Friday, February 17, 2017

Electromagnetic Simulation and the future of aircraft design: A conversation with Marco Kunze

Marco Kunze is gearing up to present at the 2017 Workshop on Aircraft System Technologies (AST 2017) on February 22nd in Hamburg, Germany.  While there are many applications for EM Simulation in aircraft system development, the market has yet to adopt EM simulation as a standard practice. Marco talked to us about the future of simulation in this space and about the clear benefits it offers aircraft designers.

The program at the AST Workshop includes multiple presentations on Electromagnetic Comparability (EMC). Marco’s talk, “Electromagnetic Simulations to Complete Aircraft Testing” will address the vast potential for EM Simulation to improve the aircraft prototyping and testing process by offering accurate simulations of potential issues like lightning, EMP and HIRF. Marco stressed the importance of being able to simulate the interior of an aircraft, where EMI can affect the functioning of electronics. The Interference Task is especially good for calculating interference to electronic and RF systems. CST STUDIO SUITE is capable of simulating a wide range of EM effects quickly and accurately, potentially cutting down on the number of prototypes needed for the testing process.
The process, Marco says is simple:
“An engineer starts with a digital mockup of the aircraft with the Pure CAD and Material parameters. Then CST STUDIO SUITE enables them to run an electrostatic simulation for lightning attachment, and then a full-wave 3D simulation.”

After the simulation has been generated, CST STUDIO SUITE provides a visually informative image of the EM fields in and around an aircraft. Marco mentioned the potential for these visualisations down the line.
With the introduction of augmented and virtual reality, these visualizations will be able to be accessed in ever more interesting and useful ways as engineers and designers optimize aircraft.”

Composite materials are increasingly being used in aircraft production so we asked what the EMC consequences of that are. Marco responded, "The move away from aluminum means aircraft can be lighter, but it also means the aircraft is less conductive and that has consequences. Composite materials offer less shielding from environmental EM, whether radar or lightning strikes. CST can model complex multilayer materials efficiently, making it possible to simulate these new materials accurately. The calculated power loss in the materials can then be used in a multiphysics simulation in order to investigate thermal effects during a lightning strike." 

CST STUDIO SUITE also allows for the accurate simulation of the small details on a plane. "Potential weak points, such as seams and holes can be simulated with compact models, which provide accurate results with less computational effort and an engineer can visualize how fields propagate through them."
CST also has the capability to simulate complex cable networks in CST CABLE STUDIO. These can be included in the aircraft model with hybrid simulation.

To learn more, check out the AST 2017 site.

CST will also be hosting a workshop on Aerospace on April 26th, 2017 in Darmstadt. If this has piqued your interest in EM Simulation for aircraft, we encourage you to join us and continue to learn about this exciting industry. Registration is now open.

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