Today's fuel system design and development process requires evaluation of the baseline specification to manually extract and describe the functional requirements, which are mainly laid down as non-standardised verbal descriptions.
Based on the specifications, rudimental simulations are performed, which can lead to initial feedbacks that influence the baseline requirement definitions. After the finalisation of rudimental simulation tasks, the software and hardware development/realisation begins.
Time-consuming and costly manufacturing of hardware is imperative for system and component testing. The realisation phase for software and hardware has to start at a very early stage of the programme due to time constraints and in order to get hardware available for verification purposes on the rigs.
Representative test rigs are essential for system testing in the conventional design process. These rigs are expensive and require a long time to set up, contributing to a large extent to programme schedules and costs. Any deviation in performance determined in the later stage of a programme has direct influence on software and/or hardware, thus often requiring new components to be built. The time necessary to update software and/or hardware directly extends the programme duration and requires repetition of rig and flight-testing.
SmartFuel ADSP relies and utilises results of the EU funded project SmartFuel (FP5, started October 2002).
The scientific and technological objectives of SmartFuel ADSP were to develop and test a tool-based automated design and simulation process (ADSP) for aircraft fuel management systems. The system developed will also be applicable to other liquid-containing aircraft systems since those systems are basically designed with similar kinds of components.
It was anticipated that the automated designed system would produce the following benefits:
- 60% reduction in the time for developing of a fuel system;
- 70% reduction in the cost for developing of a fuel system;
- 50% reduction in the time to market for future complete fuel systems;
- 25% in improvement in the reliability of those systems developed using ADSP;
- 50% reduction of the cost of new system due to a better use of COTS components;
- 40% in the reduction of maintenance cost due to advanced quality of the design.
The automated design and simulation system mainly comprises:
- the analysis of the general specification and automated system configuration/composition (i.e. definition of system functionality and number, type and arrangement of all necessary system components to fulfil the functionality);
- the automated generation of executable software codes;
- the verification of the system via extensive and sophisticated simulation.
The main elements of the approach are:
- research and development on modelling tools for fuel systems;
- standardisation of fuel system specification language;
- standardisation of fuel system hardware and software interfaces research and technological development on tools for fuel system simulation;
- fuel system certification aspects and documentation;
- realisation of fuel system components to verify simulation in rig and flight tests;
- development of automated design and simulation process tool chain;
- evaluation of automated design and simulation process compliance with rig and flight tests;
- evaluation of verification/validation compliance with certification authority requirements.
SmartFuel ADSP Achievements
- Automatically software code generation by the graphical software tool;
- Complete system functional test without hardware;
- Hardware tests involving rigs and aircraft can be reduced;
- Hardware tests are starting with pretested functional software.
SmartFuel ADSP Advantages
It is expected that automatically designed fuel management systems will lead to:
- Reduction of development time/costs for Fuel Management Systems;
- improvement of system reliability;
- Reduction of production prices due to increased use of COTS components;
- Reduction of maintenance costs due to improved design quality;
- Simple system extension by adding nods (e.g. Auxiliary Fuel Tanks);
- Debug support on system level for Rig Tests.