Air Force Digital Thread/Digital Twin Workshop

  • 12/13/2016
  • NDIA
    2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400
    Arlington,  VA  22201
  • Event Type : Workshop
    Event Code :


NDIA Workshops with Industry

Office of the Assistant Secretary (Acquisitions), Office of Transformational Innovation

AFTC & SAF AQ Digital Thread/Digital Twin Program

The Digital Engineering revolution is underway across the Aerospace and Defense industry.  Successful instantiation of Digital Engineering into the T&E environment will require policies to ensure T&E expertise is leveraged to provide the quantified baseline performance assessment and very close collaboration between government and industry to improve processes leading to increase value from RDT&E.  

The value of a digital approach is not to get to CDR faster but to arrive at CDR with a closed design that is less susceptible too costly downstream changes.  This involves requires a model based system engineering approach and early Government involvement.  The Digital Twin side of this approach will open options into sustainability and predictive maintenance.  

This approach is broken down into three phases.  The objective of these is to develop an understanding of what challenges exist to this digitally-centric approach to development and T&E and what steps could be taken to overcome them. 

Phase 1 Workshop - The Technical Assessment

This workshop was conducted on December 13 to discuss with industry  the following questions:

  • What barriers exist to establishment of digital engineering and T&E environments across Air Force systems?
  • What tools and technologies are already in use that could establish digital environments?
    • Visualization, CAD/CAM, PDM/PLM, M&S, etc.
  • What policies and practices are affected by establishing an integrated digital ecosystem?

Workshop Presentations

Office of the Assistant Secretary (Acquisitions), Office of Transformational Innovation
Workshop with Industry: Applying Digital Engineering To Reduce Acquisition Cycle Time
Mr. Jimmie D Schuman Jr., Deputy Director of Transformational Innovation

Jimmie Schuman Presentation

Digital Engineering Applications to Developmental Test & Evaluation
Dr. Edward Kraft, AFTC/AEDC

Dr. Ed Kraft Presentation

The results of the workshop and the three breakout groups is documented in this presentation. The three major areas of concern identified were:

  • Collaboration
    • Collaboration centers needed
    • Interoperable tools needed
  • Requirements
    • Defining the problem early and clearly
    • CONOPS / mission needs statements with value
  • Culture
    • Better educated and informed personnel
    • Combat (overcome) risk aversion

Workshop Results

Please contact Carol Dwyer with any questions or concerns.