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FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS OF INNOVATIVE PRACTICES IN VIRTUAL TESTING METHODS FOR AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FAVIT (FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS OF INNOVATIVE PRACTICES IN VIRTUAL TESTING METHODS FOR AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-12-31

FAVIT main objective is to deliver a set of knowledge-based proposals for the improvement of aerospace standards and guidelines for the system suppliers and aircraft manufacturers. FAVIT will analyse the current aerospace standards and guidelines to identify how the design and verification processes can be enhanced to accelerate the processes using the state-of-the-art technologies based in virtual testing. FAVIT Project aims to become the tool for Clean Sky 2 to obtain this complete and accurate feasibility analysis of innovative practices in virtual testing methods for aircraft certification contributing to an innovative future framework of the aerospace standards in Europe.

FAVIT will tackle the following operative objectives:
O1. To analyse the existing European certification and standards used at aircraft certification: study of the guidelines provided by the standardization groups and certification authorities for certification of new generation aircrafts will be done.
O2. To analyse the current state-of-the-art of virtual testing methods and the challenges related to verification process.
O3. To contact with the main actors in the aeronautical sector to analyse the methods used currently and how the new technologies can improve the certification process.
O4. To develop a methodology and a guide for best practices for virtual testing oriented to enhance certification process for system suppliers and aircraft manufacturers.
O5. To inform certification authorities, research centres and air transport stakeholders about the proposed enhancements for aerospace standards regarding virtual testing and generate a proposal for enhancement of aerospace standards.

Besides, FAVIT project has set the following transversal objectives:
O6. To contribute for a democratization of the aerospace industry, generating new more safety processes but more accessible to SMEs, using MBSE and virtual testing.
O7. To revise the state-of-the-art processes and technologies from other transport sectors (Railway, automotive) to check the potential transferability to the aerospace field.
O8. To promote new standards for the future of the modern aircrafts.

The methodology for the development of this study will include interaction with main stakeholders from the industry and the relevant certification authorities, as well as dissemination events to promote projects results.
During the 1st period, the work has been focused on WP1 “Analysis of aerospace standards and guidelines with regard to state-of the-art virtual testing” and WP2 “Interactions with standardization groups and certification authorities”.

Under WP1 the work has been focused on performing an analysis of the knowledge of the aerospace agents, (OEM, System and Equipment Suppliers, authorities, etc…) of Virtual Testing and its applicability in aeronautical safety critical systems, SW and HW certification according to correspondent certification standards. In fact, the following activities have been performed:
- An open consultation process to identify the current knowledge of the main actors of the aerospace sector regarding Virtual Testing technologies (VTTs) has been carried out. Two different surveys have been prepared by ORBITAL and distributed among the participants.
- The main relevant aerospace standards has been analysis with the aim of identifying those gaps that would otherwise allow the use of VTTs to better contribute towards the certification of airborne software systems.
- Virtual Testing methods and its applicability to SW, HW and Systems, and its respective impact in certification standards has been evaluated with the aim of identifying problems for practical use of Virtual Testing in Aeronautics certification and providing with recommendations.

Related WP2, the work has been focused on analysing the applicability of virtual methods taking into account specific points of the certification standards identifying the most problematic parts for using of those methods following the current certification standards. Parts that are not clear, incompatibilities, and possible uses are identified to be discussed with certification relevant actors, (OEMs, Industry and authorities).
FAVIT will develop a knowledge-based strategy to define best workflows to support certification processes based on virtual testing. The project will determine if and how virtual testing demonstrators can contribute creating evidence for certification and how can they be adapted to include optimized approach.

FAVIT will provide with innovations in the following fields:

VIRTUAL TESTING: Current developments of aerospace projects as well as other critical industries are facing more and more complex systems. The verification of these systems and the interactions between them is highly time consuming, even more than the development of the system itself. Moreover, in aerospace sector, the possibilities of doing real simulations are very limited by the different variables that take part (i.e.: planets alignment, meteorology…) and the increasingly higher costs of the methods of verification, validation and certification make necessary a reflection with the aim of their optimization, including virtual testing methods that lower these costs and achieve totally reliable systems, aligned with the main regulations of aerospace sector. Outcomes of FAVIT will allow a new approach of the main certifications of the sector. This will decisively contribute to make advance of the current methods of verification, validation and certification. Main innovations related are:
- Identification of the main gaps of current aerospace standards with regard to virtual testing methods.
- Definition of a guide of best-practices to apply HIL, SIL in aerospace standards.
- Proposal of technically relevant solutions to make more reliable and cheaper certification methods.
- Benchmarking of the aerospace requirements for accelerating the certifiability process.

ENHANCEMENT OF AEROSPACE STANDARDS: Current standards and validation methods are only available for big companies due to the difficulties to make the verifications and validations affordable for SMEs. Thanks to FAVIT project, the creation of different guidelines and best practices documents will provide relevant information for European aerospace sector. The enhancement will be developed thanks to the inclusion of virtual testing methods in the validation, verification and certification processes, enabling mature process for virtual testing. Moreover, this enhancement will align all actors of the European aerospace sector with the same documents and set of information, for the next generation of aircraft systems.

REDUCTION OF COSTS AND TIMINGS IN CERTIFICATION MAJOR INNOVATIONS: FAVIT project will contribute to create a more efficient and effective certification processes. To address this great challenge, FAVIT will analyse available modelling tools and heterogeneous environments. This will reduce costs and timing accelerating all processes allowing to build based in blocks, certifying individually. Indeed, it can be estimated that around 25-30% of IV&V cost might be reduced against “classical” developments when IV&V with FAVIT results can be applied on the whole lifecycle.
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