Aerospace & Defence

Collaboration developing ESA's next-gen launcher

30th November 2016
Alice Matthews

A long-standing collaboration between Dassault Systèmes and Airbus Safran Launchers has been confirmed. More than 700 engineers, including partners, are working on the development of Ariane 6, the European Space Agency’s next-gen launcher, across multiple sites in Europe. 

They are using Dassault Systèmes’ solutions for the systems architecture, the detailed design definition and the validation of propulsions and the space vehicle.

Dassault Systèmes’ 'Winning Program' industry solution experience has been a key enabler to perform multiple trade-off studies, explore a greater number of alternatives and accelerate the decision-making process to select the most competitive configurations for Ariane 6. The selected architecture, an Airbus Safran Launchers digital asset, will be optimised and continuously validated during the overall development phases.

Such digital assets are created and validated from a collaborative digital mock up that helps avoid errors, minimise changes and contribute to reducing months from the development and industrial ramp-up phases. Dassault Systèmes’ applications are being used for design in context processes, internal and transnational co-design reviews, and programme reviews leveraging virtual reality that enable the accurate definition of all complex manufacturing operations.

“For Ariane 6, Airbus Safran Launchers continues to build on the accomplishment and value created with Dassault Systèmes’ solutions that contributed to the design of Ariane 5,” said Alain Charmeau, CEO, Airbus Safran Launchers. “These solutions, based on a high-fidelity digital mock up shared by our partners, remain at the heart of our industrial model to develop the launcher across Europe.”

The space sector is subject to fierce competition as never before. Startups worldwide and companies in emerging markets are forcing more established businesses to transform their operations in order to provide versatile, high-performing, and cost competitive launchers. 'Winning Program' was designed for aerospace and defense companies looking to optimise early programme phases and programme development using design, simulation and collaboration. With advanced levels of engineering detail and shared knowledge available in the conceptual design phase, 'Winning Program' can improve adherence to programme costs, performance and schedule.

“We are proud to bring our partnership for innovation and performance with Airbus Safran Launchers to an upper level. In times of consumerisation of space, our collaboration aims to design and develop a new experience-focused model for space launch, and know from the earliest stages that Ariane 6 can be delivered on budget, to specification and on time,” said Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. “Dassault Systèmes’ unmatched Aerospace and Defense industry solution experiences enable Airbus Safran Launchers to explore the possible, collaborate with clients and through all disciplines and stakeholders within the ecosystem, and configure the right concept. Together we can harness the power of design and digital heritage to transform the industry.”

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