Bringing Aerospace Technology to Greater Heights
23 Feb 2016

Can you imagine a day where smart systems will guide pilots to fly safely and efficiently, and to make the right decisions during an emergency situations? That was a vision charted by DSTA’s Deputy Chief Executive (Strategic Development) and Director (DSTA Masterplanning and Systems Architecting) Pang Chung Khiang at the A*STAR Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum held on 15 February 2016.

Embracing the forum’s theme ‘Technological Perspectives for the Future’, Chung Khiang elaborated on the technological developments in military and commercial aviation (i.e. smart sensors, advanced data analytics, inter-system connectivity and additive manufacturing) which holds huge potential in enhancing the safety and efficiency of future aviation.

Against the backdrop of a difficult economic environment, aerospace firms must also harness technology in innovative ways to improve operating margins. Chung Khiang said: “The top defence companies have proven that agility in the use of technology and innovations are key.”

Chung Khiang opined that the aerospace community would need to work closely together and innovate for success. “Each company is unlikely able to push ahead on its own. It needs to pursue different types of partnerships with both the authorities and other companies to bring forth the next quantum leap that will be the game-changer for the aerospace industry,” he said.

Furthermore, Chung Khiang spoke on the enabling technologies that are applied at the system level within an aircraft, as well as at the System of Systems level (comprising the larger ecosystem of air and ground entities) via a system architecture approach.

In particular, one of the transformations brought about by technology over the past decade is the proliferation of worldwide Internet connectivity. Chung Khiang highlighted that Internet access across the world bodes well for the creation of a network of data highway infrastructures. The aerospace industry could tap this opportunity to develop a system architecture approach for airliners to collaborate among all networked members when the aircraft is in the air to enhance airline safety and efficiency.

Along with the promise that technology brings are new challenges. Comprehensive policies, new regulatory frameworks, and the validation and certification of new methodologies must be established to accommodate the impact of technology and aviation systems that are ‘cyber-secure by design’.

Held in conjunction with the Singapore Airshow 2016, the forum brought together more than 350 delegates from leading aerospace companies worldwide to discuss the technological future of the sector.