVS-validated models. DEVS/SOA makes the ADEVS simulation process transparent in the model-design cycle, allowing the modeler not to be concerned with the simulator compatibility or any platform issues as in earlier developments like DEVS/C++, DEVSJAVA, DEVS/RMI, and DEVS/CORBA. With this service platform the designer is able to execute the model over the Internet through web services, using SOA as the middleware. This framework is able to execute DEVSJAVA models, and is extensible to other DEVS simulation engines.