A strong hi-tech push, a pervasive use of digitalisation and a growing attention to Cybersecurity and Space are the basis of Leonardo’s development.
For the near future, Leonardo looks to enhance its business thanks also to the development of key technologies that can transform and innovate the entire production cycle, from design to prototyping to production up to support through a common denominator that leverages a digitalization process ever stronger.
The current challenge for the Group is therefore to extract the maximum possible value from the so-called “big data”, and transform it into targeted applications and services, to guide the reorganization of production and design processes and consequently accelerate technological development.
It becomes fundamental to have adequate advanced supercomputing infrastructures available. This is the reason that pushed Leonardo to create the davinci-1, one of the most powerful high performance computers in the world in the sector in which the company competes. Davinci-1 is equipped with an architecture that integrates the flexibility of the cloud with supercomputing capabilities and is already today supporting all Leonardo’s business areas and factories as an authentic technological accelerator of knowledge and industrial digitalisation, but also an enabler of research, development and prototyping activities that already make extensive use of the so-called “digital twins”.
Creating a digital twin means reproducing a physical object, a process or an entire system virtually and in real time. For its operation it needs the maximum of digital technology, which Leonardo has at its disposal through the davinci-1: enormous computing capacity, fast connections, availability of data and sensors, advanced algorithms, models and machine learning systems for semantics and for image recognition. It is possible to create digital twins of potentially everything: objects, infrastructure, natural elements and even the entire Earth. With the addition of artificial intelligence algorithms, the capabilities of the digital twin extend to the ability to design preventive actions to correct or influence its evolution. At Leonardo this technology is used for example for helicopters, aircraft platforms, drones, for the training of pilots and maintainers and includes both their improvement and the design of future products, including studies on the human-machine interface for future generation aircraft systems. Developing and testing new functions of an aircraft using the digital twin means, for example, performing, in the virtual environment alone, an important part of the flight activities necessary for certification, with a notable advantage in terms of cost/time reduction, increase in safety for personnel, as simulation allows pilots to significantly reduce flight hours on real aircraft and, an equally important factor, improve the environmental impact.