Model Library Overview

Component, Context, and Manufacturing Model Library (C2M2L) Technologies

The trade space exploration and design analysis tools as well as the manufacturability feedback and foundry configuration tools both require a comprehensive set of component, context, and manufacturing model libraries as a foundation. The development of these libraries enabled designers to swiftly consider multiple design iterations and evaluate them in a semi-automated manner via the design (META) and manufacturing (iFAB ) tool chains. Design configurations that meet the program cost, timing, and performance objectives will emerge and progress so that incrementally higher levels of analysis can be used to select the design that optimally meets the stated requirements.

The component models developed to support the AVM tool chain consist of much more than geometric CAD data; they contain data describing cyber-physical behavior, material properties, interface constructs and procurement/manufacturing capability in addition to component geometry. The component models have the ability to be composed into complex assemblies such that aggregate behaviors are defined by the component models from which they are composed. In order to facilitate the creation and exploration of broad design spaces, a component model library must contain multiple instances of each component type (e.g., 15 engine variants, 12 transmission variants, 6 drive shafts) with representations across all relevant physical and cyber domains. The designer can then select appropriate components from specific part-class libraries or even have the CyPhy design tools consider multiple or all options from a part-class library to automatically form a design trade space.

The AVM program worked to instantiate a vision where the performance of a system could be validated with comprehensive modeling and simulation to result in a credible, predictably correct system design. Using the CyPhy design tools, system designs composed of models from the component model library can be virtually tested through simulation using context models that simulate the real world conditions that the system would encounter in operation. To support the Mobility & Chassis design exercise, the context model library spanned multiple environments (atmospheric, land and aquatic) with nine context categories identified for modeling, representing 33 specific environmental conditions related to IFV requirements. The context model library was significantly expanded to enable blast, ballistic impact, human factors and transportability analysis to support a second design exercise focused on the structural integrity of an amphibious IFV. The revolutionary benefit to the AVM approach is that complex systems can be conceived and virtually tested in a matter of months as opposed to years using conventional approaches.

The AVM vision also called for nearly automated assessment and feedback of design manufacturability based on the modeled capabilities of the network of manufacturing facilities within the iFAB Foundry. This Manufacturing Model Library (MML) can be thought of as yet another set of contexts to which designs must be subjected. The MML not only informs manufacturability analysis of designs, but also forms the basis for the iFAB tools that generate human and machine work instructions to manufacture these designs.

In an effort to enable transition, the C2M2L effort not only focused on model library development, but also on establishing and promulgating standards to serve as the basis for future coordinated modeling efforts across a community of interest. The existence of formalized and accepted model standards reduces the risk and up-front investment faced by new entrants who are eager to take advantage of AVM-like capabilities. For the ground vehicle domain component model library, the program established both a part-class structure that logically organizes the vast list of ground vehicle elements down to the numbered part level as well as a generalized model standard for each of the part-classes that defines all the required elements. Thus, generation of a specific commercial variant of a component model (an internal combustion engine, for example) would only require alteration of the generalized engine model standard with performance specifications, geometry and variation data unique to the identified engine.

You can read more about each of the AVM Program Elements by following the corresponding links to the left.

The source code for the tool suite is also available by following the 'FILES' link to the left. There are several versions of the tools available for download and use.

For more information on these programs, please visit the DARPA website.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.