School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Corresponding author: Cees Bil, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Tel.: +61 3 99256176; Fax: +61 3 9925 6108; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is an effective IT environment to apply Concurrent Engineering principles. In aerospace engineering education, CDF can be invaluable by enabling student teams to gain cross-discipline skills and at the same time stay at the cutting edge of technology. This paper gives an overview of CDF configurations in use at different industries, research organisations and universities around the world and concludes with a proposal for a relatively a low cost CDF framework based on cloud computing which is particularly suitable for aerospace engineering education. An important aspect of CDF is collaboration between multidisciplinary specialists or virtual specialists within one environment, which requires dedicated hardware or software to exchange file, manage knowledge, collaborative work on writing report, and even remote communicate with other work teams. Emergence and development of cloud computing has made these requirements relatively easy to be fulfilled. Some public cloud computing servers, such as Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Mendeley, can be used in CDF to save cost on hardware and software related to data, file, and information exchange. Google Talk and Skype can be used for communication with remote work teams. This CDF framework has many potential benefits, such as reduced cost of hardware, software and support, reduced preparation time, and easy to deploy.