Naval Ship Design and Synthesis Model Architecture Using a Model-Based Systems Engineering Approach
The Concept and Requirements Exploration process used at Virginia Tech is based on a Multi-Objective Optimization approach that explores the design space to produce a Non-Dominated set of ship design solutions ranked objectively by Cost, Risk, and Effectiveness. Prior research and effort has also been made to leverage the validation and verification of the U.S. Navy's ship synthesis design tool, ASSET, into the Virginia Tech Ship Synthesis Model.
This thesis applies Design Structure Matrix theory to analyze and optimize the ASSET synthesis process by reducing or removing the feedback dependencies that require the iterative convergence process. This optimized ASSET synthesis process is used as the basis to develop a new Simplified Ship Synthesis Model (SSSM) using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software, ASSET Response Surface Models (RSMs) and simplified parametric equations to build the individual synthesis modules.
The current method of calculating an Overall Measure of Effectiveness (OMOE) used at Virginia Tech is based on expert opinion and pairwise comparison. This thesis researches methods for building a Design Reference Mission (DRM) composed of multiple operational situations (OpSits) required by the ship's mission. The DRM is defined using a Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach and an overall Ship Design System Architecture to define and understand the relationships between various aspects of the ship design. The system architecture includes the DRM and enables the development of Operational Effectiveness Models (OEMs) as an alternative to an expert opinion-based OMOE. The system architecture also provides the means for redefining and optimizing the entire ship design process by capturing the entire process and all related data into a single repository.
This thesis concludes with a preliminary assessment of the utility of these various system engineering tools to the naval ship design process.