ESA Council Members visit the CDF
As part of the 222nd ESA Council Meeting held at ESTEC on the 8-9 June 2011, ESA Council Members and the staff were given the opportunity to visit the ESTEC labs, including the CDF.
Although some of the council members have been in the CDF before, many had not, particularly the members from new ESA states. Massimo Bandecchi (Head of CDF) gave a presentation explaining not only the implications of working in a Concurrent Engineering (CE) way as opposed to a more traditional approach ( four times saving in time and two times saving in cost) but also how the CDF can be used as the conceptual design centre for all ESA programmes. He explained how a good conceptual design makes ESA a smarter customer to the benefit of later phases of the projects. He also pointed out that many European Space Agencies, Universities and commercial space companies had adopted the CE approach and how, in time, the CDF has become the hub for CE for Space in Europe, promoting not only new design methodologies but also the standardisation of space mission definition.
It was also emphasised that the facility can be used to train system engineers and make them more aware of the implications of working within the European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS) standards, which may be of particular interest for newly participating member states.