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Advanced Avionic Applications Simulation Platform

Final Report Summary - AAASP (Advanced Avionic Applications Simulation Platform)

Executive Summary:
The objective of the AAASP project was to develop a set of models, libraries, scripts and test circuits to enable the complete analysis of Aircraft Power . To achieve this objective the concept of an “Advanced Avionic Application Simulation Platform” (AAASP) was introduced based on the SaberRD simulator.

This project will enable SGO consortium partners to support the definition and validation of the electrical network in a complementary way by simulation studies and demonstration of equipment and network operation on a test rig.

A key challenge that has faced the European Aerospace industry up to this point has been a combination of multiple tools, incomplete libraries and fragmented toolsets that are not fit for purpose for modeling and simulation of Avionics electronic systems. This project has addressed these issues directly with an integrated approach to not only the model libraries, but also the simulation environment and post processing environment.

Another significant issue with the simulation of complex electrical power networks in aircraft has been the robustness of the models, and this has been addressed in various ways during the AAASP project to improve the overall efficiency and accuracy of the resulting analysis for the users of the software.

Significant achievements arising from the project were:

A comprehensive library of models for use across the whole electrical power network including fundamental building blocks models all the way to full system models for system integration and network studies.

A set of specific equipment models that have validated performance and behavior compared with data from real equipment.

A suite of software analysis tools to control the simulator, conduct standard tests efficiently and automatically, and obtain specific measurements to validate the equipment or network electrical performance.

Automatic Report and Document generation to enable standard format documents to be generated.

The combination of the libraries, equipment models, network models, simulation environment with standard tests and automatic report generation will have a dramatic effect on improving the productivity and quality of aircraft power system design in the future. This has moved the state of the Art forward significantly in terms of quality and robustness for future aircraft developments.

An area of research that was identified during the project for the future was the extension of the models to include reliability factors, to enable analysis not only of the performance, but also the system reliability and fault analysis. This would make an excellent follow up project to build on the existing framework now in place.

Project Context and Objectives:
The objective of the project was to develop a set of models, libraries, scripts and test circuits to enable the complete analysis of the Aircraft Power. This will enable SGO consortium partners to support the definition and validation of the electrical network in a complementary way by simulation studies and demonstration of equipment and network operation on a test rig. To achieve this objective the concept of an “Advanced Avionic Application Simulation Platform” (AAASP) was introduced which is based on the SaberRD simulator.

The key features of AAASP are:

1. Generic and tunable electrical models for Aircraft Power Systems to allow quick electrical network benchmark integration making validation activity easier, and creating a high quality basis for specific model development.

2. Accurate and robust SaberRD models according to equipment designs covering the typical architecture of electric networks like AC and DC generators, a power center, AC/DC DC/DC, AC/AC converters and machine loads

Two types of models were provided to allow analysis on different levels:

1. Functional models for large time frame analysis, such as power flow and network stability analysis of Behavioral models for accurate power quality analyses.

2. Post processing scripts and tools to assess electrical performances from simulation results and rig measurements related to aircraft standards performances verification like network stability and power quality studies.

A test environment will be developed to run single model stand-alone simulation to characterize simulated equipment performances and to perform network level analysis.
Models and program code were delivered at different degrees of maturity, starting from the preliminary status at the beginning of the project, through consolidated status and finally validated status at the end of the project.

Project Results:
Generic Models

A complete set of multiple generic models has been delivered in categories ranging from elementary, intermediate to complete system models. A revised implementation and delivery schedule was put in place to recover the lost time due to the delay at the start of the project, and the schedule was recovered. In addition to the library a set of library management tools were developed to assist in the long-term management of the libraries, including automated document generation. All the model libraries were demonstrated to the topic manager in May and July 2015 using simple examples, equipment models and a network simulation. Additional models required to support the more advanced equipment and network models were identified and implemented leading to a more complete and comprehensive library than initially envisaged.

Equipment Models

During the project equipment models for all the required specific models with data from suppliers (WIPS, ECS Motor ECS Controller, ECS PEM, ECS PWM, PMG, ASM) have been delivered with NDAs in place to enable data to exchange. It was difficult to obtain data from suppliers despite being part of the SGO, with some being very helpful and others providing no data. In order to mitigate the risk delays a set of “generic” equipment models with representative architectures and data was provided in the library, or as a standalone specific model, or as part of a supplier model where a key component was missing (such as in the ECS).

A preliminary set of equipment models was released in November 2014 to enable initial review and validation by the project partners. A phased delivery schedule was put in place and this enabled early access for SGO partners to the equipment models for evaluation prior to the main delivery stages. Zodiac and Liebherr were able to have early visibility of these models with online Webex sessions and workshops in Toulouse with Liebherr enabling detailed discussion of the model behaviour during the project. This enabled further catch up of the schedule and ensured that the original delivery date of the final version of these models was met. A complete set of the required equipment models was delivered on time to the consortium, with validation with measured data where it was available.

