Public and equipment manufacturers are concerned about electromagnetic (EM) radiation effects.
In aeronautics, in particular, research has been undertaken, mainly by industry, with the support of research centres and universities, under the theme of 'EM Protection and Compatibility'. Research is still ongoing in order to acquire understanding of the EM threat in a complex environment (with multiple EM sources and targets).
However, progress is still needed to determine, as accurately as possible, the propagation of electromagnetic radiation and its influence on aircraft and exteriors/interiors of airport buildings. There is, therefore, a need to master an extremely precise simulation of the airport environment and of electromagnetic propagation.
Currently, several sets of tools exist, some dedicated to airport modelling, others to EMC simulation in the airport vicinity.
SIRENA conducted research on new generation airport modelling tools associated with EM large area method tools.
The first objective of SIRENA was to assess the impact of the EM environment on aircraft, the airfield, airport buildings, and the areas surrounding the airport accurately. The correlated second objective was to address safety and security issues to make recommendations for immune emitters and to give advice on the EM airport environment.
In order to achieve the general objectives, the research focused on intermediate scientific and technical objectives as indicated below:
- to obtain airfield mock-ups that are as realistic as possible;
- to obtain an EM source mock-up that is as realistic as possible;
- to obtain EM field values that are as realistic as possible;
- to make EM field interpretation as simple as possible;
- to give recommendation and advice.
SIRENA comprised eight major technical work areas (in addition to project management and dissemination).
Operational Requirement (Work Package 1) defined the operational scope precisely in terms of size of the environment under scrutiny, types of EM source and types of emission/ reception antennas and radars of selected aircraft.
The objective of Technical Requirements (WP2) was to define the technical scope precisely in terms of requirements to fit into the operational requirements.
Exploitation Requirements (WP3) defines precisely the scope for exploitation in terms of scenarios enabling assessment of various situations. These scenarios deal both with simulation and on-site experimentation.
Database Modelling (WP4) dealt with building a complete 3D synthetic environment through airport/EM source modelling and physical characterisation of this environment. This environment-modelling concept (3D geometry + EM physics) is tested on the 3D virtual database of Toulouse Blagnac Airport. The measurement campaign aimed to update the simulation process and to validate the technical choices in the WP4 tasks.
EM Field Computation (WP5) dealt with the definition of efficient means to take into very precise account all the possible 3D EM energy paths from sources to receivers, and to quantify the received EM field levels realistically.
EM Field Analysis (WP6) developed efficient means (a software tool) to visualise and analyse the complete EM radiation impact on all objects in the airport and its vicinity (humans, on-board equipment, etc.).
Validation (WP7) consolidated the validity and reliability of the tested simulation in order to support recommendations and advice through a strict validation plan.
Recommendations and Advice (WP8) deals with helping authorities to assess the real risks with regard to safety, security and health in the airfield, airport buildings and the vicinity, and then to give recommendations and advice.
The main achievements of SIRENA project were:
- Mastering fast methods for:
- Airfields 3D modelling to achieve a virtual geometrical mock up.
- Enhancement of the virtual geometrical mock up with EM physical data to achieve a virtual physical/geometrical mock up.
Fast means: One airport virtual mock up achieved within one month.
- Accurate processing far and near field EM diagram to characterize EM sources.
Accurate means: 20 percent max deviation between model and measured reality.
- To acquire an efficient and accurate method to assess the EM energy paths within the 3D scenes from sources to receptors (airfield and airplane) in order to quantify the level of received EM field.
Efficient means: low sensitivity to scene complexity (hundreds of thousands of polygons) and low sensitivity to the amount of reception points (tens of thousands of points). On standard PC based platform, the aim is about 1 hour long for 100 000 polygons and 10 000 points.
Accurate means: 5 dB max deviation between model and measured reality.
- Setting up of an interactive EM fields visualisation enabling a global EM phenomena understanding in the scope of recommendations for standardisation.
Interactive means: capability to move in real time (25 Hz) a probe enabling to analyse the EM field value at any location of the scene.
- Providing aircraft/equipment manufacturer with a solution to characterize the ambient EM field (input for accurate modelling of equipment behaviour visà-vis EM).
- Assessment of the limits of EM interferences from the exploitation of the generic parametric simulation.
- Recommendations for immune emitters and advice on EM impact on the airport and in the vicinity of the airport.