Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility completes fifty studies


The ESA Concurrent Design Facility has completed fifty design studies and reviews since its opening as an experimental facility in 1999. Work is now under way to make the software developed for this facility available to European space industry and space organisations.

Many candidate space missions now take advantage of the concurrent engineering capabilities offered by the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) at ESA-ESTEC to reduce the duration of their preliminary design study from the several months required by traditional methods to just a few weeks.

Real-time interaction between engineering disciplines in the CDF not only shortens the design cycle, it also increases design quality, offering better decision making and risk management and providing improved specifications for use in subsequent project phases.

The CDF transitioned from an experimental facility to an operational unit in 2000, a year after its inception. Since its foundation, the CDF has performed design studies on space missions, systems and instruments for various ESA directorates. The studies have covered space science, astronomy and planetary exploration missions, Earth observation satellites, International Space Station and human spaceflight activities, as well as launch and (re-)entry vehicles. The CDF has also hosted design sessions for European academic institutions, targeted at both student space projects and more general training in concurrent engineering.

The ESA CDF has become a reference centre in Europe for the application of concurrent engineering methodology to the design of space systems. Details of the methods and models on which the ESA CDF is based have been requested by several of the Agency’s institutional partners as a basis for the creation of their own facilities. A preliminary version of the core software has already been delivered to several sites.

The future: Europe-wide collaboration

The task of turning the ESA CDF software suite into a product suitable for distribution to both institutional and industrial partners is under way. Further validation of the design model is being performed, additional modelling language, design tool and engineering database interfaces are being created and an updated user interface is being implemented.

Once the product creation effort is completed and a helpdesk and a maintenance scheme are in place, a wider distribution of the software is planned. It is intended that the software will be made available to ESA’s institutional and industrial partners through a yet to be selected open licensing scheme. It is hoped that wide availability, combined with the use of a common data model, will encourage and contribute to the creation of a Europe-wide collaborative environment for the design of space missions and systems using concurrent engineering methods.

Massimo Bandecchi | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>