White PaperAerospace

Digital Approach to Airworthiness: A Technical Guide


Complexity is at the heart of airworthiness certification process challenges. The often-long path to certification is paved by verifying that regulatory requirements have been satisfied, a daunting task that has grown to the point of equaling or exceeding the time and cost of development. At the core of the certification process are the means of compliance, which determine the mechanisms used to substantiate and document the various compliance activities and to demonstrate how design requirements and safety criteria are met.

Verification teams must coordinate these activities across departments, engineering disciplines, program managers, physical locations, and individual operators of test equipment. This complexity is a primary driver for increased risks and costs associated with verification programs and, ultimately, the final airworthiness certification.

Though physical testing remains key in verification and certification programs, there is an increased reliance on digital methods for proving requirements. That means companies must link data originating from numerous virtual and physical testing platforms to the most up-to-date designs and requirements. Manually correlating these items will stall verification and certification efforts and will bring a program to a screeching halt in the case of an audit. However, the verification management digital thread enables airworthiness certification improvements. It fosters automated test correlation and linkages.

In recent years, A&D firms have gravitated toward a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach to develop the “system of systems” products typical to the industry. An MBSE approach orchestrates the entire technical program by tracing final verification and certification results back through design, analysis and test, to the original requirements.

Siemens digital solutions for verification management incorporate verification and certification activities into day-to-day tasks. This prevents verification from being a late-in-the-game process, allowing you to move toward certification much faster, at a lower overall cost and with maximum quality.

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