Skip to Main Content
White Paper

Digitalizing airworthiness certification

As a “system of systems” composed of software, hardware, and electronics, aerospace and defense (A&D) products involve lengthy multidisciplinary development programs and interrelated verification activities to gain customer approval or regulatory certification. Download this technical guide to learn how a digital approach to proving airworthiness can speed up aircraft certification.

Airworthiness certification process challenges

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.

Airworthiness certification improvements

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. It makes it easy to search for and locate the data needed to respond to internal and external audits. Demonstrating this control and traceability over verification and certification processes helps create a cooperative and trusting relationship with customers and regulatory authorities.

MBSE connects verification and airworthiness certification

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. With that shift comes the opportunity for significant improvement in how verification and airworthiness certification processes are managed.

Siemens digital solutions

With a verification management solution from Siemens, A&D companies execute programs on schedule and budget with closed-loop requirement traceability in all activities of the design and verification process, which confirms requirement compliance and simplifies both internal and external program audits. 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.

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. Xcelerator, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software and services from Siemens Digital Industries Software, helps companies of all sizes create and leverage a comprehensive digital twin that provides organizations with new insights, opportunities and levels of automation to drive innovation.