Argonne National Labs is Creating Aircraft Simulation Tool

New software is based on platform for road vehicles.

Aeronomie will be capable of simulating entire flights using a variety of powerplants.Courtesy Aeronomie

Lemont, Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory said in a news release on its website that it is developing Aeronomie, a dynamic aircraft simulation tool to demonstrate the future performance of a variety of aircraft such as electric and hybrid vehicles, urban air mobility and unmanned aerial vehicles. Aeronomie is capable of simulating entire flights by optimizing systems while also gaining top efficiency from the new batteries being developed to power these machines.

Aeronomie is based on a similar successful program of Argonne’s Autonomie created for road vehicles. Dominik Karbowski, a technical manager in the Vehicle and Mobility Simulation Group in the Energy Systems division of ANL—who is leading the development of Aeronomie along with Nirmit Prabhakar, an aerospace engineer at ANL—said, “Argonne’s success with … Autonomie strengthens the concept and will enable a fast deployment.” While acknowledging the vast differences between automobiles and aircraft, Karbowski added, “The proposed dynamic simulation framework allows a user to combine the aircraft and powerplant dynamics, which help the user to study interactions between these systems, for example, a 2-blade propeller instead of a 3-blade propeller.”

In a research paper, ANL said, “Users can automatically build virtual aircraft using models—which capture the flying environment, the aircraft’s motion and aerodynamics and how it is powered and flown. The program is fully customizable, allowing users to add models from an existing library or their own files.” Updates to the Aeronomie program are expected to be made public as they occur.