By Courtney E. Howard
The Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2009, the company’s eighth annual event held this past May in Seattle, attracted more than 100 attendees from various military and aerospace organizations, OEMs, and suppliers, including The Boeing Company, Saab Bofors Dynamics AB, Bell Helicopter, and more.
Executives and engineers at Mentor Graphics Corp. in Wilsonville, Ore., treated design engineers, engineering management, and executives in the military and aerospace industry to a free educational forum covering topics such as electrical systems design, simulation and analysis, wire harness engineering, printed circuit board design, and embedded distributed systems.
Dr. Walden (Wally) Rhines, Mentor Graphics’ chairman and chief executive officer, kicked off IESF 2009 with his keynote, “Reducing Development Program Risk: The value a model-driven development process can bring to military and aerospace programs.”
System complexity continues to increase exponentially. At the same time, and both time and money are becoming increasingly scarce in mil-aero programs. For these and other reasons, more and more engineers are electing to do things virtually.
“Model-driven design has grown incrementally in mil-aero,” said Rhines. “As complexity increases, system integration problems become more difficult.” Big problems are often identified at system integration stage, he continued. “It’s where the problems show up, and in many cases that is too late.”
A virtual prototyping infrastructure, in which models from different domains can be integrated at each stage of the development life cycle, allows system integration issues to be identified and addressed earlier in the program, explained a company representative. It not only helps reduce overall program time and cost, but makes these easier to predict, reducing program risk.
“Much of the difficulty today stems from finding problems after building first prototype and testing it,” said Rhines. He went on to discuss the importance of verifying and testing all embedded hardware and software. “Mission-critical aspects are deeply embedded in the electrical design of aircraft. The electrical system is tied into the electronics and subsystems that relate to the safety, reliability, and goals of mission,” he said.
Mentor Graphics executives have already scheduled another free forum, this time in October in Dallas, Texas.
For more information, visit Mentor Graphics online at www.mentor.com
, and view the company’s event calendar online at http://www.mentor.com/events/