Simulation Data Management using Aras and SharePoint


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Advatech Pacific Simulation Data Management with PLM from Aras and Microsoft SharePoint

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  • Goddard – manned missions; JPL – interplanetary and deep spaceUp to about 1000 pages reportE.g. Universities
  • The underlying architecture has been refined to allow easier extension of new components. Figure 7-12 shows a simplified class diagram showing the basic abstraction breakdown. There are three distinct levels of abstraction. The bottom layer provides a wrapper interface to the Aras Innovator backend. A second layer implements services and workflows specific to the MDC. Data packaging and notification services are located in this layer. The final abstraction layer creates presentation components for user interfaces. Each layer contains a base class implementing most common functionality in a generic fashion, and each layer could be swapped out with a different version in the future (for instance, if a decision was made to expose the data in a standalone application, the bottom two layers would still be reusable). Addition of new nodes to the system is also much quicker, as the base class implements most of the required functionality, while only the new simulation properties must be accounted for.
  • SharePoint Web Parts are additional components that you can install to any SharePoint Web Part Site. With SharePoint Web Parts there are certain controls that allow end users to modify the content, appearance, and behavior of Web pages directly from a browser. Web Parts can be moved into certain places within a SharePoint web page by the End Users. The SharePoint administrators of a SharePoint Web Part web site have overall control. SharePoint Web Parts bring additional functionality to a SharePoint Web Part site.
  • Thermal Desktop: Thermal analysis code by C&R Technologies, only integrated with AutoCAD. No API. Can import a thermal mesh/model.
  • Simulation Data Management using Aras and SharePoint

    2. 2. Contents• Advatech Pacific Overview• NASA SBIR Project Goals• NASA Ames Mission Design Center• The “Simulation Bill of Material”• Requirements Management• Integration with SharePoint• Desktop Clients• Analysis Tool Integration• Summary 2
    3. 3. Advatech Pacific Company Information Engineering Research & Development Company Founded in 1995 Primary Business Focus  Aerospace Vehicle Physics Based Modeling and Simulation  Integrated System and Cost Analysis Tool Development  Communications Systems Interoperability  Engineering Design, Analysis and PLM/PDM Services Annual Revenues over $10M (Small Business) Approx. 50 Full Time Engineers / Scientists Locations  San Bernardino, CA (HQ)  Palmdale, CA  Dayton, OH  Tempe, AZ 3
    4. 4. Aerospace, Defense, and Commercial Modeling and Simulation  Strategic Missiles and Rockets  Spacecraft  Satellites  Expendable & Re-useable Launch Vehicles  Re-entry Vehicles  Space Shuttle Payload  Communications Hardware  Integrated Design with Cost Analysis  Satellite Tactical Comm.  Hypersonics  Disparate Network Integration  Range Safety Analysis  Military & Civilian applications  Gas Turbine Engines  Aircraft & Systems  Analysis  Design  Design  Drafting  Performance  Airframe structural analysis  Applications  Engineering support for composites  Manufacturing support 4
    5. 5. NASA SBIR Project Goals• Develop a seamless environment for satellite mission design• Introduce PLM approach to NASA mission design• Develop a structured approach to simulation data management• Facilitate reuse of engineering analysis models• Integrate requirements and engineering analysis• Integrate fragmented engineering analysis tools• Leverage existing tools as much as possible 5
    6. 6. Customer: NASA Ames Mission Design Center (MDC)• Focused on small satellites• Performs three types of mission design studies: • Center directives • Announcements of opportunity • Research proposals• Studies range from “back-of-the-envelope” studies of a few days to fairly detailed mission designs of six to eight weeks duration• Customers are both internal (NASA/government) and external• In all cases, the final “product” is a mission proposal in the form of a report with supporting analysis data 6
    7. 7. The Problems Faced by the MDC• Simulation models and data scattered all over individual engineers’ desktops and shared network drives• No revision control of simulation models and data• No tracking of relationships between simulation models• No mechanism to flag simulation models that are out-of-date because the assumptions/models they depend on have changed• No reusability of engineering analyses• No relationships between requirements and engineering analyses to support the requirements• Engineers spend a lot of time moving data from one analysis tool to another• Commercial solutions for simulation data management are out of reach for the MDC from a cost standpoint 7
