CAELESTIS Hyperconnected simulation ecosystem supporting probabilistic design
and predictive manufacturing of next generation aircraft structures

Decisive improvements in aircraft performance are going to be vital if we are to safely and viably reduce emissions in the future. According to the aeronautics community, virtual prototyping has the biggest potential to be the key enabling technology in achieving these objectives and making zero carbon aviation a reality.

CAELESTIS will develop a new interlinked system able to execute massive calculations and predictions across the aviation value chain. Digital twins will then be developed with unprecedented levels of detail covering manufacturing effects and deviations.


Horizon Europe | RIA


€ 5.95 million

Start date



42 months

Project details

The challenge

The efficiency gains from the evolution of tube-and-wing designs, powered with turbofan engines, will not alone be sufficient to reach 2050 goals. It’s thus clear that re-thinking aerostructures to be ultra-performing and integrate new forms of propulsion (electric/hybrid, hydrogen) will be pivotal to this effort, potentially leading to 50% less emissions. Such re-thinking will demand an extensive re-design and new manufacturing technologies. Additionally, this disruptive innovation could enable a market of some $2.6 trillion between 2035-2050, representing a huge opportunity for EU aeronautics. To reap this chance however, reliable and commercially viable aircraft concepts need to be delivered in a timely manner, while securing a competitive position by reducing the expected high costs, risks and time required to develop such breakthrough configurations.

The solution

According to the aeronautics community, virtual prototyping has the biggest potential to tackle this challenge. It could represent the key enabling technology across design, qualification, certification, and eventually, in manufacturing. In this context, CAELESTIS will develop a novel, secure, end-to-end Interoperable Simulation Ecosystem (ISE) that will perform multidirectional data flow across the aircraft value chain. This system will link product design and distributed engineering teams´ CAD-CAE tools to accelerate new designs for EU aeronautics with a view to 2050 climate goals. The ecosystem will be boosted by high-performance computer (HPC) infrastructures to massively execute calculations and predictions. Digital twins will then be developed, incorporating unprecedented levels of detail, and covering several production stages and manufacturing effects and deviations.

The main impacts

CAELESTIS is a project looking towards climate-neutral and environmental-friendly aviation through clean solutions. Its key outcomes could see technologies enable the flexible integration of simulation ecosystems into aviation design. This would allow multi-disciplinary design, optimisation and uncertainty quantification to take place at realistic timescales for commercial aviation. Accelerating the reduction of all aviation impacts and emissions means speeding up the development of aircraft technologies with disruptive efficiency gains by 2035. This could see a reduction of up to 30% in fuel burn and CO2 emissions between the aircraft in service and the next generation.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101056886.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA (European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.