2022 Airborne Predictions
In many ways, 2021 was a continuation of the changes brought about in 2020, a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled.” In a unique way, 2021 has offered us an idea of evolving innovations and technology on the horizon for teams across industries. These changing conditions will present a variety of new landscapes and will offer unique challenges, opportunities, and more than likely, many surprises.
As we enter a new year of further changes, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond.
This is the fourth part of our five-part series. In this blog, we asked for feedback on product and systems development trends anticipated for the airborne product and systems development industry in 2022 and beyond.
First, we’ll hear from Cary Bryczek – Principal Solutions Architect at Jama Software, Michael Soden – Lead Product Manager for Safety Analysis at Ansys, and Mazen El Hout – Product Manager for Embedded Software for A & D at Ansys. Then, we hear from Vance Hilderman – Chief Technical Officer at AFuzion Inc.
Read our other 2022 Industry Predictions here: Part One – Engineering Predictions, Part Two – Medical Device Predictions, Part Three – Automotive Predictions, and Part Five – Insurance Development Market Predictions.
Airborne Predictions 2022 Part I:
Q: What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2022?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: In 2022 we will see even more new space launch companies and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) both enter the market as new companies and those that are already in the market will receive more funding. The commercial demand and competition among companies is driving some very exciting technologies to mature at a rapid pace.
Q: What are the biggest trends you’re seeing in your industry right now? How will they impact A&D product, systems, and software development?
Ansys: Regarding commercial aviation, major trends include the rise of the new air mobility to transport passengers in jammed cities. Those air-taxi services would require air vehicles capable of taking off and landing vertically. Some of them are piloted and others fully autonomous. Most of them rely on fuel-alternative propulsion systems, such as full electric or hybrid propulsion, which means completely new energy and system architectures that should be safe and performant.
Also, fixed-wing transport aircraft are moving in the autonomous direction with single pilot aircraft initiatives at some aircraft manufacturers with high impacts on cockpit display systems. In the defense industry, autonomous systems are also gaining attention with the use case of manned fighter jet supported by unmanned loyal wingman, or a swarm of drones doing formation, involving the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to extend capabilities of traditional methods of developing control systems and software.
Q: From an A&D engineering toolset perspective, what are some of the processes you think forward-thinking firms will be working to leverage or incorporate into their process and why?
Ansys: Key development processes include Model-Based System Engineering, Model-Based Safety Analysis, and Code Generation, to cope with the increasing complexity of next generation systems and reduce their time to market and cost of development. Model-based Design leads to harmonized safety analysis with system and software designs. In addition, cloud-based computing is becoming essential to benefit from high performance computing services and effective storage, easier maintenance, and better collaboration.
Q: In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: It is such an exciting time for technology right now and a lot of what consumer, aerospace systems and defense systems will see in the next decade is already here. We will just see that technology is being incorporated into more and more systems. AI capabilities will do more and more of the heavy lifting such as data parsing so that systems such as the Mars Reconnaissance Rover (MRO) can provide selective data back to engineers faster. The explosion of data is at the heart of everything. It is both a boon and a burden. Those companies that learn to exploit the sheer amount of data being captured from every device and system will be faster to bring their technology to market. Data privacy challenges will likely remain the same as they are now with political climates and some now talking about de-globalization.
Q: What changing regulatory guidelines do you anticipate having an impact on companies in 2022?
Ansys: Several regulations are impacting new systems design. First, the regulations related to the usage of AI and machine learning inside autonomous air vehicles are driven by standardization such as European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) where Ansys contributes with major industrial players. Regulations related to VTOL aircraft with advanced controls, controls are published as special conditions and mean of compliance by certification authorities (eg EASA). Additionally, many other regulations and special conditions are related to Hybrid Electric and Hydrogen propulsion.
