NASA is expected to benefit in variety of ways. First, the simulation environment is intended to help directly with the creation of new spacecraft programs and other integrated system development by providing an elegant simulator and model-based engineering (MBE) framework. Relative to state-of-the-art MBE, the framework is expected to have lower overhead (both costs and time), to have less built-in complexity, to foster collaboration, to facilitate trade studies, and to enable low fidelity and high fidelity runs, according to needs. This is expected to allow model development and meaningful analyses to occur earlier in the program lifecycle. Second, by creating an accessible platform, in terms of both cost and ease-of-use, a large number of users can adopt the platform. Among other benefits, this will drive heavier use and scrutiny of various models in the simulation (whether provided with the simulation environment itself or provided by third parties), and this will drive forward the maturity of components as well as increase the variety available, much like NASA can reap the benefits of commercial-off-the-shelf components. Third, the simulation itself may be useful outside of a development environment altogether, such as for analyses, for calibration/tuning, or as part of a system to exercise a particular component via its hardware-in-the-loop/communication capability.
Any spacecraft developer would be able to benefit from the simulation environment, and these organizations would stand to gain the same benefits as NASA would. Further, spacecraft have much in common with other vehicles, and the proposed environment is expected to work well for aircraft, cars, and sea-going vessels. Many companies would be able to provide commercial consulting services based around the environment, such as setting up model-based engineering workflows, developing custom components, and designing flight algorithms in the MBE context. With its commercial-friendly license, the simulation environment could be incorporated directly into third-party products, and commercial products could be developed for it. Finally, as a community grows around the project, the software will be directly useful for education. For instance, an undergraduate class may be able to set a moment of inertia and select ideal environment models in order to investigate Explorer 1's spin about an unintended axis. Or a sixth grade class may show satellites in various types of orbits to explain why some look fast and others stay overhead, all with a simple change in the initial orbital elements.