Controlled systems design

Since its creation, Sherpa Engineering has participated with its industrial customers in innovative projects for the design of complex intelligent systems, including, in addition to the operating part, a large number of control functions.

Based on this experience, we have set up a methodology for the design of piloted systems that is in the advanced stage of tooling in a common laboratory with the CEA-LIST.

Our activities

Our approach is particularly adapted to mechatronics systems and more generally to controlled systems that integrate manufactured assemblies (mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, thermal, etc.), electronics (instrumentation) and information (communication, control, decision) .

In our model-oriented approach, the design of the controlled systems integrates the modeling and simulation activity which allows the evaluation of the chosen concepts and thus promotes anticipated and validated decision-making.

Design is a so-called systemic modeling activity of the system considered as a whole. The main uses are:

  • Definition and traceability of the requirements but more generally of the whole: architecture, requirements, behavior and tests.
  • Definition and specification of the simulation model: extracted from the global model of a system of interest and its operating and validation environment.
  • Definition and specification of the control-command: the global modeling of the physical, information and decisional parts makes it possible to extract the architecture and the control-command functions.
  • Capitalization of knowledge: the systemic model is used as a basis for the management of model libraries and documentary databases and technical data.

Methods and Tools

The design methodology of the piloted systems is based on the General System Theory (TGS) and is integrated into the system engineering (IS) process. More precisely, systemic modeling checks the following properties:

  • General system: the system is finalized in its environment; It is structured, active and evolving.
  • Controlled system: the system is considered in its entirety with its piloting and its users.
  • Multi-level: during design, the system changes nature with levels.
  • Multi-facets: the systemic model integrates the different facets (requirements, architecture, behavior and tests).
  • Multicriteria: the systemic model and multi-criteria and multi-job to integrate the point of view of all the stakeholders.
  • Simulation: the modeling allows the execution (simulation) of the specification and therefore its validation, and this at each level.
  • Collaborative: the methodology uses natural concepts and a standard language promoting exchanges and trades and project engineers.

In a common laboratory with CEA-LIST, we are developing the product PhiSystem This methodology in an open-source tool (Papyrus) and in the standard modeling language SysML.


We offer the following courses (for more information see training):

Code Description Duration
MIS System-based approach and system-based system engineering 3 days
Mechatronics Servo mechanical systems design 3 days

Key commercial references

Year Customer Description Manpower
2005-14 SNECMA Requirements engineering and turbomachine control modeling 15 person.
2003-14 ESA Piloting the life support system for a long-term space mission 2 person.
2011 PSA Methodology for Modeling the Electrical Architecture of a Vehicle 1 person.month
2012 Alstom Transport Methodology for the design of the air conditioning system control system 1 person.month
2013 Schneider Electric Model Bases Design Workflow 3 person.month
2013-14 PSA Platform for modeling and evaluating the electrical architecture of a vehicle 6 person.month
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