About the project
Science Applications International Corporation, Inc. is a leading provider of scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and products to all branches of the U.S. military, agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other U.S. Government civil agencies.
SAIC used Simul8 to develop an integrative and interactive approach to optimize the manufacturing process design for the test flight article, the Ares 1-X Upper Stage Simulator (USS), for the future Ares 1 launch vehicle as part of NASA's program to return to the moon.
The manufacturing concept is to divide the entire upper stage of the vehicle into a series of cylindrical segments (called tuna cans) that stack together.
Primarily two facilities were being used in manufacturing the USS at the Glenn Research Center (GRC). Of critical interest was the attainment of the individual segment departures from the two manufacturing facilities and the GRC.
The project was highly complex with many elements: fabrication and material handling, limited floor space, integrating the creation of fabrication equipment and techniques of some segments into the IPT plan, a limited pool of skilled labor and executing engineering development tasks in a highly complex team structure, with the work spread across multiple design teams and contractors.
The key project objectives were:
- Optimize the design, fabrication, and test approach(es) to ensure that all of the USS segments are manifested for transport
- Optimize the utilization of team resources to achieve the targeted segment departure dates within budget for the USS IPT
"We chose Simul8 because it provides rapid model development, a high degree of control over entities within the simulation and superior graphical execution of the model that helps with troubleshooting and customer buy-in."
Sr. Operations Research Analyst/Engineer at SAIC