A Complete Wing Ice Protection System (WIPS) model was delivered. Specific Motor Controller and Dual Winding Motor models were developed in partnership with Liebherr (LTS) and delivered. A complete closed loop motor model was implemented including power electronic modules (PEM), however due to the PEM mode not being made available by TAES various topologies of generic (pin compatible) equipment models were implemented instead, in consultation with Airbus. PWM drive circuit models and power interface models were also delivered as part of this process. SSPC and RCCB models were implemented and delivered to Zodiac Aerospace.

Due to the delays in NDA completion and also lack of data from some partners, a set of “generic” equipment models with representative architectures and data was implemented in consultation with Airbus, which included Generators, and other machine models.

Electrical Network Model

An electrical network model has been completed and demonstrated. This will enable early testing of the network software and scripts, and first evaluation of network robustness. The Network model is based on the example network provided by the topic manager.

Simulation Control and Test Environment

The Simulation Control and test Environment Package has been delivered. The deliverables consist of a comprehensive library of test environment plus a set of SaberRD example designs in order to run the environment. For robustness and reliability the implementation is based on the core SaberRD Application Program Interface (API) and simulation interface (SimSession). The RDR delivery contains a comprehensive set of commands to fully automate standard tests for AC, HVAC, DC and HVDC type of equipment.

Post Processing and Analysis

A comprehensive suite of customizable scripts/tools and batch operations facilities were completed in order to automate post processing tasks that are necessary to evaluate and to verify the system performances versus aircraft standards and/or user specifications at both component/equipment and electrical network level. During the project the final version of the Post-Processing and Analysis Package was delivered. The deliverables consist of a comprehensive suite of customizable scripts/tools and batch operations facilities in order to automate post processing and analysis tasks.

Potential Impact:
Potential Impact

Previous European research projects and aircraft programs at major aeronautic companies have demonstrated that simulation has become an indispensable tool in the design process of aircraft electrical networks. It is essential in More Electric Aircraft (MEA) systems to use simulation to support design development at both the equipment and network levels.
This project will greatly enhance the competiveness of European companies and research institutions in this growing market by providing a standard simulation and model based framework to enable them to develop their designs faster and more efficiently than before.
The impact on the European aviation industry will be to significantly improve the time to market for new aircraft and aircraft related products making a positive impact on the European economy in general.
The results of the project will also reduce the barrier to entry for many smaller and medium sized companies across Europe by providing them with a simulation platform designed to remove the steep learning curve associated with tools of this type and enabling them to compete in the global marketplace more effectively.
The overall impact of the project will therefore run into many millions of Euros in new business for Aircraft manufacturers and enhance the prospects and competitiveness of the entire European Aircraft Supplier chain as a whole.
The use of the “virtual prototyping” platform delivered during this project will enable suppliers and aircraft manufacturers to check specifications and preliminary designs much earlier in the design process. This will not only identify products not meeting specifications but also errors in design, mismatches at a system level and reduce the cost of rework later in the manufacturing process.
One of the key aspects of the models developed during this project has been not only the functionality of the models, but also the extensive testing from a robustness perspective. By focusing on the model robustness, the resulting model libraries can be used with a greater level of confidence by suppliers and save numerous iterations of model development and testing by aircraft manufacturers.
Finally, the tight integration of model, test benches, and simulation analyses will provide a much shallower learning curve for engineers to use these advanced tools and obtain meaningful results. A particular benefit is the automatic generation of reports in standard formats saving much time and removing subjective interpretation in many cases from standard tests.

Dissemination Activities

The dissemination of the results of this project have taken the form of three activities, Public Seminars, Clean Sky workshops and Publications
A public Seminar was held in November 2015 to highlight the key issues in modeling and simulation of aircraft power systems (Paris) and included several technical presentations arising from the AAASP project.
Numerous internal workshops were held during the AAASP project to engage with Airbus and key equipment suppliers in order to provide detailed feedback on the technical aspects of the modeling, and also to gain their input into the design of the software and model libraries.
A paper describing the principles of the AAASP are to be presented at the IEEE Aerospace Conference, in March 2016, at Big Sky, USA. The paper is entitled “Advanced Avionics Applications Simulation Platform (AAASP) for Accurate Aircraft Systems Simulation”, by Peter Wilson and Jon Storey (Integra Design).

Exploitation Results

The generic model libraries arising from the AAASP project are to be included in a future release of the SaberRD software, and the specific equipment models have been made available to the relevant Clean Sky partner for future use (including Airbus, Liebherr, Zodiac Aerospace and TAES).

The SaberRD software from Synopsys is an industry standard for the simulation of Aircraft Power Networks, Machines and Power Electronic Modules, widely used by Air-frame manufacturers and suppliers. The additional generic model libraries and tools arising from this project will be available to all users of the software in the Aerospace industry, and the specific equipment models, tools and software will be available to members of the SGO.

List of Websites:
The AAASP generic model libraries will be made available as part of the standard libraries in the Synopsys SaberRD toolset, and the Clean Sky specific libraries, tools and methods will be available to the consortium members.

The generic data will be provided on the Synopsys website