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Multi-disciplinary Simulation Working Group Multi-disciplinary Simulation Working Group
Last update: August 2019


The objective of the “Multi-disciplinary Simulation interoperability“ activity is to develop a common approach for the European Aerospace Industry on multi-disciplinary simulation interoperability in an extended enterprise context.

Multi-disciplinary simulation covers:

  • The individual analysis disciplines: aerodynamics, mechanical, electromagnetics, thermal, noise, vibration, … and
  • The coordination links between these analysis disciplines.

In the Aerospace & Defence industry, elaborated approaches have been developed for individual disciplines, based on discipline-specific simulation workbenches. However the interoperability between these workbenches is poor, as well as the linkage between the discipline workbenches and the system-level product definition. This lack of interoperability is more and more critical, as more complex vehicle architectures have to be investigated and novel energy management functions have to be developed.

To be highlighted: the interoperability targeted here should cover the whole product (vehicle or sub-system) life cycle, from early discipline studies (often refers to as “Multi-disciplinary Design Optimisation”) to concept design, detailed design, manufacturing, testing/certification, operations and decommissioning. Virtual testing, linking simulation and (physical) testing, is a fundamental enabler for models calibration and quality measure.



Fig. 1: Multi-disciplinary exchange enabled by STEP AP209 ed2

This activity is part of the ASD SSG “Product Definition and Analysis Interoperability” working group.

It covers the interoperability functions based on open standards, such as:

  • Communication with the extended enterprise,
  • Long term archiving and retrieval,
  • Integration between heterogeneous authoring CAE-CAD-PDM applications (upstream, downstream, ...)
  • Simulation data quality,
  • Model exchange and co-simulation.  


Multi-disciplinary simulation interoperability includes various aspects:

  • Exchange of metadata and orchestration of processes/workflows in a multi-SDM environment ("Simulation Data Management" SDM or "Simulation and Process Data Management" SPDM)
  • Interface between CAE tools: between successive steps of the simulation process (pre-processor, solver, post-processor); between simulation codes (co-simulation, strong coupling, weak coupling)
  • CAD to CAE link and associated PDM to SDM interface.

Current issues are:

  • Insufficient validation of product physical behaviour early in the development phase (e.g. thermal issues identified late and costly to solve)
  • Heterogeneity of analysis formats, simulation data representation formats and management information, leading to inability to master multi-physics effects
  • Difficulty to assess complex behaviour involving several disciplines along an operational scenario.

List of use cases

Exchange of simulation models and results (prepost-processing)

Exchange of Finite Elements model and results


Exchange of CFD model and results


Thermal Management of avionics or electrical bays


Thermal and Structural Coupling

LT Archiving and Retrieval of simulation models and results

LTA&R of mechanical simulation models

Refer to LOTAR Engineering Analysis and Simulation Working Group

LTA&R of CFD simulation models


Simulation processes

Traceability of simulation processes


Integrated CAD-CAE process


Simulation Data Management



Related standards and projects

  • ISO STEP AP209 ed2 “Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design”:

Public website: www.ap209.org
ASD SSG Blip: link

To join this activity please contact: Albert Lévy.