Digitalization of Space Thermal Engineering
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Digitalization has been a hot topic across all industrial sectors for a number for years now. Within ESA there have been a number of R&D activities initiated on the topic together with industrial partners. The purpose of this paper is to present the digitalization topic to a wider audience, and with a specific focus on the thermal engineering and its related interfaces. Generally digitalization refers to improving engineering activities by using digital technologies; for example to make processes more efficient, or to enable richer data sources to be exploited. Therefore a necessary precursor for digitalization is the �digitization� of engineering data into machine interpretable assets (e.g. transforming from a document centric to a model centric approach). This paper will present an analysis of the space thermal engineering process, identifying the input and output data of the different thermal engineering tasks. The way to capture and describe this data using formal ontologies as well as open standards will also be discussed. Some concrete examples of digitalization, including R&D activities ongoing at ESA, will be presented, specifically related to core thermal engineering tasks such as thermal testing and operations. The context for space thermal engineering software tools will also be discussed, for example, the needs for interfaces to author and consume metadata, such as design information, and test/flight data.