HIRF SE: HIRF Synthetic Environment

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project Details

Layman's description

Electromagnetic (EM) interference can wreak havoc with critical systems and radios aboard aircraft. An EU funded project focused on minimising the risk of interference, whether it originates from outside or within the
In the current air vehicle life cycle, experimental verification is set at the end
of the development phase, when air vehicles are already built and just before
being released to the market. However, in case equipment and sub-systems
are affected by mutual EM interactions or cannot correctly operate when
subjected to external EM disturbances, re-work costs may be high and the
delivery time scale may considerably increase in the event of redesign or
To help with this, the EU-funded project 'HIRF synthetic environment' (HIRF SE)
elaborated the methodology to develop a technology that should mitigate EM
interference at the early stages of aircraft development. In addition, it would
provide a considerable reduction in the certification/qualification tests required on air vehicles.
To deal with the increased use of composite materials and structures by the aeronautics industry, the HIRF SE framework included the most advanced computational models for the numerical simulation of EM characteristics and performance. Furthermore, it was able to simulate a widespread typology and number of EM (internal and external) interference sources. Advanced computational tools were also used to calculate the internal and external fields of EM interference in low- and high frequency scenarios (from 10 kHz to 3 GHz and from 3 to 40 GHz). With the open and evolutionary architecture of the
framework, many specialised programmes were able to work together to study the EM behaviour.
The correct operation of the framework was verified and validated by comparing data from real tests on small and medium air vehicles and pre-existing data for large air vehicles. Furthermore, all tools that were integrated inside the HIRF SE framework were assessed through comparisons with results from measurements. HIRF SE helps reduce the delivery time scales of future air vehicles and systems by decreasing time required for physical testing, possible redesign and re-testing. Developing and validating virtual models are key issues to reduce the number of development tests required to achieve air vehicles certification and to obtain improved results.

Key findings

Before the HIRF SE project took place different software and methodologies for simulation approaches were available but they were not able to deal with the level of complexity required to cope with HIRF/EMC problems of interest for the Aeronautic Industries. All these computational tools were sparse and there were not any integrated solution to face in a whole the wide frequency band of interest (10 KHz – 40 GHz) and to compute the different kinds of required observables (internal environment in term of electromagnetic field and in term of coupled currents).
Moreover general guidelines for the electromagnetic modelling of complex and new generation air vehicles were not
established in a standardized way and were not always supported by a rigorous scientific approach.
HIRF SE is a numerical platform for virtual HIRF assessment on air vehicles, in the frequency range 10 KHz-40 GHz capable to deal with:
- The increased use of composite materials and structures
- The complete external and internal electromagnetic environment of an air vehicle
- The complexity of the on-board wiring system
- The uncertainties in the real installation configuration
The computational tools constituting HIRF SE have been assessed, along with the project, applying validation methodologies based on massive analysis of the comparison between measured and simulated data. For this reason a validation methodology (based on different levels of assessment) has been established and a database of benchmark test cases have been put available for the EM community for future development and validation of numerical codes. The wide amount of data available, both from simulation and measurement, made possible to provide general guidelines for electromagnetic modelling of real scale complex and new generation aircraft and rotorcraft.
Effective start/end date1/12/0831/07/13


  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION: £604,480.13