Critical System Engineering Acceleration

The process of developing, governing, and operating modern safety-critical embedded systems is highly complex and requires specialized tools supporting different activities throughout the entire product lifecycle. Therefore, OEMs and suppliers are typically operating a large set of COTS tools from different vendors, often complemented by custom in-house solutions. The overall process can only be effective and efficient if it supports collaboration among its stakeholders and, consequently, interoperability between the tools they are using. Furthermore, the interoperability aspect between tools integrated into such an environment is becoming more and more crucial for successful product engineering. Today, tool integration is often done in an ad-hoc manner by creating proprietary bridges between each pair of tools. Such an approach does not scale, since the number of required bridges grows exponentially with the number of employed tools. Moreover, the resulting system becomes extremely vulnerable to common changes such as version upgrades from tool vendors, and sooner or later the effort for maintaining a large set of bridges is no longer acceptable. The main technical challenge in addressing this problem is the lack of open and common interoperability technologies supported by the different tools that generate and provide access to data covering the entire product lifecycle of safety-critical embedded systems.

The ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking project CRYSTAL (CRitical sYSTem engineering AcceLeration) has identified this need and takes up the challenge to establish and push forward an Interoperability Specification (IOS) and a Reference Technology Platform (RTP) as a European standard for safety-critical systems. This standard will allow loosely coupled tools to share and interlink their data based on standardized and open Web technologies that enable common interoperability among various lifecycle domains. This reduces the complexity of the entire integration process significantly. Compared to many other research projects, CRYSTAL is strongly industry-oriented and will provide ready-to-use integrated tool chains having a mature technology readiness level (up to TRL 7). In order to reach this goal, CRYSTAL is driven by real-world industrial use cases from the automotive, aerospace, rail and health sector and builds on the results of successful predecessor projects like CEASAR, iFEST, and MBAT on the European and national levels.

Creating and establishing a new standard on a large scale in an already consolidated market cannot be achieved by small individual organizations. With a budget of more than 82 million euros and 71 partners from ten different European countries, CRYSTAL has the critical mass to accomplish this endeavor. The project consortium is made up of participants from all relevant stakeholders, including OEMs, suppliers, tool vendors, and academia.

Within CRYSTAL, Fraunhofer IESE contributes to tool and method integration in the fields of Safety Engineering (C²FT and SCT modeling methods), Requirements Engineering (model-based requirements engineering in SysML), Variability Management (System Family Engineering Framework and Variant Analysis), and Virtual Prototypes (holistic system simulation). The contributions to IOS and RTP are being developed in close collaboration with industrial partners in the automotive and aerospace application domains.

Throughout the entire project, CRYSTAL will stay in close contact with standardization organizations like ASAM, ProSTEP iViP, OASIS, OMG, CENELEC, and others in order to build on existing achievements and join forces by collaborating in the standardization process. The aims of CRYSTAL are ambitious and the expected results will have significant economical and societal impacts. OEMs will benefit from the reduced system design costs due to the improved integration of system analysis, safety analysis, and system exploration tools. In addition, the CRYSTAL IOS will increase flexibility for all stakeholders and has the potential to deeply impact the market on a global level. OEMs can easily combine tools from different vendors, and tool vendors will be able to find new market opportunities in an open and extensible environment.

Funded by

Grant No.: 01IS13001O