Aeronautical Product Development and Certification Program

The Aeronautical Product Development and Certification program is designed to reduce the time associated with the development and certification of aeronautical products. This program aims to decrease the time-to-market and the costs associated with certification by reducing physical testing using digital twins (e.g. modelling) and virtual testing (e.g. simulation) in the fields of icing, flight testing, and structures (metals and composites). This approach provides an unparalleled opportunity to take advantage of the recent progress made in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (MI) for modelling and simulation activities.

Depiction of the NRC Convair-580 aircraft with airborne measurements, modeling and simulations

The program is under the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Aerospace Research Centre, which offers flexibility and multifaceted expertise in carrying out advanced modelling and simulation that will be used in the near future for partial or full certification by analysis (CbA). CbA will be approved by regulators in those instances where verification and validation activities demonstrate that modelling and simulation is just as effective as physical testing which, to date, remains the main accepted means of compliance (MoC) for certification. This NRC program is aligned with the industry's vision regarding CbA, which in the next decade has the potential to revolutionize aeronautical product development and certification by changing the means of compliance.

Related stories

Collaborate with us

Our program helps reduce the time-to-market of aeronautical products by complementing, reducing or even replacing physical testing with modelling and simulation activities (digital twins and virtual testing) in the fields of icing, flight, structures and prototyping.

Collaboration opportunities

We collaborate with:

  • original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including airframe and engine OEMs
  • small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to advance the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning in virtual flight testing and various fields of the program. With support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, we help Canadian SMEs engage further in R&D projects
  • universities: at lower technology readiness level (TRL) to help advance modelling and simulation leading to certification by analysis. Academia is a leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning used for digital twining and virtual testing in the fields of flight testing simulation and icing and structures for both metals and composites. Our academic partners include but are not limited to the University of Calgary, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the University of Toronto
  • other national and international research centres including NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the German Aerospace Center
  • other government departments (OGDs) including Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the Department of National Defense
Collaborator benefits

The NRC is the only Canadian federal research and technology organization with the expertise and infrastructure to support Canadian companies in aeronautical product development, enabling them to compete in the global aerospace sector.

Collaborators can benefit from the NRC's flexibility, access to testing facilities and multi-disciplinary expertise for the development and certification of new aeronautical products. Our work includes verifying and validating modelling and simulation activities versus real aerodynamics data, engine and propulsion systems testing and structural testing results. We also provide flight test and simulation services.

At the NRC, we:

  • provide access to an advanced research infrastructure and unique expertise, combined with customized service options and calibration
  • ensure partner data integrity and confidentiality
  • offer competitive rates
  • maximize opportunities and connections between Canadian companies at all levels of the supply chain, including upper tier suppliers and OEMs
  • provide access to a network of research development test and evaluation providers
  • establish strong relationships with regulators
Technical and advisory services

The NRC provides key technical services and expertise to partners on a one-on-one basis. We assist and guide clients and partners in proven approaches for product development and qualification. Our multidisciplinary array of technical capabilities includes:

  • icing
    • Atmospheric icing data collection
    • Icing probes development
    • Supercooled large droplets and ice crystal icing modelling and simulation for icing certification by analysis
  • structures prototyping
    • Metals
    • Composites
  • flight testing
    • Virtual flight testing
Research facilities

Partners and clients have access to an extensive range of facilities, instrumentation and equipment. In addition to our test facilities, we offer a wide range of analysis and simulation software and capabilities, including structural analysis programs, computational fluid dynamics software and combustion modelling software. Our facilities in Ottawa include:

Contact us

To discuss your project or find out more about how we can support your business, contact:

Business Development Team
Aerospace Research Centre

Targeted industries