Objectives and content
Systems forms more than 30% of civil aircraft development cost and are also on the critical path as far as the aircraft development time-scale is concerned. In addition the more complex a system, the more difficult it is to both guarantee its entry into service to schedule and to keep costs within budget.
The experience from Airbus programmes is that systems complexity has doubled every five years. For economic and technical reasons most European aircraft programmes are undertaken by consortia of geographically distributed and culturally diverse industrial organisations. Workshare arrangements result in piecemeal solutions for systems specification. The overall result is that global systems validation is only possible during overall aircraft integration prior to certification. This lengthens the duration of the system development (and consequently the aircraft) life-cycle. Improving specification effectiveness requires a more integrated approach to the development and validation of specifications within consortia. Means are required to enable validation of the complete set of aircraft systems specifications prior to system realisation and integration.
The problem is particularly important in the European context, since the US Aeronautics Industry comprises fewer, larger companies (e.g. Boeing/Honeywell). In comparison, the competitiveness of the European Industry is reduced
This project brings airframers and equipment suppliers together with the objective of reducing the system development cycle significantly (the target is 20%). This will be achieved by developing an integrated set of methods and tools to allow multiple specifications, developed by multiple companies, to be validated in depth and against each other early in the systems development process. The resulting "integrated specifications" will improve the efficiency of existing processes to maintain competitiveness and support both application of new avionics technologies (IMA, ARINC 629,...) and compliance with anticipated safety standards (ARP 4754,...).
Specific aspects addressed are: consistency, completeness, simulation, signals exchange between equipments and specification-realisation interfaces.
The project industrial objective is to reduce the system development cycle despite increasing systems complexity and new technologies. This is required to maintain competitiveness by reducing time-to-market and cost. An additional major benefit is the establishment of standards, methods and tools for systems specifications for future co-operative programmes. These would be appropriate for submission for standardisation at European and/or international level.
Once established, these standards would facilitate communications between Partners and in particular enables SMEs to become involved in future aircraft programmes. Finally, the European industry in general, should benefit from advanced techniques developed by the first large scale European industrial co-operation.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BS99 7AR Bristol - Filton
78141 Velizy Villacoublay
GL52 4SF Cheltenham