Open Concurrent Design In the CDF
ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) has successfully demonstrated the capability to use Space System Concurrent Engineering to overcome the communication gaps between the “designer” (who produces design information) and the “user” (who utilizes the design information) enhancing the in-house capability to perform feasibility studies in a very effective and interdisciplinary manner.
Many candidate missions have taken advantage of the new capabilities offered by the CDF, reducing the pre-Phase A (preliminary design) study duration from several months to a few weeks while increasing design quality. This has been in part due to the use of the CDF-IDM, the integrated design model. The Open Concurrent Design Server (OCDS) is the next generation of the CDF design model and was developed by DNV (Norway) as prime contractor with EPM (Norway), Daysha Consulting (Ireland) and Critical Software (Portugal) as subcontractors.
The CDF-IDM was built on an experimental basis and makes use of spreadsheet technology, both as data storage and as engineering tool. The OCDS on the other hand makes use of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) using web services, a centralised database and many client tools such as the OCDS Study Manager (OSM) and OCDS enabled spreadsheets.
The growing interest of ESA partners, Industry and Academia in the ESA CDF core IDM, standardised data representation and exchange, and common design methodologies is one of the reasons that has motivated the creation of the Open Concurrent Design Server. For this purpose an ECSS Working Group was formed responsible for creating a Technical Memorandum (TM) which defines the recommendations for model based data exchange for the early phases of engineering and design. The ECSS-TM-10-25 "System Engineering - Engineering Design Model Data Exchange” TM provides the basis for:
- Creating a consistent set of Concurrent Design (CD) facilities across European Space Community.
- Allowing semantically consistent data exchange between CD facilities.
- Enabling and supporting joint real-time design activities by collaborating CD facilities.
The OCDS is the product implementation of the ECSS-TM-10-25 and provides the building blocks of a Concurrent, Collaborative and Distributed Engineering for the Space Industry, using Open Standards and information models. The OCDS opens up the possibility to make use of Concurrent Engineering in the later phases of the space project lifecycle.
In order to promote the new data model and the associated standard, ESA intends to distribute the OCDS product to all members of the European Space Community (as Community SoftWare), including Institutional Partners, Industry, Academia.
The OCDS portal and the subscriptions (see associated links) is already open and the product will be available from mid 2010.