The impact of the electromagnetic environment upon the operational capability of aeronautic equipment, systems and platforms is known as electromagnetic environmental effects (E3). Their influence is becoming bigger in modern air platforms due to the increase of fly-by-wire systems in substitution of traditional mechanical options. Moreover, in the search of cost-effective approaches, notable parts of current aircraft are also being gradually made of composite materials (such as carbon fiber composite, CFC, aramid fibers, fiberglass, etc) and other even more innovative materials (doped rubber, graphene) are starting to be used for certain applications.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), who have attracted the attention of manufacturers in the last two decades and have experienced a notorious development since are a particularly relevant example of aeronautic platforms with a high percentage of these kinds of materials. The electromagnetic performance of these non-metallic choices has to be assessed with respect to the aforementioned menaces. Consequently, in order to warrant the correct functioning of equipment, systems and platforms, the aeronautic industry is required to surpass different electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) certification processes based on military and aeronautic standards which traditionally rely on experimental testing.

Bearing this in mind, the UAVE3 project hereby presented aims to develop innovative, cost and time-effective analysis and testing methodologies integrating advanced electromagnetic modelling and simulation approaches, for use across the whole lifecycle of new generation composite UAV, including design, prototyping, certification, maintenance, overhaul and continuous airworthiness.

To do so, a bottom-up methodology is suggested, meaning that a number of incrementally difficult scenarios with different test cases will be proposed and then built, measured and simulated to help and conceive a final technology demonstrator. The rationale for the demonstrator is to construct a rigorously controlled and characterized
generic object that incorporates features of interest to the aeronautics community, such as composite and other innovative materials, coupling through apertures and joints, coupling to transmission lines, etc.

And among the different electromagnetic disciplines encompassed in the E3 denomination, the focus will be made on the most relevant ones in terms of potential threat to aircraft safety, namely, lightning indirect effects (LIE), electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF).

This project is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MEIC) with the reference TEC2016-79214-C3-1-R