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The Need to Suboptimize Systems Engineering

by dlong

By David Long, Vitech President

A good systems engineer working on a project should seek to suboptimize systems engineering. A heretical statement? Not really. In fact, the path to optimizing systems engineering lies in suboptimizing systems engineering. It may sound paradoxical, but it’s true.

The purpose of systems engineering is to deliver the desired business value to the customer efficiently and effectively, free from unintended consequences. Systems engineering does not do this in isolation. It does this in concert with project management and countless domain specialties key to the problem at hand and the solutions under consideration. For systems engineers, it’s easy to become obsessed with our processes, methods, tools, and artifacts. However, the purpose of systems engineering is not the execution of an interdisciplinary process. Nor is it generation of a specification. The purpose of systems engineering is not even delivery of the system of interest. The system we engineer is simply a means to the end – delivering the desired business value.  More...

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Categories: MBSE


Helping Humans Survive in Space

by mrich

“Whenever it came time for milestone reviews, we were able to satisfy all of the customer’s requirements.” – Stephanie Chiesi, senior systems engineer (Photo copyright 2012 Arizona Daily Star)

Miriam Rich, Vitech Marketing & Communications Manager

“We [humans] put out CO2 and moisture,” explained Grant Anderson, CEO of Paragon Space Development Corporation. “If you don’t take these out of the air in a spacecraft, water can condense, causing bacteria growth, shorting out equipment, or clogging critical airflow passages, and the CO2 can cause carbon dioxide poisoning.” 

Needless to say, such events are unacceptable and are why consideration of a humidity control system in a spacecraft is highly critical.

Stephanie Chiesi, senior systems engineer, worked on the humidity control subassembly for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft while she was at Paragon Space Development Corporation. The team that Chiesi was part of designed the humidity control subassembly system for NASA’s commercial crew program.

“Humidity control in a spacecraft is unlike the system for your house, because you have to take into consideration the closed loop environment of the vehicle, as well as the conditions the system needs to survive during launch and reentry,” Chiesi explained, “factors which aren’t part of the day to day concern for humidity control in a house on Earth.”

“That’s why Vitech’s CORE [systems engineering software tool] was so helpful as we designed the CST-100,” Chiesi said.  More...

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Categories: CORE Software | MBSE


Fundamentals – Judging Our Tools

by zscott

Zane Scott, Vitech Vice President of Professional Services

The ultimate test of any tool is whether or not it helps the user in the way intended at its acquisition. In other words, “Does it do what we need it to do for us?” This is certainly true for systems engineering tools. To judge their value, we must look first and foremost to their performance against our needs.  More...

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Categories: CORE Software | GENESYS | MBSE

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