Today we’re going to be talking about a system engineering tool: Capella, Obeo, and Arcadia.
Obeo is a software solution provider that develops Capella; an open-source system engineering modeling solution that is based on Arcadia; a system engineering modeling methodology.
Many years ago, Thales Aerospace wanted to explore model-based system engineering. They approached Obeo to be the software developer of the solution. This solution became Capella. Capella is open-source, anybody can go and download it. It falls underneath the Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment). It’s used for several types of software, such as embedded software.
Capella is based off a system engineering modeling methodology. The International Council On Systems Engineering (INCOSE), developed a definition for system engineering process many years ago; a flow down, breaking down requirements, and getting into different architectures process. They have been a big advocate for model-based systems engineering (MBSE), meaning all of this is part of one model and everything is interconnected. But there’s never been a documented approach or a methodology for how you use a model to actually execute the system engineering process. Thales saw that. They wanted to have a methodology and that turned out to be Arcadia, which has been built into Capella.
Within the Arcadia methodology, there are several stages for understanding customer requirements. There are three other stages focused on building architectures that are solutions for those customer requirements. This is a progressive process in which the requirements (R) and functions (F) are separate from the logical (L) and the physical architectures (P). Start specifying what’s going to be in this project and how the program is going to fulfill those functions. But you could have many solutions, logical and physical architectures, address a single set of requirements and functions. Arcadia separates these.
We talked before about the need to democratize MBSE. A lot of companies need this capability, yet they look at what INCOSE has developed and a lot of other model-based system engineering solutions in general. If handled improperly, it’s going to be disruptive to your company.
Capella includes a methodology to use modeling to execute system engineering step by step. To recap, there is Obeo, the company. Capella, which is the solution open-source based on Eclipse. Last, Arcadia, the methodology embedded within Capella that separates out customer needs from the solution, R and F from L and P.