AI in Aerospace Part One – Maturing Your Digital Transformation

By Quinn Foster

Welcome to Talking Aerospace Today – a podcast for the aerospace and defense industry. A place that brings the promise of tomorrow’s technology to the ears of our listeners today.

As this series wraps up exploring the automation stage of digital transformation maturity, the later, even more exciting stages of generative design and closed-loop optimization grow closer. However, both of these stages rely on a critical technology that deserves its own set of episodes before homing in on them specifically, and that technology is artificial intelligence (AI).

In this episode, Todd Tuthill, Vice President of A&D Industry for Siemens Digital Industries Software, is joined by Justin Hodges, AI/ML technical specialist and product manager for Siemens Simcenter, to discuss the latest advancements in AI technology, why the A&D industry needs it, and how the industry can benefit from its use.

An introduction to AI

Justin acknowledges that every ten years or so, hype about AI experiences a major spike before usually fading away, but this time appears different. AI today seems to have passed the threshold of hype and is now presenting a way to change how industries do business.

That difference, according to Justin, lies at least partially with the advancement of GPU technology in recent years. The hardware has significantly improved in the past decade, leading to better GPUs that can run more sophisticated machine learning models, that in turn can run more advanced, accurate models and handle larger amounts of data to make better predictions.

As for why AI is needed in the A&D industry, Todd points back to the industry-wide problem the majority of digital transformation maturity is meant to alleviate: the workforce shortage. The A&D industry has so many exciting innovations coming in the next decade or two, but there are simply not enough aerospace engineers, technicians, etc. to bring them into reality. AI is another technology companies can utilize to multiply the impact their current workforce rather than scramble to fill positions with engineers that cannot be found.

There are multiple ways AI can be used to improve engineering processes, such as making faster and better predictions, as Justin points out. Much of the work that he does at Simcenter centers around using AI to receive faster insights, and they have made tangible results. AI can use stored data to make predictions in a fraction of a second instead of, say, over 30 hours of setting up physical testing equipment and processing the data that comes from said testing.

Todd expands this ability to the area of knowledge retention. One of the drivers behind the worker shortage in A&D is the retirement of many capable, intelligent engineers that have been in the business for decades. While they may be leaving, the incredible amount of data and insights they have made over the years can be stored in a company’s proprietary data lake, which AI can reuse and learn from to innovate new things based on those engineers’ concepts, rules, and design methodologies.

The insights in this episode are a great introduction on AI in aerospace, but there is still more to come. Stay tuned for future episodes on this topic on Talking Aerospace Today.

Todd Tuthill – Speaker

Todd Tuthill – Speaker

Todd Tuthill is the Vice President of Aerospace & Defense for Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Justin Hodges - Speaker

Justin Hodges – Speaker

Justin Hodges is a AI/ML technical specialist and product manager for Siemens Simcenter.

Patty Russo - Host

Patty Russo – Host

Patty Russo is Global Marketing Manager for Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Talking Aerospace Today Podcast Podcast

Talking Aerospace Today Podcast

The A&D Industry is at a serious inflection point. Transformation to the digital enterprise has opened up a new era in innovation and technological breakthroughs. However, complexity and compliance continue to hamper the best of efforts.

Join us as we explore how Siemens is turning complexity into a competitive advantage for many of our customers – today and well into tomorrow.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/podcasts/talking-aerospace-today/maturing-your-digital-transformation-ep7-ai-in-aerospace-part-one/