    8. 8. Advatech Pacific’s Solution• Development of a “Virtual Satellite Integration Environment” consisting of: • A simulation data management solution, based on Aras and Microsoft SharePoint, integrated with the conceptual mission design tool (ATLAS), implementing a “Simulation Bill Of Material” • A mechanism to link analysis models to requirements • A “Linked Model Environment” integrating engineering analysis models and tools • Automation and optimization 8
    9. 9. Challenges Faced by Advatech1. Cultural• “Mission Design is different”• “PLM is for manufacturing companies”• “Every mission is unique”• “Standardized processes limit the engineers’ creativity”2. Resources• The MDC operates on a shoe-string budget. The budget to purchase software licenses is very limited. A lot of licenses are shared with other NASA organizations.• Always operating in crisis mode. The next mission design is always due yesterday. We are trying to do an engine upgrade while the car is in the middle of a race. 9
    10. 10. Virtual Satellite Integration Environment SharePoint Remote Simulation Traceability and Collaboration Revision ManagementScience Traceability Matrix Aras Innovator Simulation Bill of Material Mission Linked Model Requirements Design Product Environment Atlas SolidWorks SolidWorks STK STK Thermal Desktop Thermal User Desktop Automated Change CAD Interchange Notifications 10
    11. 11. The “Simulation Bill of Material”• Extending the notion of the classical BOM to management of simulation data and their relationships• Tracks the relationship between versions of analysis models• Supports release process for simulation data• Notifies users automatically when their analysis models may be out of date• Links analysis data to requirements• The classical BOM is represented as a tree structure, whereas simulation data form a graph structure• Root of the SBOM is a “Project” 11
    12. 12. SBOM Structure in Aras• Custom item types defined in Aras to support satellite mission design• Items are containers for simulation data/ documents• Derived from out-of- the-box Aras items, support their lifecycle (versioning, release status, workflows, etc.) 12
    13. 13. Aras Innovator SBOM Item Types • A number of custom Aras item types have been generated, supporting the specific types of data in the SBOM • Their behavior and metadata is specifically targeted to suit their functions • Accessible through the Aras user interface 13
    14. 14. Item Type “Project”• The Project item type is at the root level of a mission design project• It has associated with it a customer proposal, requirements, the actual mission design and the end product 14
    15. 15. Item Type “Proposal”• Every mission design project is the result of a proposal• The “proposal” item type captures all proposal-related information, including the proposal documents 15
    16. 16. Item Type “Requirements Document”• Ultimately, mission design and analysis is driven by requirements• Since MDC lacked a requirements management system, we decided to develop this functionality inside Aras 16
    17. 17. Item Type “Design”• Top level collector item for a mission design• Contains all simulation and analysis models/data/results• Exposes top-level metadata for the mission 17
    18. 18. Analysis Component• Captures metadata and behavior relevant for a particular simulation code• Derived all from the same root class (Simulation Data) 18
    19. 19. Item Type “Product”• The final product resulting from a mission design study, which can be a white paper, a PowerPoint document, a full proposal or a concept study 19
    20. 20. Simplified Class Diagram Implements three levels of abstraction MDC-specific servicesWrapper Interface toAras Environment Presentation Layer for UI 20
    21. 21. Revision Control of Dependent Models1. Dep. node gets revised. New rev points to original master node. Dep. Sim Dep. Sim Dep. Sim Dep. Sim R1 R2 R1 R2 MasterSim MasterSim R1 R12. Master node gets revised. Owner of dependent node is notified. New rev of dependent node points to new rev of master node. Dep. Sim Dep. Sim Dep. Sim R1 R1 R2 MasterSim MasterSim MasterSim MasterSim R1 R2 R1 R2 21
    22. 22. Access to the SBOMThree primary mechanisms for the user to interact with the SBOM:• From the desktop: Desktop Clients• Through SharePoint: SharePoint Client• Directly through Aras Web Client 22
    23. 23. Exposure through SharePoint• Project level information• Requirements data• Final product 23
    24. 24. SBOM View as SharePoint Webpart • SharePoint web parts are standard objects a SharePoint developer can use to implement custom functionality • Users are familiar with tree- type structures • We use a SharePoint Tree webpart to expose the project dependency structure in SharePoint • The root is the satellite mission project • All data related to a project is contained in the tree structure 24
    25. 25. SharePoint View of Requirements 25
    26. 26. SharePoint Data Upload • User fills fields with metadata and uses a file browser to upload files • Dependencies identified manually by the user Simulation Data Packages. 26
