Systems Engineering Seminar

Improving the Design Process of the REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) with Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)

Presented by:
Mark Chodas, MIT

Monday, September 15, 2014, 1:00 pm
Building 8 Auditorium


Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a new systems engineering paradigm where system models instead of documents are used to track requirements, describe design, support trade studies and analyses, and track verification and validation activities. The system models can be studied to expose relationships and details that are impossible to find when information is scattered across many documents and analytical models. This talk quantifies the advantages of MBSE over traditional systems engineering by comparing the historical development of the REgolith Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (REXIS), a student-built instrument on the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, against a hypothetical development timeline that incorporates information from system models. The system models, constructed in SysML, capture the topological information about the system including the interfaces between all parts of the system, the uncertainty associated with each interface, and the path along which the consequences of selected design choices or requirements flow. The latter two types of information are captured with custom extensions to SysML. Evidence from REXIS shows that incorporating information from system models reduces design iteration and makes the design process more efficient.



Mark Chodas is a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated from MIT with an S.B. in Aerospace Engineering in 2012 and will graduate with an S.M. in Aerospace Engineering in September 2014. His research examines the benefits of model-based systems engineering over traditional document-based systems engineering. Mark is also the instrument systems engineer for the REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) instrument on the OSIRIS-REx mission.


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