Data-Based System Engineering: ICDs management with SysML - White Paper

System engineering best practices are well described in handbooks and guidelines such as the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) handbook and certification guidelines such as the ARP4754A Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems. These clearly define the development and verification processes including system requirements, functional decomposition, and architecture design. The OMG (Object Management Group) has defined the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) standard specifically to support the system engineering development processes through models. The benefits of models versus Documents-based processes has been highlighted in many papers; it allows in particular, automated verification of design consistency. Several tools such as Papyrus from the Eclipse foundation support the SysML language. Even if, in practice, discrepancies still exist amoung tools, it allows, in principle to move, with limited efforts, models from one vendor to another one, removing the fear from users to be prisoners from proprietary languages. Despite these good arguments, the usage of SysML tools is not yet widely deployed for large industrial projects. One concern is the management of Interface Control Documents (ICDs) that is at the center of most industries’ system engineering processes, and that is not supported in a straightforward way by SysML. This paper highlights the challenge in supporting ICDs by SysML tools, and demonstrates how these requests are supported by the SysML-based Esterel Technologies’ SCADE System product.