BAE data science scheme to accelerate combat air system development

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<p><figcaption class=Virtual cockpit assistant (Image: BAE)

BAE Systems is partnering with the University of Manchester to accelerate the design and development of new jet aircraft using data science.

To achieve the UK government’s Air Combat Strategy, Team Tempest partners are using new, innovative digital technologies to make the program faster and more efficient as developing a new fast jet aircraft is a long and expensive process.

A five-year Data Science Accelerator project between BAE Systems and the University of Manchester aims to tackle this.

Andrew Gordon, Cluster Leader for AI and Digital at BAE Systems Air, said: “A huge amount of data is captured from some of the most complex systems used in jet aviation.

“Working in partnership allows both parties to share our experience and knowledge in investigating the data captured.

“The accelerator captures data and helps us form simulations and prototypes faster and more cost-effectively than if we were using a siled approach.”

Professor Hujun Yin, academic lead of the Accelerator at the University of Manchester, said: “The Data Science Accelerator takes our collaboration with BAE Systems to another level.

“Projects under the Accelerator; from seminars to workshops and sprints to PhDs, they not only provide insight into relevant research progress in Manchester but also provide opportunities for academics to extend their research to address the challenges facing BAE Systems and in engineering applications of data analysis and AI techniques.”

Aerodynamic tests such as the use of data from wind tunnel testing are being used to quickly produce different test models, reducing the time it would take to go through the development and design process to save time and money.

Other projects being explored by the scheme include a multimodal data analysis program to develop algorithms that will help aircraft radar image and object recognition in real time.

It also explores ways to use data to determine pilot workload and adjust systems in real time, and how to replace sensors with virtual ones.

Andrew added: “Working in more dynamic and agile ways is essential if we are to produce innovative, technologically intelligent products that our customers want and need in the future.

“We believe that collaborative work with the world’s best academics is key to advancing aerospace technology in the future and I am sure that further collaboration will benefit us going forward, including our future customers. “

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