Modeling and simulation could provide the ability to perform systems integration testing on aircraft and missile systems before the system components are available. CMSA is conducting a design study of such a system.
The various primary systems of military aircraft and missiles (avionics, propulsion, sensors, and weapons) and the subsystems within them must exchange data in order to perform their functions. Integration testing for those systems and subsystems can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult, even when all the systems to be integrated are available simultaneously. That difficulty is exacerbated when not all are available at once. A simulation-based capability for hardware-in-the-loop aircraft and missile systems integration testing could provide asynchronous and advance integration testing using proven modeling and simulation technology.
The simulation-based systems integration testing system (SBITS) would be essentially a highly detailed and accurate simulation of the data flow between the systems to be integrated, and would allow testers to connect the actual hardware systems, software surrogates for them, or any combination of them, via simulation. During the integration testing process the aircraft and missile systems would first be integrated with each other via the systems integration system as software surrogates. These surrogates would send and receive inter-system data with the correct format, timing, and content but would have simplified internal processing with respect to the actual system hardware. The High Level Architecture, or some other interoperability protocol, could provide the simulation infrastructure.
Using the surrogates, data format incompatibilities, mismatches between data send and receive protocols, and incompatible timing sequences could be discovered early in the integration testing process, even before the actual aircraft and missile systems are all available. Later, as the actual systems become available, they would be connected to the simulation, via hardware/software interfaces, and their integration with the other systems (surrogate and actual) could be retested.
CMSA is conducting a preliminary design study for the SBITS concept. The design study effort includes refining requirements, analyzing technical feasibility, considering design alternatives, and assessing relevant existing capabilities. The design study's goals are better requirements, improved design, and possible interoperability with or reuse of existing capabilities.