The Overarching Theme of Digitisation

More efficient air traffic operations and aircraft, faster development cycles, networked and adaptive production as well as more cost-efficient maintenance are just a few examples of how important digitisation in aerospace will become in the field of research and technology but also for novel business models.

Digitisation also opens up opportunities for globally networked and adaptive industrial manufacturing (Industry 4.0). Unprecedented possibilities arise for shortening development times and cutting cost. Novel materials, processes and aircraft are created in virtual research processes and with the help of “digital twins”, providing early optimisation opportunities. 3D printers will assume particular importance in manufacturing many structures for aircraft and spacecraft due to topological optimisation processes, resulting in faster, easier and possibly even more cost-effective production.

What is more, digital technologies make condition-based maintenance possible. Sensors on propulsion engines or structural components for instance monitor important parameters and detect possible maintenance requirements. The systems collect data even during flight and transmit these to the ground crew.

Thanks to a combination of computer and communication sciences, it is also possible to interlink data streams using satellites in particular, thus enabling an unprecedented number of digitisation applications. Not only will it become possible distributing data streams globally but also interlinking them.

Based on these novel interfaces between man, machine and cutting edge information and communication technologies new dynamic and self-organising cross-company value chain networks will emerge. The economic importance of this development cannot be overstated, its key position supported by Bavarian and federal government funding policies.

Munich Aerospace has recognised digitisation as an overarching theme spanning all modern research areas and has thus decided to help shape technical and scientific development in the aviation and space sector through its member institutions and know-how.

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