Complex Systems Analysis
In a world where technology is leading to increasingly complex products being created which, as well as their main function, are smart and can connect with other items, system engineering is the domain which can meet the challenges of designing these products which have become “systems of systems”.
The major challenges of cost control and development reliability aree at the heart of system engineering.
To meet these challenges, Astek is able to propose solutions for the deployment of tools and processes to its clients by providing a system approach : collaborative works, modularity of systems and testing strategy
Collaboration at the heart of systems
Collaborative working is widely valued for allowing functions to be progressively integrated, followed by the associated verification loops, throughout the development process and particularly for interfaces.
The need for clear requirements and information sharing has led Astek to use “lean” methods involving project methodology such as Obeya, stand-up meetings and visual management.
The collaborative approach provides an optimised solution to needs identified and functions developed that it is difficult to cover when considering each product/sub-system individually.
The use of collaborative tools shared by all team means a common language can be used and misunderstandings avoided.
Astek has invested in digital tools which mean agile boards can be shared by all business lines within the Astek team and the client: the Atlassian suite with JIRA Agile; Kanbanize. These tools allow project progress to be tracked leading to excellent transparency which creates trust between clients and our teams.
By using SysML, Astek systems engineers can establish sharing rules, highlight and follow changes, identify risks and create a shared basis for analysis for all project stakeholders, including automating document production and verifying and validating the feasibility of a system before it is created.
Testing, agile working et automation
Product testability and testing phases are considered right from the earliest stages of product design.
Test Driven Development (TDD) is one of the agile methods widely used by Astek teams and brings a range of benefits.
- Designing tests to cover every function
- Limiting test interdependency issues by working on one function at a time
- Validating each use before moving onto the next function
By using this method, it is easier to separate functions and integrate iterative developments.
As well as testing methodologies, Astek places great importance on automated testing and testing means right from project launch, whether it be unit testing, integration testing or system testing. Significant savings can be made using automated methods and tools.
From a product approach to a product systems approach
Finally, the product systems approach means manufacturers can have a modular overview of their product. They can be more responsive and achieve economies of scale when developing new products.
By using system development processes and tools such as SysML, Astek can design a system as a set of sub-systems; functional and physical building blocks based on:
- Reusable libraries
- Agile processes
- Reusable testing methods
Astek helps clients model and design systems through a “product” approach. The aim is to create system components and building blocks with optimum reusability to reduce rework and adaptation costs in line with the specific needs of end clients.
We support our clients in going from a product approach to a product systems approach for different application contexts.
Astek system engineering activities
Requirements management for an inertial navigation system
New generations of military transport aircraft must have sophisticated navigation systems and some have the same constraints as civilian systems.
Astek supported a major French manufacturer working in the defence sector to create a hybrid navigation system with the highest levels of security and integrity, taking charge of requirements management for the system.
- Deep knowledge of all navigation system technologies
- Hugely reliable system which is precise short- and long-term and extremely robust
- Technologies: ABD100.2.7, DO-254, DO-160, DO-178C, Doors
System engineering for a control and command centre
Astek specified a system level and designed the architecture for a new-generation anti-ship missile installation with modular functional and hardware architecture able to adapt to different operational needs.
- New functions implemented
- Responsive design development
- Adapted to different platforms
- Modelling the functional system architecture for different stages of the system lifecycle by identifying the interfaces between the sub-systems and allocating different operations/activities to sub-systems
- Sub-system specifications: created a sub-system “black box” model, then, together with software teams, contributed to “white box” modelling for software-specific uses
- System and sub-system specification
- System model validation
- Technologies: Rhapsody, SysML, Doors, MBSE methodology