The aerospace industry has a way of keeping an even keel, even in the most trying economic times. When government funding for spacecraft waned, commercial investment soared. When commercial aviation and business aviation sectors suffered significant losses, the military sector posted gains and kept the market afloat.
The aerospace industry is alive and well. It appears to have weathered the storm and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, growing. Industry analysts and researchers are optimistic, organizations are submitting requests for proposals (RFPs), and contracts are being awarded.
Many aviation market niches and organizations suffered financial setbacks between 2008 and today; yet, the military and space segments have been, and continue to be, bright spots in what has otherwise been considered to be a bleak economic picture.
Increasing investment in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as mentioned in recent blogs, has helped buoy the overall mil/aero market—not to mention helping to achieve mission success and to save lives. Another very bright spot, both from a government funding and commercial investment perspective, involves spacecraft and space-based electronics systems design and development.
The latest NASA programs, for some of which NASA administrators have issued requests for proposals (RFPs) and other opportunities to compete for contract awards. Many are well suited to vehicle, product, system, and component designers well versed in electronic design automation (EDA) tools.
In fact, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift launch vehicle (HLV) will enjoy $10 billion in NASA funding through its first launch, scheduled for 2017. Officials have reached out to industry for several innovations, including design efforts.
The NASA SLS RFP calls for:
- Spacecraft and Payload Adaptors, and Payload Fairing: initial in-house design efforts followed by competitive acquisitions beginning in the 2013 timeframe.
- Advanced Development: a combination of in-house tasks and competitive opportunities for industry and academia beginning in 2012.
- Systems Engineering and Integration: NASA led at least through SLS critical design review (CDR) in 2014.
Do you design systems and components for space? Do you automate the design process with software? Let this geek know by posting a comment.