The HIRF Synthetic Environment (HIRF SE) project concerned the development of a unique reference framework along with a validation process that would cover the two following main phases regarding the life cycle of air vehicles:
- Design phase (including upgrade);
- Certification/qualification phase.
The aim of the HIRF SE research project was to provide the aeronautics industry with a framework which could be used during the development phase to mitigate the EM aspects. In addition, it would provide a considerable reduction in the certification/qualification tests required on air vehicles.
The main objectives have been summarised by the followings items:
- Full validated and integrated solutions to model, to simulate numerically and to test air vehicles for EM aspects during design and certification;
- To build (from past and ongoing works) an integrated approach with an open and evolutionary architecture.
The HIRF Synthetic Environment results have been summarised by the following items:
- Capability to deal with the increased use of composite materials and structures by the airframe industry. The HIRF SE framework included the most advanced computational models for the numerical simulation of the EM characteristics and performance of composite materials;
- Capability to deal with the complete internal and external electromagnetic environment (present and foreseen). The HIRF SE tool was able to simulate a wide spread typology and number of EM (internal and external) interference sources to take advantage of a large community to develop and issue a work of excellence on modelling.
The result was to develop and issue a work of excellence on EM modelling by gathering a large team of scientists, academic and industrial engineers, cooperating together to build a reference tool of their own. This methodology/tool was to be developed and well recognised within the civil aviation community in accordance with certification bodies. Taking into account the HIRF SE main objectives and the expected results, it was possible to affirm the HIRF SE project and address the scope of work described in the FP7 Work Programme.
The key project results that were achieved are as follows:
- Establishment of a private website in order to improve the communication capacity of the consortium and to act as an on-line management tool and archive;
- Advisory Board was consolidated. The rules that regulate the AB were defined and agreed upon by all participants and the consortium. The certification authority (EASA) was involved and in September the first meeting with Advisory Board was held;
- Definition and implementation of a financial tool to monitor the financial status of the project and make sure the reporting requirements were fulfilled;
- The electromagnetic requirement was finalised, defining and describing the EM scenarios, the assessment criteria and the test methodology that was to be applied at all levels of validation of the framework;
- Investigations into the 'State-of-the-Art' electromagnetic modelling were carried out and a list of modelling packages which were available and those packages which have been developed by members of the consortium were produced;
- A list of test cases (containing information regarding the test objects, the parameters to be measured, the test methodology, the frequency ranges, etc.) was defined as input for models and sub-modules and module validation at WP5 and WP6 level was produced;
- A software specification to be met by the SW supporting HIRF SE framework was produced. The software specification reflected the electromagnetic requirement specification defined as one of the WP1 outputs;
- The establishment of the public website to externally disseminate the project;
- The first course of the YSP (Young scientific programme) was held in June during SC1.
The HIRF SE framework was an EM analysis tool operating in the HIRF radio frequency spectrum. Air vehicle interaction was to be stimulated with both far-field and near-field sources that have any type of polarisation or position present or are not on the ground. Furthermore, the HIRF SE would predict both the EM field distribution inside the airframe and the induced voltages and currents in the wiring system.
The strength of the HIRF SE framework lay in the possibility to simulate air vehicle response to angles of illumination achieved only in flight and without the influence of the ground. After the on- ground validation it would be possible to extend such validations to all phases of flight.
The project's work was very important for guaranteeing safety and for the delivery of aircraft to aviation companies and clients in a significantly faster manner than before.
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