Wed, 3 Oct 2018
The aerospace industry has been using technology that is similar to Digital Twin for years now. However, it has mostly been used to develop digital models of commercial aircrafts in airports and air force jets in order to find ways on how to improve the machine and achieve optimal performance. Moreover, they’ve successfully used the tracking aspect of digital twins to track aircrafts across the world in order to ensure the success of their day to day travels. However, as this technology grows and continues to evolve, more opportunities will start to present themselves that will allow aircraft engineers to be more productive in terms of executing new model tests and when it comes to the commercial aspect of flying, the final user experience of travellers will be more pleasant and safer than it ever was before.
As per Business Wire’s survey report, 75% of air force executives have cast the vote of confidence in favour of the digital twin already. Almost invariably, all these executives are overwhelmed by the amount of available data from products and services that they already use, and they feel that the digital twin technology would be the stepping-stone in overcoming these challenges in the aerospace industry. Additionally, all these executives are utilising and evaluating the prowess of this technology. Most of them are successfully using this technology for both existing and new products and services, while others are employing it for temporary aircraft testing only.
A fully functional digital twin offers comprehensive and predictive analytics. For example, an aircraft incorporated with this technology would be able to predict future engine failures based on previous data it has accumulated. It would enable the engineers to look into the potential problem prior to any danger whether it would involve completely re-testing the airframes of an aircraft, testing its engine or doing any further security checks to ensure the safety of the people onboard. The conventional control rooms also have various predictive analytics, but the integration of the digital twin would enhance the efficiency to deal with any danger looming around the corner. Briefly, the technology enables engineers to not only operate effectively, reducing testing costs but also to maintain and repair systems when they aren’t within physical proximity to them.
NASA faces various missions where the developing systems travel beyond the ability to track or monitor them digitally using their standard tracking systems. A well-structured digital twin of an aircraft or a rocket ship would allow for tracking with 147% more accuracy that would track the aircraft for longer proximities. NASA is already harnessing the power of the digital twin to craft flawless blueprints, roadmaps, and next-generation vehicles and aircraft. Conclusively, it’s the principle of evolution – when everything around you changes, so must you. The digital twin is precisely the type of innovation that has made the aerospace industry evolve and adopt change. The IFS executive cites a study by the IT consultancy IDC that estimates investment in digital twinning yields a 30% improvement in cycle times of critical processes, including maintenance. “In 2018, expect to see more benefits as the technology matures.”
The aerospace industry is yet to fully incorporate the digital twin interfaces to achieve better performance. Contrary to the air force and military, they’re still hesitant to fully depend on Digital Twin when it comes to some of the most crucial aspects that they must depend on such as aircraft tracking, development and testing. Despite all of that, there is definite progress when it comes to adopting the technology therefore, it’s only a matter of time before they develop Digital Twin for it to be mature enough for use in the aerospace industry.