Development of SIMOC

SIMOC development is a multi-stage effort. With each Phase, a fully functional application suite is completed. The first public-facing product was made available with the close of Phase IIIb, launched with partner National Geographic Society. A quick overview is provided below, with detail provided in the subsequent pages.

Phase I: June 2017 – May 2018 — Concept development, first Agent-based Model (ABM) deployment, Config Wizard, Dashboard, and hard-coded agents for a working ABM but not a real-world representation. Learn more …

Phase II: June – Nov 2018 — Redevelopment of ABM to dynamically engage user-defined agents, all-new Config Wizard and Dashboard, and introduction of a curricula-based educational package. Learn more …

Phase IIIa: February – May 2019 — Advanced resizing of the interface to accommodate phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, support for command line execution and .csv data export; introduction of non-linear agent interactions and growth patterns: normal, log, exponential, and sigmoid. Transition to a database driven, asynchronous processing model for improved performance and ease of installation and deployment by means of Docker containers. Completion of the Grades 5-8 and 9-14 SIMOC curriculum packages, including documentation for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) alignment. Hand-off to National Geographic Society for internal review prior to going live on their website. Learn more …

Phase IIIb: June 2019 – May 2020 — Continued evolution of the hi-fidelity SIMOC model with advanced agents characteristics including compound growth functions, priorities, deprivation and terminations. Engagement by a National Geographic review panel, feedback, and implementation. Total redesign of the database for read/write performance. Redesign of the server to front-end communication using websockets. User defined Configurations, Dashboard, and download/upload data from completed runs. Application of kubernetes and docker for auto-scaling across Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Testing for accuracy against off-line models and comparison to real world ECLSS systems and plant physiology models. Second engagement of the National Geographic review panel, final testing, and launch. Learn more …

Phase IV: June 2020 – June 2021 — This phase marked the transition from research and development into deployment with partner National Geographic Society on June 1, 2020. For the year that followed we focused on improving the scalable deployment functions of SIMOC on the Google Cloud Platform, ensuring a maximum up-time and rapid load of the application for the end user. This phase was principally focused on the application of containers, docker, github actions, and more efficient database execution. Learn more …

Phase V: July 2021 – May 2022 — We returning to the development of a higher fidelity simulation with increasingly engaged agent interactions, incorporation of staggered crop rotation of food cultivars, a foundation for tracking food nutrition, advanced life cycle plant growth functions, the addition of random variation and total system entropy, and improved server-side management of agent definitions and data. 3D objects are enable visualition of the habitat both in Configuration and the simulation Dashboard. And while the hermetically sealed Mars habitat analog SAM is under construction at the iconic Biosphere 2, a SIMOC Configuration preset is added to represent SAM. Learn more …

Phase VI: 2022 and beyond — Future work on SIMOC will introduce higher order degrees of freedom, real-time interaction, and the capacity to scale the simulated habitat to from an initial set of astronauts to 10x, 100x, even 1000x more inhabitants. We intend to integrate entropy as a user-defined function and response to scenario-based situations, 360 habitat views and Virtual Reality engagement for interactive design, build-out, and data acquisition. Learn more …