Navy SBIR Phase I 2022 Project: Data Integration for Model-centric Engineering using openCAESAR

January 11, 2023 (project start July 11, 2022)

Okean Solutions' Data Integration solution for MOdel-centric eNgineering (DIMON, like “diamond”) to transition Navy SSP systems engineering processes to a digital working environment. Credit Okean Solutions.

Okean Solutions was awarded a 2022 Phase I SBIR contract with the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) group. The SBIR topic, N221-077: DIGITAL ENGINEERING - Semantically-Driven Data Integration Software Solutions , was focused on advancing digital engineering processes. The 6-month project was designed to show a new way of working with semantic data using Okean Solutions' innovation called DIMON.

Why the Innovation is Important to the Navy

Digitial Engineering (DE) is mainstay in modern engineering design and production lines. With each vendor potentially utilizing different DE tools and terminology, the DE landscape can become hard to manage.

The Navy wanted to develop a solution that would facilitate the integration of data across disparate electronic sources of technical information in accordance with a pre-defined ontology that semantically informs data integration through prescribed concepts and relationships.

The goal was to create a solution to directly address challenges associated with cross-tool/cross-vendor inoperability.

Our Approach

Okean Solutions proposed the creation of the Data Integration for MOdel-centric eNgineering (DIMON, like “diamond”) system to transition Navy SSP systems engineering processes to a more efficient digital working environment.

Model-centric engineering involves the representation of domain data in semantically rigorous ways, thereby creating ontological models. DIMON allows project data from different domains to be expressed semantically (contextually) allowing it to be incrementally compared, merged and analyzed in a consistent manner. DIMON lowers barriers to working with different vendor-specific file formats and metadata and, more importantly, helps DE teams avoid product/vendor lock-in.

DIMON leverages the openCAESAR open-source technology developed and maintained by NASA JPL . The acronym stands for Computer Aided Engineering for Systems ARchitecture. The openCAESAR system provides ontological description, or modeling, of various system data. In CAESAR, the data is modeled via ontological instances with precise syntax and logical semantics and is thus no longer tool-specific.

Okean Solutions' DIMON application builds on the core strengths of openCAESAR while adding a friendly user interface and custom adapters that allows ingestion and export of information to and from 3rd party DE tools. These custom adapters will allow the Navy to easily integrate different data formats received from their vendors. DIMON is based on and integrates with openCAESAR, similar to the integration of GitHub or Bitbucket with Git. Our goal is to build a centralized service where Navy's ontologies can be mapped and associated with different tool formats. By using the service, the Navy will be able to create a definitive ontology to be used to extract information from vendor's tools and/or even enforce required terminology by exporting and translating Navy ontology into a vendor's native format.

Project Objectives

Okean Solutions Phase I goals included:

  • Define the DIMON architecture and preliminary functional requirements
  • Determine the set of utilities needed to compile/build DIMON projects for SSP
  • Develop a generalized approach to tool adaptors
  • Develop an incremental path to adaptor automation
  • Develop and demonstrate an adaptor prototype for proof of concept


During the 6-month project, the Okean Solutions team was able to accomplish the following:

  • Completed a general discovery process to understand SSP ontological processes and identify a variety of ontology issues, both from the Navy and openCAESAR perspective
  • Began working with the first tool, Cameo System Modeler, that the Navy would like to use as a candidate for the DIMON system. This tool will serve as a general benchmark for system interoperability.
  • Demonstrated, using a selected portion of the SSP ontology, how the Navy could improve the ontology authoring process
  • Prototyped a serialization process for a specific toolset configuration to eventually allow a 3rd party tool to automatically ingest the SSP ontology

Potential Navy and Commercial Applications

Digital Engineering teams will be able to leverage the DIMON server to integrate data from any vendor. Okean Solutions believes that DIMON will be a key component of any DE team, whether government branch or a commercial team.

Okean Solutions plans to work with vendors to create adapters to allow their products, including files and other information, to interact within the common DIMON framework, helping tool vendors reach new audiences and positioning DIMON as a mainstay in DE workflow.

To find out more about the SBIR program, visit

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