In terms of safety standards, there is a new revision of safety standard: SAE ARP4761 A (including Model-Based Safety Analysis), expected to be published in 2022 extending safety analysis methods and the DO-356, describing cybersecurity methods and consideration for airborne systems. As for engineering standards, the Object Management Group is releasing a new version 2 of SySML on system modeling language, which will transform the way engineers create their systems design.
Q: How do you foresee regulations shifting in Air and Space Product and Systems Development over the next decade?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: Regulators in the EU, US, and China will all be trying to find ways to accelerate changes to their existing regulations in order to keep pace with the rate of aircraft (manned and unmanned) technology change and new development. The most challenging of regulations center around the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as well as classification of new types of aircraft that use existing airframes but now use different propulsion and avionics systems. Aircraft of today and tomorrow just don’t fit neatly into the regulatory bodies existing definitions. For space systems and operations, there are no less than 42 ISO standards alone under development. Many of these center around space debris, interference, and quality measures.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you think A&D engineering firms will be working to overcome in 2022?
Ansys: Building sustainable and performant system architectures without safety compromises is a big challenge we see at the product design level. More and more autonomous and connected systems imply more vulnerability in the systems, therefore cybersecurity is mandatory to prevent cyberattacks. Electronics reliability for autonomous vehicles is another important element to consider when dealing with the physics of failure. Finally, a key element to boost productivity and innovation is to provide scalable and cloud accessible engineering tools, for a more collaborative and distributed way of working.
Q: Any major disruptions to Air and Space Product and Systems Development industry you’re anticipating in 2022?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: The COVID Pandemic will remain a major disruptor across the board. Supply chains are highly complex with manufacturers juggling multiple suppliers and subcontractors to design and integrate the products. Just in time materials processes which prior to covid were a best practice is now one cause of delays. Larger companies will seek to produce components themselves or acquire the companies that can do this for them.
Q: What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2022?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: Regulatory training at all levels of both engineering and business staff will be important. Digital engineering tools and approaches are being pushed into both engineers and project managers’ hands at an increasing pace. Understanding not only how to use them but how to use them within the highly complex regulatory landscape in an efficient manner will be key.
Q: What do you think will remain the same in your industry throughout 2022?
Ansys: The full electric air mobility, even though it seems very promising, will most likely not be fully mature in 2022, in terms of technology, regulations, and infrastructure.
Q: What do you predict for regulation in the A&D industry in 2022? Will those trends still be prevalent 5 years from now? 10 years?
Ansys: Many regulations for the use of AI in embedded software related to the certified context will emerge leading to fully autonomous flight for small/medium aircraft.
Q: What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: The companies that will successfully survive to 2030 are those who are able to A) continuously perform rapid impact analyses during any phase their product’s lifecycles as requirements change and disruptions to supply chains take place. Companies that do not have robustly integrated design and lifecycle data or only utilize manual processes are at a higher risk of failure when the product they bring to market is late or are at the mercy of delays to their supply chains. B) Companies will need to walk a careful tightrope of exposing enough of their project to the outside world to attract much needed investment funding and yet still keep their intellectual property secret. C) Companies will need to invent new ways to retain their talent to prevent evaporation of knowledge and their specific expertise.
Q: Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2022 approaches?
Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: The gap between the customer and business stakeholders and engineering groups historically has been where the engineering side is a black box. The proliferation of digital engineering strategies is now making the box more transparent. The practice of requirements management as a now collaborative effort across teams enables faster communication between teams and faster validation of requirements – Validation of the RIGHT requirements not to be confused with product validation. Requirements today must traverse many tools in the digital ecosystem. In 2022 more Jama Software customers will integrate requirements with tools in their digital ecosystem enabling higher degrees of collaboration and efficient analysis.
RELATED POST: Aerospace Compliance – When Failure Is Not An Option
Airborne Predictions 2022 Part 2:
Vance Hilderman, CTO, AFuzion Inc:
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
Surely, Charles Dickens was the earliest aerospace forecaster when he wrote those famous words decades before the Wright brother’s first flight. But was Dickens really channeling the Covid pandemic and today’s aerospace unprecedented changes? Likely not, but the “more things change, the more they remain the same” holds true.
