ECS is simulating entire environments to help make cockpits and cabins more comfortable
After a relatively quiet period, passenger comfort has once again come to the forefront of discussion and design as aircraft manufacturers push the envelope to deliver aircraft with improved passenger comfort systems, helping airlines in their race to gain an edge over the competition.
  • Avionics cooling with STAR-CCM+® showing the aft avionics bay of a Hunter UAV with air supplied through the aircraft environmental control system.
  • Simulation using STAR-CCM+® on an air transport rack (ATR) showing the detailed assembly and temperatures on the complex folded fin heat sink and streamlines. Ensuring proper cooling and operation of these systems is more challenging because their high operating altitude results in a reduced convective cooling ability.
  • Avionics cooling with STAR-CCM+® showing the aft avionics bay of a Hunter UAV with air supplied through the aircraft environmental control system.

Numerical simulation is an enabling technology in the area of ECS, allowing aircraft system and interior designers to analyze the effects of different configurations on passenger comfort.

STAR-CCM+ is the industry standard for ECS Flow/Thermal simulations and has been used in ECS design by a number of leading aircraft manufacturers and contractors. Areas of application include:

Cabin comfort & cockpit ventilation

STAR-CCM+ offers tools to effectively and efficiently analyze air flow inside the cabin and cockpit resulting from different arrangements and designs. In addition to analysis of complex flows inside an aircraft, STAR-CCM+ offers a Thermal Comfort Model, specifically to simulate comfort levels inside the cabin and ventilation.

Additional models like conjugate heat transfer and solar radiation help in analyzing the effects of external sources like radiation and HVAC on temperature inside the aircraft.


STAR-CCM+ offers two different frameworks for mixing analysis through multiphase models - Eulerian and Lagrangian. Detailed information on these models can be found in the product pages. Also available is a Volume of Fluid (VOF) model that can model two or more immiscible fluids.

Engine/APU thermal management

Thermal management of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units (APU) is crucial in the design process, considering the extreme temperatures and harsh environments encountered. STAR-CCM+ offers a full suite of thermal models (conduction, convection, radiation, CHT) that help in accurately analyzing the thermal behavior of engines and APUs.The complexity of these parts can be easily by the nuilt-in surface wrapper technology, leading to accurate thermal analysis with a quick turnaround time.

Compartment ventilation

Avionics cooling

CHT, Forced or passive cooling, fan performance, acoustics, dust accrual, component analysis, system analysis

Ice protection

Ice protection is a key area of aircraft design where simulation is increasingly being used to design better protection systems and detect icing problems early in the design phase. Simulation of ice protection is usually done in four stages: fluid flow analysis, collection efficiency calculation of Supercooled Liquid Droplets (SLD), ice accretion and thermal simulation of de-icing systems.

STAR-CCM+ is moving towards providing a single integrated environment for all these four phases of ice protection analysis.Currently, a fully-coupled fluid flow analysis and collection efficiency calculation is possible inside STAR-CCM+.

Two different multiphase models are available within STAR-CCM+ for collection efficiency calculations: Eulerian & Lagrangian.

Both models have been validated against industry-standard experimental data for accurately calculating the collection efficiency. Also available within STAR-CCM+ is a Thin Film Model for defrost/defog analysis including phase changes like melting, solidification and evaporation.Another crucial aspect of Ice Protection analysis is runback ice prediction and STAR-CCM+ offers a Liquid Film Model for this purpose, which combines with Eulerian Multiphase Model for efficient simulations.

Droplet Impingement Models like bounce/breakup, etc., and film separation (stripping) are also included in this model.

Ducting & heat exchangers

Single-stream, dual-stream

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