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ASD SSG Terms of Reference ASD SSG Terms of Reference



Digital performance of ASD industries, as well as operational performance of their products, require effective and efficient information exchange, sharing and archiving processes, throughout the Product Life-cycle from the concept phase up to retirement and recycling, and across the entire supply network.This interoperability capability is a strong enabler of the Digital Transformation of Aerospace and Defence business, and supports Smart Manufacturing, Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing.

The ASD Strategic Standardisation Group (SSG) focuses on this interoperability challenge, the operational solutions (methods, processes, tools) enabling this interoperability, as well as the related enabling standards. Examples of these standards include: STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data, ISO 10303), SysML for systems modelling, BoostAero for Supply Chain eBusiness transactions, LOTAR for long-term archiving of data, AIA-ASD ILS suite of specifications for the various Logistics Support disciplines.

This scope is referred to hereafter as “Through life-cycle interoperability”.


The SSG mission, under the guidance of Services Commission, is to act as the European high level advisory body to identify, select and recommend Aerospace and Defence Through life-cycle interoperability mechanisms and enabling standards for adoption by the industry. To achieve this mission, it will:

  • Specify A&D industry needs through the development of Through life-cycle interoperability use cases.
  • Review on-going standard proposals and foster harmonisation between the different actors and sectors involved in order to achieve a harmonised set of standards.
  • Develop and maintain guidelines, approve roadmaps, and recommend practices for development, implementation and use towards effective interoperable Through life-cycle operations within the Aerospace and Defence Industries and with their customers and suppliers.
  • Support proposals to obtain financial backing by the EU organisations, and interface with their relevant structures as required
  • Overview the progress of their implementation, and recommend solutions when troublesome issues are being identified
  • Propose, communicate and disseminate initiatives.
  • Work towards world harmonised standardised processes which can be supported by a comprehensive range of standard-based IT tools for the Supply Chain kept up to speed with the fast progress in digital Technologies
  • Contribute to Implementer Forums with the objective to speed-up the development of interoperable solutions by IT vendors and deliver implementation guidance.
  • Initiate independent benchmarks to assess the actual interoperability level of COTS solutions.

SSG will act as the European pillar for global aerospace and defence Through life-cycle interoperability standards worldwide, in particular in cooperation with the AIA for the US.


The membership of SSG shall be open to any interested Aerospace and Defence Company with the necessary interests and commitment and membership of ASD (through its membership in a National Trade Association which is itself a member of ASD).

Participants to SSG activities include Representatives from Member Companies, plus Additional Participants: the Group may decide to add additional participants from European standardization bodies, trade organisations, agencies, IT vendors, external experts, etc… as observers, but these shall not be part of the formal SSG consensus process.

There is no generic fee, but participants could decide to seek specific human or financial resources for particular activities.

Participants may also include the support of ASD staff and of ASD-STAN. ASD will facilitate adequate European membership, with the support of the National Associations, and approve the changes in membership.


The SSG nominates Chair and Vice-Chairs, they will be endorsed by Services Commission.

The SSG may be supplemented by working groups created to undertake specific tasks. Working groups are typically focused on a specific standardisation field or issue.

Consensus process

Typical decisions made by SSG include:

  • Validation of Through life-cycle interoperability use cases
  • Selection of interoperability mechanisms and supporting standards
  • Initiation of the necessary tasks to ensure the availability of the required standards and availability of interoperable implementations.
  • Approval of communication papers, guidelines, standard recommendations, recommended practices or opinions prepared by the Group (either by working groups or by SSG participants)
  • Creation or removal of a working group
  • Election of Chair and Vice-Chairs.

The basic rule for approval by the SSG is the consensus decision-making process.

Each Member Company nominates one Company Representative that becomes a voting member of the SSG. To take part in the formal SSG consensus process, members have to participate to the SSG meetings on a regular basis.

In the absence of consensus, a two-thirds majority of voting members will suffice.


The SSG chair reports on SSG activities to the ASD Services Commission.