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    Model Based 4(for) System Engineering is an initiative to federate the space system engineering community and to work together in order to deploy Model-Based Engineering in the European Space projects.

    Space industry and Agencies have recognized already for quite some time the interest and added value of Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) in streamlining the design, development, deployment and verification of space systems. There have been many initiatives during the past decades, aiming at defining models and tooling able to support the various needs of the system engineering process. MBSE is increasingly being used in operational projects and the next step is to use extensively MBSE all along the system life cycle, across disciplines and throughout the supply chain.
    The Harmonisation of the "System data Repository", achieved in 2015, has produced a Technical Dossier that mentions the following:

    "When it comes to the exchange of information between different stakeholders (system integrators and suppliers at different levels, system integrators and customers such as Agencies) a harmonisation will allow an improved exchange of critical technical information, reducing the risks at contractual interfaces and potentially optimising the process. A common approach to represent and exchange this information is required at European level to [1] ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders: being agencies, system integrators and suppliers; and [2] avoid the effort in developing different (incompatible) solutions. Any solutions need to be compatible with existing processes, or at least identify a clear strategy to adapt existing processes when and what to exchange.
    the added value of improved data and technical information exchange between stakeholders will only be achieved through harmonisation and possibly standardisation in the medium term. The harmonisation should result in a clear identification of the required context (need for exchange), the scope of the conceptual datamodel and its related governance aspects (ownership and distribution) and the possibility (or not) to agree on specific technologies."

    Later, in the list of the key issues, the dossier indicates that:

    "In the long term, a common system architecture for space systems will have to be defined, in order to increase the possibility to exchange engineering data information at all levels without semantic misunderstandings."

    Hence, the need arises to have interoperability between the models and model-based infrastructures. Interoperability is intended to be achieved by the establishment of a common semantic base between the space system-engineering stakeholders and a common system architecture, potentially implementing a model hub concept whose purpose is to facilitate the exchange of models and data.
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    The Harmonisation of the "System Modelling and Simulation" in 2018, has produced as well a Technical Dossier that complements the previous dossier.

    MB4SE Initiative

    A number of initiatives have been carried out or are ongoing towards this vision both on the side of industry and in the frame of ESA's R&D programmes. However, increased coordination of these actions is needed today in order to achieve the necessary synergy and to ensure they converge towards the shared vision. It has been proposed to federate these initiatives under the common Model Based for System Engineering (MB4SE) for Space initiative.

    Within this initiative, the approach, based on a reference semantic base under the form of a space system ontology and a common model hub concept, plays a key role. The MB4SE for Space initiative is a platform where technical discussions can take place and key recommendations can be made by the stakeholders towards the materialization of the space system ontology and model hub. An Advisory Group is established to steer the work plan of the technical discussions, referred to as MB4SE Advisory Group. The Advisory Group will also ensure the governance of the conceptual data model mentioned in the Technical Dossier.


    The overall goal is to streamline the system engineering process for space programmes, considering the need to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness and taking into account the trend towards the extensive use of various models in various disciplines and industries.

    The Space System Ontology is managed by the MB4SE Advisory Group as the Governance body, and by the OSMoSE working group as Design Authority.