    27. 27. Desktop Clients for the SBOM• “Drop Box” interface for easy upload/download of analysis data• “Science Traceability Matrix” for requirements capturing 27
    28. 28. File Browser InterfaceEase of Use:• Engineers were used to storing their models on shared drives• Wanted a mechanism to store and retrieve data as easy as accessing a shared drive 28
    29. 29. Science Traceability Matrix• The “Science Traceability Matrix” is NASA’s way of capturing and categorizing mission requirements• Typically done in Excel spreadsheets• We developed a “live” application that links individual requirements to analysis models 29
    30. 30. Analysis Tool Integration• Analysis tool integration implements the concept of a “Linked Model Environment” developed earlier at companies like GE• Central to analysis tool integration is the geometric representation of the artifact (CAD model). Many downstream applications are consumers of geometry.• “Tagging” geometric entities with information needed by downstream applications facilitates tool integration• Both tight coupling and loose coupling solutions were developed• Tight coupling leverages the respective tools’ APIs and is code specific• Loose coupling leverages third-party integration tools, e.g. Comet (Comet Solutions), iSIGHT/FIPER (Dassault) or ModelCenter (Phoenix Integration) 30
    31. 31. Tight Coupling: SolidWorks-STK• SolidWorks (SW) is the primary CAD tool in use at the MDC• Satellite Toolkit (STK) is used for orbit and mission simulation• STK needs geometric information that is resident in SW (solar panels, their articulation, a tessellated representation of the outer shell of the satellite, mass properties, material properties, etc.) 31
    32. 32. Solidworks to STK• Tight coupling approach works with the tools’ API• Here, we developed an “STK exporter” inside SolidWorks• Standard SolidWorks look and feel, user does not have to learn a new tool• Requires software development and maintenance 32
    33. 33. Solidworks to STK (ct’d)1. CAD designer downselects in the assembly tree the components to be exported to STK2. CAD designer defines the solar panel group(s) for STK3. CAD designer defines articulations of the solar panel group(s) 33
    34. 34. Solidworks to STK (ct’d)4. CAD designer saves STK model file5. Satellite analyst reads model file into STK 34
    35. 35. Loose Coupling Using Comet• The Comet integration framework by Comet Solutions builds on the so-called “Abstract Engineering Model”• It creates a layer of abstraction between the CAD model and the downstream engineering analysis or meshing tool• This layer of abstraction, or AEM, builds on the notion of entity tagging• One instance of geometry is easily replaceable by another instance carrying similar tags, even if the geometry itself is significantly different• Comet had been successfully applied to a number of satellite design applications 35
    36. 36. Satellite Thermal Analysis• Satellite thermal analysis required complete rebuilding of the geometry inside the thermal analysis tool (Thermal Desktop)• Using the Comet framework, we developed a seamless process that guarantees data consistency across the tools• The thermal mesh is generated by Comet’s own meshing tool 36
    37. 37. Detailed Geometry• The detailed geometry contains too much detail not needed for thermal analysis• This geometry is associatively simplified to the appropriate level of detail 37
    38. 38. Preparing the CAD Model• Small features not necessary for thermal analysis suppressed/hidden• Geometry tagged with Comet tagging engine• The tags are used by the thermal analysis model generation process to apply thermal loads and boundary conditions Geometry for thermal analysis 38
    39. 39. Thermal Analysis Mesh• Thermal analysis mesh linked to geometry via the AEM 39
    40. 40. Modeling of Thermal Contacts• Thermal contacts are automatically applied based on the tags stored in the AEM 40
    41. 41. Thermal Results• Thermal analysis results can be displayed in Comet’s post- processing tool or directly through the native postprocessor of Thermal Desktop 41
    42. 42. Summary• A simulation data management solution based on Aras Innovator was developed for NASA• The concept of a “Simulation Bill of Material” was introduced, linking all engineering analysis models and data to the mission design project• Engineering analyses and their driving requirements were linked• Automated user notification was implemented to alert users when their models are possibly out of date• Ease of use was a key design driver as engineers don’t like the overhead oftentimes associated with a PLM solution• Both tight and loose coupling solutions for engineering analysis models were successfully implemented Contact Information: Dr. Peter Rohl email: Engineering Mgr, PI Phone: 909-307-6218 x580 42
    43. 43. AcknowledgmentThis work was sponsored by NASA throughSBIR Phase II Contract #NNX09CA16C. Contact Information: Dr. Peter Rohl email: Engineering Mgr, PI Phone: 909-307-6218 x580 43