Variability and Customization of Simulator Products : A Product Line Approach in Model Based Systems Engineering

Abstract: AIRCRAFT DEVELOPERS, like other organizations within development and manufacturing, are experiencing increasing complexity in their products and growing competition in the global market. Products are built from increasingly advanced technologies and their mechanical, electronic, and software parts grow in number and become more interconnected. Different approaches are used to manage information and knowledge of products in various stages of their lifecycle."Reuse" and "Model Based Development" are two prominent trends for improving industrial development efficiency. The product line approach is used to reduce the time to create product variants by reusing components. The model based approach provides means to capture knowledge about a system in the early lifecycle stages for usage throughout its entire lifetime. It also enables structured data  management as a basis for analysis, automation, and team collaboration for efficient management of large systems and families of products.This work is focused on the combination of methods and techniques within;modeling and simulation-based development, and(re)use of simulation models through the product line concept.With increasing computational performance and more efficient techniques/tools for building simulation models, the number of models increases, and their usage ranges from concept evaluation to end-user training. The activities related to model verification and validation contribute to a large part of the overall cost for development and maintenance of simulation models. The studied methodology aims to reduce the number of similar models created by different teams during design, testing, and end-user support of industrial products.Results of the work include evaluation of a configurator to customize and integrate simulation models for different types of aircraft simulators that are part of a simulator product family. Furthermore, contribution comprises results where constraints in the primary product family (aircraft) govern the configuration space of the secondary product family (simulators). Evaluation of the proposed methodology was carried out in cooperation with the simulator department for the 39 Gripen fighter aircraft at Saab Aeronautics.