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Multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design tools and processes

This topic aims to further develop and validate by both numerical and experimental means the new multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design (including engine integration) and optimisation paradigm as well as accelerate its introduction for the benefit of the whole European aircraft supply chain – from integrators and high-tier suppliers to SMEs. The proposals should aim at addressing one or more of the following areas:

  • Advance further and validate multi-disciplinary and multi-material design and optimisation decision tools for overall aircraft (including engine) architectures based on very large multi-criteria evaluations and on overall performances versus costs of the new products, including their intrinsic levels of safety and security.
  • Advance further digital interconnection tools as well as rapid integration of Internet of Things (IoT) in aircraft design and manufacturing.
  • Advance further and validate Computational Solid and Fluid Dynamics (CSFD), Multidisciplinary Design Optimisation (MDO) and Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) methodologies towards efficient integration of tools with different levels of fidelity, resolution, and complexity.
  • Significantly advance user-centric visualisation methods and tools as well as big-data analytics.
  • Explore further multi-component collaborative testing and certification/air worthiness, with emphasis on virtual and hybrid testing (VHT) methods and tools.

Although the association of TRL to multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design capabilities is not uniquely defined, the implementation of the proposed areas of this topic cover in broad sense a TRL spectrum from 2 to 5 (at the end of the project).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Maintaining and extending European industrial leadership, through embedding design-for-excellence in the product lifecycle addresses the second challenge of the ACARE Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. The high development cost and risks of new aircraft (including engine) led to new supply chain models, driven by international risk-sharing partnerships. Transforming potential design concepts into aircraft products (including engines) is a complex, multidisciplinary and collaborative process, which has to take into account in economic, environmental and societal aspects in a holistic manner. Although high fidelity computational tools, new processes and computer resources have radically changed over the last two decades thanks to the opportunities offered by High Performance Computing and Internet of Things, yet part of the supply chain follows the transition from traditional tools and rules to the new multidisciplinary computational reality with caution and slow pace.

Overall, the topic is expected to have significant impact on Flightpath 2050, namely towards “maintaining global leadership” as well as “protecting the environment” challenges. Specific impact is expected in the following areas:

  • Advanced multidisciplinary and collaborative capabilities for whole aircraft (including engine) along its life cycle.
  • Significantly reduced aircraft design cycle and higher complexity decision trade-offs.
  • Development of synergies on visualisation methods and big-data analytics.
  • Increase the European innovation potential in Aeronautics and Air Transport (AAT) by a more balanced and integrated collaboration of industry, including SMEs and research providers.