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The HIRF-SE platform

HIRF Synthetic Environment research project has the goal to provide to the aeronautic industry a numerical modelling computer framework which can be used during the development phase (including upgrade), in order to ensure adequate EM performance, but also in addition and in a considerable reduction to certification/qualification testing phase on air vehicle.

Computational electromagnetic techniques will increase the reliability of test results while maintaining testing in reasonable boundaries, by:

  • allowing the assessment of test setup adequacy (or design of new and better/cheaper test setups);
  • allowing compensation for inadequacies or simplifications /compromises in test setups;
  • allowing the accounting for system complexity;
  •  allowing the understanding of the most influential design parameters which play a role in the equipment and system electromagnetic environment during development and certification phases;
  • allowing quantification of situations/configurations that cannot practically be tested due to accessibilities issues or programme constraints;
  • providing an accuracy check on test results that could not be assessed before, along with possible comparisons between different test methods.

To address and overcome the cited issues the HIRF SE project will provide computational electromagnetic applications demonstrated to be capable of supporting the accepted route to compliance to meet regulations for air vehicle HIRF/EMC certification. HIRF SE will therefore consider:

  • the external EM environment to which the air vehicle has to be certified. This environment is defined in regulatory documents currently available and about to be released;
  • the internal EM environment generated by air vehicle electronic installations;
  • the internal EM environment whose complexity will increase in the future due to allowing of PED’s and WPED’s (personal electronic devices, wireless personal electronic devices) to be used in the cockpit and the cabin during all phases of the flight.

As the equipment and system EM environment strongly depends upon the structure and structural material used on air vehicles, HIRF SE will also address present and future architectures of structures and systems, with particular attention to composite materials.

Novel air vehicles concepts (e.g. all electric aircraft, fly-by-wire helicopters, unmanned air vehicles) will likely lead to a high increase of the testing time, in order to ensure compatibility of new technologies with existing and future regulations. Furthermore, the introduction of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) into the airspace with the associated potential catastrophic effects of otherwise benign failure of equipments could also request additional testing efforts. In this view, availability of new HIRF Synthetic Environmentframework become more and more significant to cope with competing requirements of new designs, with the related increase of tests in number and complexity, and of costs and time reductions. It is of particular interest for helicopter manufacturers, who are subjected to highly stringent HIRF requirements, given the nature of the flight conditions (possible closeness to high power transmitters, long exposure times) and consequently face to severe HIRF testing rules.