October 16, 2015

The Martian by Andrew Weir (2014) is a great read and now a hit movie. The astronaut hero and the expert SysML modeler have several things in common. First, they have the ability to take a complex system and adapt and reuse its components to new purposes. Second, both do careful calculations of system performance against requirements, a life-or-death matter in The Martian. These similarities make the story a fertile (and fun) subject for SysML modeling with parametrics.

In the interest of saving future astronauts the need to reinvent the lessons learned for the Ares 3 mission, we have published a Technote exploring two scenarios. Without giving away too many spoilers, they involve extending his food supply and traveling long distances across the surface of Mars.

Martian Survival Use Case


Soil Analysis PAR

Martian Parametric Solver

We have made the SysML models available for download for MagicDraw, Enterprise Architect, IBM Rational Rhapsody, and PTC Integrity Modeler (coming soon). Executing the parametric models requires one of the Intercax parametric solvers:

  • ParaMagic™ for MagicDraw (No Magic)
  • Solvea™ for Enterprise Architect (Sparx Systems)
  • Melody™ for Rhapsody (IBM Rational)
  • ParaSolver™ for Integrity Modeler (PTC)

Beyond the entertainment value, these models are intended as helpful examples of approaches to incorporating critical and moderately complex calculations as part of your system modeling efforts. We would be glad to have your feedback and questions.

Download the technote and models as below.

Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer (dirk.zwemer@intercax.com) is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.