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Collaborative and Robust Engineering using Simulation Capability Enabling Next Design Optimisation

Tags: Air

State of the Art - Background

In today's context of strong competitiveness, European aircraft, engine and equipment manufacturers are facing greater challenges than ever before. The market demands that more complex products be developed with shorter lead times and more cost effectiveness, while using evolving business models involving multiple partners. Compared to past methods of development, an order of magnitude of complexity has been reached which cannot be tackled only by improving existing practices. The modelling, simulation and virtuality to be developed in next research programmes address the following benefits:

- Improving maturity at Entry Into Service by simulating the business process in the early phases in order to limit surprises such as necessary reworks and delays and, in the development phase, to allow faster integration of functional evolution and faster and less expensive 'make and test';

- Improving engineering efficiency and agility through the capacity to reconfigure and redefine products with a high level of functional complexity on the spot according to customer requirements;

- Better translation of customer expectations through upstream assessment of technical feasibility using a simulation approach; explicitly link customer needs and technical requirements; take into account market evolution, changing requirements from the client regarding cost, size, user services or airport constraints.


CRESCENDO will develop the foundations for the Behavioural Digital Aircraft (BDA), taking experience and results from VIVACE, integrating these into a federative system and building the BDA on top of them. The BDA is the missing capability which will enable the use of simulation throughout the development life cycle at aircraft level and within the entire supply chain. It will describe and host the set of simulation models and processes enabling its users to link, federate, couple and interact with different models with seamless interoperatibility, hierarchical, cross-functional and contextual associativity. The main components of the BDA are: the Model Store, the Simulation Factory, the Quality Laboratory, and the Enterprise Collaboration Capabilities. It will be validated through four use cases and 20 test cases concerning 'Power Plant Integration', 'Energy Aircraft', 'Thermal Aircraft' and 'Value Generation'. The validation will consider design problems and viewpoints during the preliminary design, detailed design, test and certification phases of a generic aircraft product life-cycle. The BDA will become the new backbone for the simulation world, just as the Digital Mock-up (DMU) is today for the Product Life-cycle Management (PLM) world. CRESCENDO brings together 59 partners from industry, research institutes, universities and technology providers.

Description of Work

The technical work plan is broken down into five sub-projects:

- SP1 - Overall Technical Management and Integration ensures the technical coherency and convergence towards the High Level Objectives and provides the rythm of the project. It is the 'architect and integrator', since it ensures the consistency between the business aspects, participates in the validation plan, and is responsible for the Mastered BDA (MBDA) which comprises the BDA system. This is populated (or instantiated) with the complete range of models and simulations that represent the behavioural, functional and operational aspects of the whole aircraft and constituent systems.

- SP2, SP3 and SP4 - Preliminary Design, Detailed Definition, and Virtual Testing & Virtual Certification - each cover the specific phases of a typical product design cycle, from preliminary design to entry into service. Their roles are to define the context and develop the models, simulations and processes needed by the test cases, when they do not already exist. They define the requirements for the SP5 capabilities with respect to their test cases and more common requirements seen within their SPs. These will be used to validate the MBDA.

- SP5 - BDA Enabling Capabilities develops all the capabilities required to build the BDA. The perimeter extends from generic services to the implementation of a demonstration platform for the test cases.

The work implementation builds on an iterative process: Year 1 - Proof of Concept, Year 2 - Prototype, Year 3 - Validation. Within each iteration phase, a sequence of six basic steps is performed to complete the loop of requirements definition, development and validation to the required completion and maturity.

Expected Results

The CRESCENDO project addresses the Vision 2020 objectives for the aeronautical industry's Strategic Research Agenda.

CRESCENDO will contribute to achieving a 10% reduction of development lifecycle duration and cost, 50% reduction in rework, and finally, 20% reduction in the cost of physical tests.

It will deliver the BDA a new development paradigm to support the design of a complete virtual aircraft up to certification. This is considered a challenging area for research and innovation for the next decade. Hence, the CRESCENDO results will provide the aeronautics supply chain with the means to realistically manage and mature the virtual product in the extended/virtual enterprise with all of the requested functionality and components in each phase of the product engineering life cycle. CRESCENDO will make its approach available to the aeronautics supply chain via existing networks, information dissemination, training and technology transfer actions.