A process for function based architecture definition and modeling

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Armstrong, Michael James
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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Developments in electric technologies have the potential to increase the efficiency and performance of commercial aircraft. However, without proper architecture innovation, technology developments at the subsystem level are not sufficient to ensure successful integration. Adaptations to existing architectures work well when trades are made strictly between equivalent systems which fulfill and induce the same functional requirements. However, this approach does not provide the architect with adequate flexibility to integrate technologies with differing functional and physical interfaces. Architecture redefinition is required for proper implementation of non-traditional and innovative architectural elements. A function-based process for innovative architecture design was developed to provide flexibility in the definition of candidate architectural concepts. Tools and methods were developed which facilitate the definition and exploration of a function-based architectural design space. These include functional decomposition, functional induction, dynamic morphology, adaptive functional mapping, reconfigurable mission definition, and concept level system installation. The Architecture Design Environment (ADEN) was built to integrate these tools and to facilitate the definition of physics-based models in evaluating the performance of candidate architectures. Using functions as the foundation of this process assists in mitigating assumptions which traditionally govern architecture structures and offers a promising approach to architecting through flexible conceptualization and integration. This toolset provides the framework wherein knowledge from conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design efforts can be linked in the definition of revolutionary architectures.
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