Posted 1 October 2021 in Concurrent Design, Engineering, News, Space.
  • RHEA Group will lead one of two consortia developing the Model-Based Engineering Hub (MBSE Hub) for the European Space Agency (ESA), starting in October 2021.
  • The MBSE Hub will streamline the design and execution of space projects by providing semantic interoperability between multiple stakeholders and their tools, enhancing the competitiveness of the European space industry.

RHEA Group has been awarded an 18-month contract to develop the MBSE Hub for ESA. The MBSE Hub will enable model-based system engineering (MBSE) across the space sector by providing a virtualized central hub that allows stakeholders to exchange data using a common language and vocabulary. It will also support auxiliary processes such as configuration control and workflow management.

Collaborative MBSE in support of concurrent design has been successfully used for two decades in the early stages of complex space projects to share models and data, significantly speeding up projects and reducing costs. RHEA’s COMET™ provides a software solution for these early stage projects. However, end-to-end space sector projects can involve hundreds of stakeholders from numerous organizations, each of which may use different tools and programming languages, which presents a far larger challenge when exchanging information.

The MBSE Hub will manage and provide access to data that conforms to the Space System Ontology, which describes a common vocabulary for space projects and is being developed under the auspices of the Model Based for System Engineering (MB4SE) advisory group. During the MBSE Hub project, RHEA as prime contractor and its partners OHB, Thales Alenia Space and DeKonsult will complement the Space System Ontology with operations and RAMS concepts, develop the Hub specifications and demonstrate the implemented Hub using operations and RAMS exchanges. The extensions will cover all aspects related to spacecraft operations and RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety.

Marcel Verhoef, Systems Engineer at ESA’s Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality, said: “Many organizations are involved in the design, build and deployment of spacecraft. To make the overall process more efficient in future, we want to exchange digital models instead of only documents. The MBSE Hub is central to ESA’s vision, as it will facilitate data exchange and semantic interoperability for all stakeholders of all sizes, streamlining processes across the entire lifecycle and throughout the supply chain.”

Sam Gerené, RHEA’s SEMT Business Unit Manager, added: “We have extensive experience in collaborative engineering, including our work with ESA at its Concurrent Design Facility, our involvement in the Digital Engineering Hub Pathfinder project, and leading the MARVL project in which we developed the Common Information Platform that will serve as the foundation for the MBSE Hub. We therefore understand the challenges of exchanging data between multiple tools and the benefits that will be offered by a comprehensive digital exchange mechanism. We very much look forward to collaborating with the other consortium on the MBSE Hub to produce what will surely be a game-changer for the European space sector.”

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