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Vol 3 - Issue 3

Technology and Innovation


List of Articles

Innovation dynamics in aerospace and defense industries: new models, new practices, new uses

Aerospace and defense (A&D) industries are changing. Technologies are deeply transforming firms’
technical competences, user-behaviours and managerial practices. This editorial article presents the major issues and challenges supported by the innovation dynamics operating within A&D industries by distinguishing three levels of analysis: the industrial sector, the firm and individual and collective practices.


Aerospace and Defense innovation: scientific knowledge and patent quality

This paper looks more closely at the evolution of innovation models in Aerospace and Defense (A&D) which took place over a long time period (1945-2015). Our main goal is to show the emergence and development of knowledge based-economy through an analysis of innovation models. To do that, we develop an empirical analysis of patents in technological fields of A&D. This study points at a constant growth of non-patent literature in patent citations since 1980.
In order to deepen this analysis, we study the correlation between non patent literature citation and patent quality in A&D technological fields and we find a clear development in innovative practices, which include more and more diversified knowledge, in particularly scientific knowledge.


Identification of Technological Knowledge Systems in the A&D Industries

The purpose of this article is to offer a method for empirically identifying the knowledge systems that structure the “technological landscape” within the defense industries. In order to do this, this article proposes shedding light on Technological Knowledge Systems. Isolating these systems makes it possible to shed light on not only component knowledge but also architectural knowledge, which, for each system, structures innovation dynamics in the defense sector.


Aerospace defense companies: what are the technological coherences of their R&D?

Despite the economic and security challenges related to the French defense technological and industrial base, in particular for defense aeronautics (DA), this base has been poorly characterized from the point of view of its technologies (production and use). Our article aims to fill some of this gap. We will focus on the organization of the R&D of DA companies and their production of innovations via a "patent" approach. We propose a typology of those companies according to their capacity to generate technological synergies in their innovation activity and trade-offs they make between exploration innovations and exploitation innovations.


Shortening innovation cycles

New innovation practices and strategies in France, precisely in aerospace and defense sectors are beginning to have a positive impact on the acceleration of innovations in several areas of these sectorial actors and in the sectors of their own providers and other stakeholders. Based on observations and analysis of the experiences and shared good practices as well as of new innovation acceleration tools in France, this article proposes an analysis of the impacts of these new innovation strategies and instruments on the acceleration of innovation cycles, and consequently, on the acceleration of the shared value creation process by major industrial groups, SMEs and laboratories.


Knowledge emergence related to eco-innovation: knowledge orientation driven by the green aircraft concept

This article describes and analyzes the impact of cognitive work around eco-innovation on knowledge management practices, particularly in terms of reorientation of knowledge. It addresses the following questions: what are the specificities of environmental knowledge in the aeronautical sector? Do they have an impact on the knowledge development process? The results presented are based on five years of research conducted in the aircraft sector on green aircraft. The data comes from a large body of documents as well as from interviews conducted with 29 key players in Quebec’s aerospace industry. The results and the analysis describe environmental knowledge related to eco-innovations that is too often invisible, because it is not observed and has significant difficulties especially in capturing orders of magnitude. Therefore, the organization of knowledge is different and requires a subtle form of green knowledge. In fact, when this knowledge is more complex, it requires new modes of organization to recognize their greater multidisciplinarity. The orientation of knowledge, linked to the values of individuals, is modified by 1) organizational will, 2) intergenerational exchanges, 3) excitement of discovery and 4) the indirect role of the government. In the last part, we observe that by adding new constraints, the knowledge management process leads to new solutions. The environmental dimension integrates development and production cycles, and new criteria are added to the design phase to energize the “ba” and to change the industrial dynamics of work organization.


Technological change and individual competencies: the influence of glass cockpit aircraft on French Air Force pilot training and competencies

This article investigates the influence of introducing new generation aircraft to the training of Air Force pilots. New generation aircraft (Cirrus SR20 and Pilatus PC-21), equipped with novel capabilities (glass cockpit and embedded training), represent a technological disruption that is likely to affect the nature and diversity of pilots’ competencies, and more globally the learning process that leads to their development. Building on past research projects that the authors conducted for the benefit of Air Force Staff and Pilot Training Schools, the article first shows that the new functionalities offered by next generation aircraft are not neutral in regards to how future pilots develop fundamental technical skills (“the basics”) during the initial stages of the training process. Secondly, it identifies the conditions enabling a consistent exploitation of embedded simulation techniques for training pilots.


Digitalization and human behaviors: the example of air operators’ cognitive fatigue

The development of digital technologies significantly changes our daily lives and particularly the aeronautic sector. Digital technology enables flight safety but modifies operators’ activity. Moreover, monitoring operators are essential for detecting any threat or error that can lead to negative consequences. Among them, cognitive fatigue is likely to alter operators’ cognitive functioning and could lead them to make mistakes. The identification of its brain correlates is important in order to develop tools such as brain-computer interfaces. Finally, cognitive fatigue is an example that
highlights the necessity to question the benefits that might emerge from a mutual sharing of knowledge between cognitive engineering and systems engineering.


Mastering the design of highly flexible solar powered UAV: towards the concept of High Altitude Pseudo‐Satellite (HAPS)

Initiated in the 1950s with the invention of photovoltaic cells, the almost unlimited endurance high altitude solar drone concept is still under heavy development because of persistent technological barriers. The low propelling power extracted from solar sources involves a specific design of an airframe consisting of a very lightweight and flexible airframe particularly vulnerable to destructive interactions. The latter fall within the scope of aeroelasticity, a discipline between aerodynamic and structural mechanics. This article illustrates the transdisciplinary approach required to achieve
such a challenging goal and presents innovative solutions based on research work. These should enable commercial exploitation of such a concept and then fill the gap between conventional HALE drones and satellites in the field of observation and telecommunication.


Perspectives and ambitions of the Maintenance in Operational Condition renovated at the heart of Armament Programs: illustrations in the terrestrial environment

The MCO is marked both by the multitude of actors involved and by a necessary evolution of the structures to face new Defense challenges. Innovation is an important focus of the MCO in terms of maintaining or increasing operational technical availability while controlling costs, throughout the life cycle and in the framework of participation in international cooperation.