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Discover how the aerospace industry is tackling the challenge of long-term CAD archiving and 3D model preservation with the LOTAR initiative. Gain insights into innovative practices for secure and sustainable CAD management. Curious how this groundbreaking initiative could be a game-changer in design data management? Read on to find out.

What is LOTAR?

In the aerospace sector, the long-term archiving and management of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data is paramount. To address this need, a key global initiative named LOTAR (Long Term Archiving and Retrieval) has been launched. LOTAR is an international consortium of aerospace manufacturers, jointly facilitated by various industry bodies such as AIA, ASD-Stan, AFNeT, prostep ivip, and PDES, Inc.


LOTAR serves as a crucial project steered by leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, and solution providers in the aerospace and defense industry. It aims to develop archiving and retrieval mechanisms based on worldwide standards for digital products and technical information.

LOTAR Organization

The development of a global standard for long-term CAD archiving of a 3D model and product structure is an international collaboration spanning five host organizations. The project is executed in a distributed fashion, featuring regular online meetings for task management as well as at the working group level, supplemented by in-person team meetings alternating between Europe and the United States for joint discussions.

LOTAR Working Groups

The LOTAR project is structured into various working groups. Each group consists of subject matter experts and is responsible for developing respective parts of the LOTAR standard and associated documents. The application domains include 3D mechanical CAD with PMI, Product Data Management (PDM), Composites, Electrical Harness, Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE), as well as Engineering Analysis and Simulation (EAS).

LOTAR members consist of key industry players such as Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, EADS, Eurocopter, General Dynamics, Goodrich, IAI, Lockheed Martin, SAFRAN, Sandia, and Spirit.

LOTAR Communication and Meetings

Throughout the year, the LOTAR project convenes at four online workshops or at alternating locations between Europe and the United States. In addition, there are several LOTAR-related events where the project is presented, or which share the subject of long-term archiving and retrieval. Progress reports and news articles are also regularly published to raise awareness about the project.

LOTAR Standards

The primary deliverable of the project is the LOTAR standard itself. It is based on the ISO 14721 "Open Archival Information System (OAIS)" reference model. The documents for the standard are published as European Standard (EN) series 9300-xxx under ASD-STAN in Europe and as National Aerospace Standard (NAS) series 9300-xxx in the United States under AIA.

Long-term CAD archiving is a major concern for industries reliant on such data for their operations. The LOTAR standard represents a significant advancement in this area, providing a standardized approach for securely storing and retrieving these valuable data.

In summary, LOTAR tackles the challenges of long-term CAD archiving, secure CAD storage, and design data longevity in the aerospace industry. It offers comprehensive and standardized solutions for sustainable CAD management. CAD Interop's range of products aligns perfectly with these requirements, providing leading-edge solutions for CAD archiving interoperability.