Digital Twins for Propulsion

Digital twins – virtual replicas of physical systems – have gained popularity recently as powerful tools to simulate and monitor the real-world performance of systems in operation. With the availability and low cost of obtaining real-time data, the simulators, which were traditionally only used in the design phase, can be updated to represent the current system state.

Propulsion systems are the beating hearts of aerospace products. So not surprisingly, optimising their design for life is critical to the product’s success, long-term sustainability and robustness.

CFMS has recently teamed up with the world-leading Electrical Energy Management and Design Manufacturing Futures groups at the University of Bristol to pull-through the state-of-the-art in research in modelling electric machines and twinning processes.

The collaboration between CFMS and the university combines respective expertise in digital engineering and aerospace propulsion, by utilising the data generated from an electric propulsion system digital twin in the conceptual design phases of new aircraft. Aerospace designers can use the virtual propulsion replica to evaluate thousands of system architecture variations against a range of flight profiles without having to create a physical prototype. Thus providing feedback in terms of the available design space an any optimal robust solutions much more quickly.

Through interactive dashboards engineers and wider stakeholders can manipulate and interact with the digital twin without having to learn new coding skills. The result will be a greater discourse around the design of the propulsion system and whole aircraft architecture and requirements that drive the design.

By creating these digital twins, CFMS and University of Bristol can accelerate the development of sustainable aerospace and optimise its in-service performance.

For more information and discussion on how you could get involved, please contact CFMS.

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