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Avoiding interference and increasing airline safety

Electromagnetic (EM) fields in and around aircraft (airport field and buildings as well as local vicinity) affect communication reliability, equipment function and security. Better tools for modelling EM radiation in current or future airport environments should increase competitiveness, decrease environmental impact of emissions and enhance safety and security.
Avoiding interference and increasing airline safety
The ‘External EMC simulation for radio electric systems, in the close environment of the aircraft’ (Sirena) project set out to develop appropriate tools for modelling aircraft/airport/airport vicinity EM fields. Such tools would enable evaluation of the impact of such fields on people and equipment as well as address relevant safety and security issues. As such, they would facilitate recommendations driven by EM compatibility (EMC) issues, or those related to minimising the unwanted effects of EM fields on equipment function.

The EU-funded researchers first developed a virtual three-dimensional (3D) geometric airfield model enhanced by inputs of actual EM data. They then created a module performing accurate and efficient (real-time) far and near-field EM computation and enabling its visualisation.

The investigators provided the modelling tool to aircraft/equipment manufacturers to aid in the design of equipment based on its behaviour in ambient EM fields. In addition, based on modelling results, the researchers provided recommendations for equipment location and protection (EMC), in particular as related to EM immune emitters for improving safety and security.

The results of the Sirena project provide a tool for assessing EMC in and around aircraft and should enhance both European competitiveness of the airline industry as well as improve safety for passengers, staff and local communities alike.

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