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The Digitization of Aircraft Icing Certification Via Simulation Improves Accuracy

There are significant signs that electrification and digitization will disrupt the aerospace industry. Similar to electrification trends in the automotive industry, electrical components on planes can record aircraft icing data and send it to headquarters via the internet of things (IoT). This data can then be used to improve the accuracy of aircraft certification, validation and qualification.

CFD simulation of ice buildup on the blades of an aircraft engine. The electrification of aircraft engines can lead to the inclusion of new sensors that transmit real-world engine data to the head office. This data is invaluable to engineers who work on aircraft certification.

The move toward more electric aircraft is pushing the industry to digitize its aircraft certifications using simulations. Afterall, now that real-world data is collected digitally, why not use it in a simulation that can produce results faster and more affordably than physical testing?

As a result, Boeing is reporting that the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is developing a document of best practices that will streamline the acceptance of aircraft certifications by simulation.

To see an example of aircraft certification by simulation, with respect to the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of aircraft icing, engineers can look to the 17th INTERNATIONAL ICING COURSE: Simulation Methods Used for Inflight Icing Certification of Aircraft, Rotorcraft and Jet Engines.

Aircraft Icing Simulations of the Whole System Improves the Certification Process

Feeding aircraft icing simulations real world data isn’t the only way to improve the certification process. Engineers can also simulate the whole aircraft system in addition to each individual part.

Simulation depicts how ice forms on the leading edge of a wing. For instance, the ice over a cockpit’s window can affect the flow over the nose of the aircraft. Engineers may not discover this phenomenon if the simulations only focus on each individual part. Additionally, by assessing the whole system, engineers can learn how the ice melting on the window can refreeze on the wing.

Simulation of the inflight ice buildup on an aircraft wing.

CFD simulations require a lot of training and best practices to ensure consistent results. To learn how to accurately simulate a whole aircraft system, attend the 17th INTERNATIONAL ICING COURSE: Simulation Methods Used for Inflight Icing Certification of Aircraft, Rotorcraft and Jet Engines.

To learn more about aircraft icing simulations, read ANSYS FENSAP-ICE.

To learn more about aircraft electrification, visit ANSYS at the Paris Airshow.