Every two or three years I’m asked to predict next year’s aerospace news. I always chuckle, then provide a disclaimer, “In one baseball season, Ted Williams failed to get on base almost 60% of the time; that made his season the world’s best.” That’s right: 40% success in baseball, and entrepreneurship, is a winning season. With that disclaimer at heart, here’s my “winning season for 2022” predictions:
- Supply chain issues are not going away soon. The aviation In-sourcing trend occurring BEFORE Covid is now going to accelerate due to added long-distance supplier (read “offshore”) disruptions. Aero companies will bring back development and manufacturing even faster – expect a record pace giving advantage to those with automated processes and tools already under their control.
- Autonomous passenger flight is still a decade away. Sorry – I know that’s not the news you want to hear. Truly great strides have been made and we’re now “40%” of the way there. Safety, airspace management, and certification authority acceptance are all still “in work.” But fear not: if you’re healthy with a 20-year life expectancy remaining, you will see autonomous passenger flights. Absolutely your children will.
- eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff & Landing) aircraft REALLY are coming. If you can’t spell “eVTOL” or “UAM” you’re taking that Covid isolation too far. But 90% of today’s eVTOL players won’t succeed. Watch for 20-25 of last year’s players to not be in the game at the end of 2022. Who will succeed? Easy: two groups of eVTOL players will succeed: 1) Those early companies with solid funding already received and actually flying aircraft (even if near-final-prototypes), and 2) Longstanding manufacturers with prior success mass-manufacturing either cars or regular aircraft.
If you’re not in group #1 or #2, we simply wish you the best and celebrate your optimism.
- Covid forced remote work to be a reality, with great harm to those lacking defined processes and management structures supportive of remote work. In 2022, those aerospace companies with strong planning and remote development capabilities will further distance themselves from competitors. Companies embracing automated (and even semi-automated, but substantially less continuous manual intervention) will see profits and market share increase. Aviation automation tool vendors and aircraft/avionics developers with strong automation culture will be powering the decade ahead, starting in 2022.
- After a decade of struggles, experts now say Lockheed is in the driver’s seat, passenger seat, and all the other seats when it comes to fighter jets. And for buyers with ample (read “huge”) budgets, the F-35 is an easy choice. But add improved radar, improved stealth, and improved missiles, and the fighter jet itself is a platform, not the end-all. Ask yourself: what kind of computer or device are you using to read this article right now? Does it really matter or is the software and content more relevant? Exactly.
- Yesterday’s shortening time-to-market will seem like a joke compared to 2022’s massively intensifying pressures. New companies, new industries, and even countries new to aviation are all forcing greatly decreased product launch times. Companies providing tools to assist with efficiency (such as AFuzion’s and Jama Software’s DO-178C software development frameworks will see greatly increased sales but also even greater competition (details here: https://afuzion.com/plans-checklists/).
- And my final forecast: all the smart people who predicted an end to Covid in 2021 and 2022 (Bill G, are you reading? 😉) will see their predictions to have been as correct as the majority of their prior predictions (really now, “email spam will be eliminated by 2006” – go Google that one – too much time on private jets with other interests). Folks, I predict Covid and its variants will be with us for years. We’ll manage -humans are often frail but adaptable. We’ll get our collective international acts together and form a more cohesive international Covid travel management policy and most of us will be flying as we were before. Except much less business travel (and more pleasure!) because all the predictions above (Read #1 through #6) will REDUCE the need for business travel.
There you have it: hoping I beat Ted Williams record-breaking 40%+ success rate. And that means I hope to see you wherever you are someday, but hopefully for pleasure, not just business!
Thanks for tuning into our 2022 Predictions Series! To see some of the incredible products, software, and systems our customers are building with Jama Connect, visit our CUSTOMER STORIES PAGE.
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