The thermal behaviour of aircrafts has recently become a crucial subject due to many factors: increasing numbers of complex systems required by modern, more electric, commercial aircrafts, the introduction of hotter engines with higher by-pass ratios, the increased use of composite materials in aircraft structures, or the confinement of highly dissipative equipment and systems to smaller areas to earn space for passengers and cargo. New advanced techniques to manage the aircraft thermal behaviour at the very early stages of development are essential to take the right figuration decisions while meeting market demands. To work efficiently and to work on emerging innovative solutions, it is essential to perform thermal management at the global aircraft level. Today, thermal studies are performed for sizing and risk analyses.
The TOICA project intends to radically change the way thermal studies are performed within aircraft design processes. It will create and manage a thermal aircraft architecture which does not yet exist today. This will be shared in the extended enterprise with design partners through a collaborative environment supporting the new advanced capabilities developed by the project, namely the architect cockpit, which will allow the architects and experts to monitor the thermal assessment of an aircraft and to perform trade-off studies. Supra integration will support a holistic view of the aircraft and allow traditional design views and the related simulation cascade to be challenged. Six cases of use illustrating new thermal strategies will demonstrate the benefits of the TOICA approach on realistic aircraft figurations. Plateaus will be organised with architects for the definition, selection and evaluation of thermally optimised aircraft figurations. These plateaus will stimulate the project. In parallel, technology readiness evaluations will assess the maturity of the developed technologies and support the deployment and exploitation of the TOICA results.
The research tasks are organised in four technical sub-projects corresponding to the main TOICA research domains (BDA capabilities, multidisciplinary M&S capabilities, new thermal strategies, thermal trade-off). Six user-cases illustrating the thermal strategies, jointly defined between architects and experts, will demonstrate the benefits of the TOICA approach on two realistic aircraft configurations.
Developing thermally optimised aircraft
Thermal behaviour of aircraft has recently become a crucial subject. New advanced techniques to manage this behaviour at the very early stages of development are essential to take the right configuration decisions while meeting market demands.
Aircraft thermal architects and experts face a number of challenges. These include the increased use of electrical systems, more composite materials in modern aircraft structures, new passenger thermal comfort requirements and stringent EU environmental targets. Together these result in complex design constraints that exceed current capabilities. New advanced techniques to manage the aircraft thermal behaviour at the very early stages of development are needed to enable configuration decisions to be taken while meeting market demands and keeping development and operational costs down.
The EU-funded http://www.toica-fp7.eu/ (TOICA) (Thermal overall integrated conception of aircraft) project intends to radically change the way thermal studies are performed within aircraft design processes. It will enable architects to manage the thermal impact on the overall aircraft architecture (which today is not possible) by delivering an optimised thermal behaviour of the entire aircraft’s systems, equipment and components.
TOICA builds on the Behavioural Digital Aircraft (BDA) collaborative environment developed in the previous EU project CRESCENDO. It enables architects, experts and suppliers to work together to study the most promising thermal aircraft concepts and to collaboratively build viable technical solutions. New BDA advanced capabilities are developed by the TOICA project: an Architect Cockpit, to allow the architects and experts to monitor the thermal assessment of an aircraft and to perform trade-off studies, and Value Assessment using Super-integration, to support a holistic view of the aircraft and to organise the design views and the related simulation cascade.
Throughout the project, a number of technical “plateau” sessions are organised with architects from the main industrial partners and involving the whole consortium to test and improve the trade-off processes that will be increasingly instrumented by the capability enablers and validate the definition, selection and evaluation of thermally optimised aircraft configurations.
In parallel, Technology Readiness Level (TRL) evaluations are put in place to assess the maturity of the developed technologies and support the future deployment and exploitation of the TOICA results.
Thanks to TOICA, architects will be able to manage the thermal impact of the whole aircraft for the first time ever. The project promises reduced design time and lower costs associated with development and operations as well as reduced energy and power consumption for future aircraft.