EVERETT, Wa., 24 April 2014. Technical complexity is rising, as engineers work toward “more electric aircraft,” including commercial airliners and military combat aircraft, points out Dr. Nick Smith, business development director, Integrated Electrical Systems Division at Mentor Graphics. Dr. Smith delivered the keynote presentation opening the Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2014, hosted by Mentor Graphics, at the Future of Flight Museum at Boeing’s Paine Field in Everett, Wa.
“Electronic controls, digital networks, embedded software, electrical systems and interconnects, as well as mandates and requirements, are marching forward at a rapid pace,” describes Dr. Smith in his discussion, “Are Tools & Methods Keeping Pace with Aerospace Technology Advances?”
“Our engineering methods need to keep up with growing compliance demands,” Dr. Smith says. Compounding the challenge is the extended supply and engineering chain that includes the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and prime contractors at the top collaborating with system designers and Tier 1 suppliers, which are acquiring solutions from components designers and Tier 2 suppliers, he says. “Data sharing and security become concerns in this new, complex structure.”
It is, therefore, increasingly important to take a platform-level perspective when it comes to platform, system, and component design. Platform-level engineering considers the complete problem and the platform, be it a satellite or military aircraft, Dr. Smith says. “Absence of platform-level view impairs integration.”
Modern technologies are making this much easier, enabling tools to dynamically and seamlessly share data. And, because they are standards-based, tools can work and be linked together, Dr. Smith adds.