Cyber Physical Systems are integrations of computation, networking, and physical processes. Embedded computers and networks monitor and control the physical processes, with feedback loops where physical processes affect computations and vice versa.
The economic and societal potential of such systems is vastly greater than what has been realized, and major investments are being made worldwide to develop the technology. The technology builds on the older (but still very young) discipline of embedded systems, computers and software embedded in devices whose principle mission is not computation, such as cars, toys, medical devices, and scientific instruments. CPS’s integrates the dynamics of the physical processes with those of the software and networking, providing abstractions and modeling, design, and analysis techniques for the integrated whole.
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS’s) are where greening of computing and greening by computing meet. In these systems, computing is utilized to fortify and increase the efficacy of traditionally physical systems—smart grids for power generation and distribution are commonly cited examples. CPSs, especially when used in critical infrastructure systems, require three fundamental attributes: safety, security, and sustainability.
Figure 1: A Concept Map of Cyber Physical Systems
Source: Ptolemy Project
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS’s) use embedded computers and networks to monitor and control the physical processes, with feedback loops where physical processes affect computations and vice versa. There is obviously a tight conjoining and coordination between computational and physical systems. The economic and societal potential impact of such systems is vastly greater than what has been realized, and major investments are being made worldwide to develop the technology.
A challenge in the development of embedded and cyber-physical systems is the large differences in the design practice between the various engineering disciplines involved, such as software and mechanical engineering. Additionally, as of today there is no “language” in terms of design practice that is common to all the involved disciplines in CPS. Today, in a marketplace where rapid innovation is assumed to be essential, engineers from all disciplines need to be able to explore system designs collaboratively, allocating responsibilities to software and physical elements, and analyzing trade-offs between them.
Figure 2 below indicates how connections are migrated upwards through various conversions to achieve a final level of CPS – which is the Configuration level, which supports self-configuration for resilience, self adjustment for variation and self optimization for disturbance.
Figure 2 CPS Levels needed for Systems to achieve Self Awareness
Cyber Physical Systems and the Digital Twin
The modern aerospace industry is clearly migrating from reactive to proactive and predictive maintenance to increase platform operational availability and efficiency, extend their products useful life cycle and while reducing life cycle cost. Multiphysics modeling (aka CPS) together with data-driven analytics generate a new paradigm called “Digital Twin.”
The digital twin is actually a living model of the physical asset or system, which continually adapts to operational changes based on the collected online data and information and can forecast the future of the corresponding physical counterpart.
Figure 3 below shows the flow of information through various locales and various temporal regimes to demonstrate its effectiveness in Aerospace Maintenance and Repair Operations (MRO’s).
Figure 3 – Aerospace MRO – Digital Twin Utilization
Cyber Physical Systems is also known as Cyber Manufacturing and Cyber-Physical Production Systems to denote an emphasis on manufacturing.
EnviroTREC’s role in Cyber Physical Systems
Our role in Cyber Physical Systems is to support local development particularly as focused on the aerospace industry. EnviroTREC is also a member of the Manitoba Aerospace Research and Technology Committee and Manitoba HPC consortium, as well as other industry round-tables.
Activities Related to Cyber – Physical Systems in Manitoba
- University of Manitoba: Mechanical Engineering
- Red River College, Smart Factory
For Further Reading:
- Cyber Physical Systems: Design Challenges
- NIST Cyber-Physical Systems: website
- Cyber-Physical Systems: Download PDF