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HIRF Synthetic Environment research programme

State of the Art - Background

Tags: Air

The definition of HIRF (high intensity radiated field) denotes a concern with external electro-magnetic (EM) radiation that affects an air vehicle's electrical and electronic systems. HIRF radiation sources potentially interfering with the safety of flight are mainly identified as EM sources external to the air vehicle, i.e. licensed emitters that intentionally generate man-made EM signals within the frequency range of 10 kHz and 40 GHz.

Knowledge of HIRF falls into the following main categories:

- HIRF electromagnetic (EM) environment;

- HIRF requirements;

- Design, protection methods and verification via analysis and testing required by the HIRF certification process.

Problems are usually only discovered at the end of the certification process, i.e. when the final verification, including HIRF testing, at air vehicle level is performed; it is only at this stage that some non-compliance in the project can be found. The modification or redesign process to satisfy HIRF requirements has considerable impact in terms of time (time to market) and costs. Moreover, with the traditional approach, sub-systems will be often unnecessarily over-engineered, with corresponding cost implications. Another critical area for the aeronautics industry is related to the modifications that can be introduced on an air vehicle during its operational life.


HIRF Synthetic Environment's main objectives are:

- Develop fully validated and integrated solutions to model, simulate and test air vehicles for EM aspects during the whole life cycle;

- Build (from past and current methods) an integrated approach with an open and evolutionary architecture.

The first objective of the HIRF SE project addresses the drawbacks of the actual design, which consists of the certification and modification approaches, assisted by EM computational techniques.

The second objective addresses the compilation of all available numerical simulation competences. Many stand-alone expert tools are supposed to work together in order to solve these problems. The HIRF SE proposes to overcome this difficulty with an innovative and systematic solution based on a high level of software integration on a computer based framework which offers an open and evolutionary architecture.

HIRF SE will also meet the objective of reducing the delivery timescales of future air vehicles and systems, of decreasing the time required for physical testing, and possible redesign and re-testing. Developing virtual models and validating virtual testing are key issues to reduce the number of development tests required to achieve the air vehicles certification and to obtain improved results.

Description of Work

In order to achieve the HIRF SE objectives, the partners have defined a work plan with nine work packages (WP):

- WP0: Project management

- WP1: Synthetic environment requirements

- WP2: Synthetic environment framework definition

- WP3: Synthetic environment modules modelling

- WP4: Synthetic environment integration/implementation

- WP5: Synthetic environment modules simulation

- WP6: Synthetic environment modules validation

- WP7: Synthetic environment final assessment

- WP8: Dissemination, exploitation and training

Each WP itself is divided into several tasks, split either per successive stages of realisation for common activities or per domain-specific activities.

To ensure the quality and completeness of the HIRF SE framework development, a set of documents will be produced during the project and they ensure that development conforms to the highest standards of software.

Expected Results

The expected results can be summarised as follow:

- Capability to deal with the increased use of composite materials and structures by the airframe industry. The HIRF SE framework will include 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 will be able to simulate a widespread typology and number of EM (internal and external) interference sources;

- Develop and issue a work of excellence on EM modelling by gathering a large team of scientists, academic and industrial engineers, co-operating to build a reference tool of their own;

- A developed methodology/tool, well recognised inside the civil aviation community, in accordance with certification bodies.

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