Collaborative, Human-Centered Simulation, Modeling and Design Environment for Complex Aerospace Systems

In order to radically advance the process by which complex aerospace systems are designed, manufactured and operated, distributed collaborative environments for simulation, modeling and design need to be developed. The environments are to be used for simulating the entire life cycle of aerospace systems from concept development, detailed design, and prototyping to qualification testing, operations and disposal. They will incorporate the state-of-the-art computational, communication and synthetic environment facilities and tools. The environments will be highly interactive and capable of dynamically mapping information into visual, auditory or kinesthetic representations. They will include computational intelligence modules (fuzzy logic, evolutionary strategies and neural networks), and the infrastructure for collaborative computing among geographically dispersed teams. The computational tools in the environments cover the entire life cycle of the aerospace system and include high-fidelity rapid modeling facilities, and physics-based simulation tools for structures, dynamics, controls, optics, thermal management, power and propulsion. They also include tools for mission design, cost modeling and estimating; product assurance, safety analysis and risk management; as well as tools for simulation of prototyping, testing for qualifications and operations. The environment will help in assessing the manufacturability and in the rapid insertion of new product technology. They will significantly shorten the design and development times of future aerospace systems, reduce their life-cycle cost, and improve their performance.

To insure the most effective use of the humans and other facilities in the design environment, a simulation model is developed representing the environment as a complex system-of- systems, consisting of distributed teams of humans, intelligent software agents, tools, facilities and other systems. The model represents design practices, including interactive behavior of humans and agents, agent activities, and use of representational devices. It can be used to significantly improve the human cognitive potential. In addition, it goes beyond cognitive processes (perception and interface) to incorporate collaboration and communication context in real-time tasks of realistic complexity. The advanced interfaces transforms the computer / network side of the human-computer / network systems to be like a human-to-human interaction.