Recap: The Dayton Digital Transformation Summit

Galois has long been an advocate of utilizing formal approaches, such as mathematics, models, data, artificial intelligence and more, to build better systems. Galois had the privilege to continue this advocacy by supporting the Dayton Digital Transformation Summit, which took place from August 2 – 4, 2022, in partnership with the Air Force Digital Transformation Office (DTO), University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Sinclair Community College, and ARCTOS.  Attendees walked away with one clear message—the Department of Defense is looking to digital first methods to build, maintain, and sustain their systems.  

So, what is digital first?  Digital first means utilizing models, open architectures, data, and modern tooling to build cyber-physical systems that take into account the life cycle of an asset (design, development, acquisition, maintenance, sustainment, and logistics).  At the summit, Lt. General Shaun Morris, Commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, quoted Albert Einstein: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  So using modern tools and models isn’t enough to realize digital transformation; we must change our thinking and the way we approach systems engineering.

Numerous initiatives have proven the feasibility of digital first, model-based, component-oriented engineering of systems not only saves time and money, but also creates safer and more secure systems. For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) High Assurance Cyber Militarized Program (HACMS) proved this point. The team retrofitted a Boeing Little Bird Helicopter in roughly one year by utilizing the results of HACMS and model-based engineering approaches. Currently, DARPA’s Verified Security Performance Enhancement of Large Legacy Systems (V-SPELLS) Program is continuing this push. V-SPELLS aims to automate the generation of models from existing code and create more precision tooling to advance digital first approaches to engineering for legacy systems. 

What’s the main takeaway from the Dayton Digital Transformation Summit? The results of digital first research efforts are now ready to be deployed and utilized by the men and women of the Air Force. The time is now to go digital first, don’t miss out!