Challenges of More Electric Aircraft

A model-based systems engineering approach to address the current energy shift

Issue: 2 / 2017

To meet tomorrow’s certification rules and remain competitive, the aerospace industry must cut fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Strong environmental concerns combined with high safety standards drive aerospace companies to investigate new technologies and innovative low-emission solutions. To achieve these goals, engineers are turning to electrical systems over conventional hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical systems.

Installing electrical systems can simplify maintenance, but integrating a deeper electrical dimension has an impact on the overall aircraft system. In a fierce economic environment, methods and tools to evaluate systems interactions as early as possible in the design can make a difference in the cost, quality and time-to-market of new products.

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is the formalized use of modeling to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities starting in the conceptual design phase, continuing throughout the entire development and later on in the product life cycle. It allows better handling of systems complexities and enhances communication among the design actors. The result is an earlier integration of the aircraft systems on a virtual platform.

Siemens PLM Software offers the LMS Imagine.Lab™ software suite to achieve the integration of more electrical systems using the MBSE approach. The LMS Imagine.Lab multi-domain system simulation platform enables the design of power networks of any aircraft. Multiple major aerospace companies throughout the world rely on this approach. Among these organizations investing strongly in more electric aircraft research, TsAGI, Russia’s aircraft certification authority and main engineering research institution, uses LMS Imagine.Lab to develop future concepts of electric actuators.

The trend towards more electric aircraft covers multiple systems, from bleedless environmental control systems to electric propulsion for greener taxiing operations, as well as the substitution of hydraulic flight control actuation by electrohydrostatic or electromechanical actuators. With LMS Imagine. Lab Amesim™, you can analyze electrical systems transients to assess network stability, and also account for integrated thermal management of more electric aircraft systems from the very beginning of the design process. LMS Amesim empowers system engineers, providing them with validated computer models without writing any lines of code, allowing them to perform fast simulations and benefit from extensive post-processing capabilities.

Along with the system simulation capability of LMS Amesim, the LMS Imagine.Lab™ suite also offers a model management tool, the LMS Imagine.Lab™ Sysdm software. In the current extended-enterprise context, with more market challengers worldwide, LMS Sysdm facilitates collaborative engineering. It simplifies the organization of models and data originating from LMS Amesim or other simulation tools and the sharing between manufacturers, integrators and suppliers. Therefore, LMS Sysdm becomes a cornerstone for traceability and knowledge capitalization.

The portfolio also includes the LMS Imagine.Lab™ System Synthesis software, which enables synthesizing and tradeoffs of architectures made of heterogeneous system models. It also allows the deployment of pre-defined multi-criteria analysis to engineers who are not experts in modeling and simulations techniques.

With LMS Imagine.Lab, Siemens PLM Software provides an exhaustive and truly integrated set of powerful tools to address the challenges of more electric aircraft. Thanks to the software suite, aerospace companies can verify and validate electrical systems integration long before the first flight to ensure that certification tests will be successful. LMS Imagine.Lab accelerates the design of your pioneering technologies.

— Courtesy: Siemens