Aero: Workflow Advisor

The infrastructure of the Optimisation Workflow provides a secure way for engineers to access analysis services and share data amongst partners of a collaborative design Virtual Organisation.

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The aerospace industry deals with highly complex products that have data creation, management and curation requirements that span hundreds of collaborating organisations over a 50-year lifecycle. Partners on a product team need to collectively manage thousands of inter-related processes and this leads the industry to expend considerable time and effort in the access, transmission, control, translation and sharing of data.
The primary focus of the aerospace activity is the development and deployment of existing and emerging Grid technologies and concepts to enhance the collaborative engineering of sophisticated products. The improvement in the ability to handle complex problems is not delivered simply through the connectivity that Grid offers, but in the deployment of middleware and advanced ontology-based techniques to radically improve the efficiency of the data exchange between applications and between organisations.

Justification of the prototype

The use of CAE analysis within the design process is common place in the Aerospace industry but is very focused on using a limited set of capabilities within the boundaries of the enterprise. To enable wider access to physical modelling and to enable the aerospace industry to take advantage of more cost effective provisioning models there is a requirement to enable the exploitation of CAE analysis services that are supplied beyond the enterprise boundaries. This introduces challenges in terms of managing Intellectual Property especially as this is encapsulated in the process in which the analysis codes are applied hence the focus on workflows, data and associated embedded knowledge.


The aerospace activity is focused on the creation of a collaborative environment to enable the improvement of a product using design optimisation techniques which access physical modeling capabilities that are provided by each partner.  The tools allowing the management of the Virtual Organisation reflect the business models used within the aerospace industry. The SIMDAT Aerospace Activity has successfully demonstrated the prototype throughout the 3 phases of the project and shown how SIMDAT technologies improve the range of tools and data available to the engineer.

Overview of the software architecture of the aerospace prototype

Future plans

The next phase of the project is the demonstration phase, the Aerospace demonstration component will consist of two main demonstrators, one involving an organisation external to the SIMDAT project. The demonstrators involve BAE Systems and Airbus as organisations evaluating the SIMDAT technologies.