In the aircraft of tomorrow, more and more electric and electronic systems will replace the current mechanical systems. One reason for this is weight reduction, which lowers the overall fuel consumption. Other reasons include the increased reliability and easier maintenance that follow as a result of installing electrical components and electronics in the aircraft. The fact that more complex aircraft systems are being networked together needs to be considered too.
No matter how unique the application is, dSPACE hardware and software can be used for the necessary development and testing, whether for individual avionics components, or even complex networked on-board systems.
Modern airframes, consisting of components such as control surfaces, landing flaps, slats and landing gear, also contain an increasing amount of electric components as less mechanic and hydraulic/pneumatic components are used. For example, in the future, control surfaces will be activated by electric or electro-hydrostatic actuators instead of by hydraulic actuators. When developing these systems, tests on iron birds (aircraft test benches) are important for realistically running through any conceivable flight situation. dSPACE systems play a central role here by, for example, calculating models for real-time flight maneuver simulation.
Tomorrow’s aircraft engines face high demands. They have to be quieter, more economically efficient, more environmentally friendly, and also handle the increasing performance requirements. To reach this goal, engine manufacturers need to explore new strategies in many different areas. Each engine must pass special tests during development to gain the approval of aviation authorities to verify that it is completely safe and reliable. These tests cover a wide range of different aspects, such as the influence of cold and heat, continuous operation, vibration and even bird collision.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being introduced in new fields of applications, such as surveillance and reconnaissance missions in military and civilian missions. One particular challenge is autonomous flight in general airspace that is also occupied by “normal” manned commercial aircraft. To meet this challenge, high-performance environment recognition and intelligent on-board real-time aircraft control software are absolute necessities. dSPACE systems provide valuable services for developing such systems: for intricate tasks such as processing sensor data in real time during actual flight, or testing the on-board systems in virtual laboratory test flights.