Aviation safety

System dependability, atmospheric phenomena, flight envelope extension, human factors: safety is one of the major areas of research for ONERA, which aims to address the concerns of manufacturers in the aerospace sector. In 2014, EMC and frost are at the foremost.


An aircraft includes tens of kilometers of cables that can propagate or generate electromagnetic interference waves. Since 2010, ONERA has been contributing to the development of the VSE AxesSim's CABLESIM software: it allows the electromagnetic compatibility phenomena to be modeled in electrical wiring.

Since 2014, for Labinal Power Systems, ONERA and AxesSim have been using this software to carry out the project eCentric-EMC, modeling a complete industrial wiring precisely describing the wire bundle installation in their system.

In addition, in regard to this skill, ONERA has been working since 2009 on the indirect effects of lightning for several SNECMA engines – the TP 400, the SaM146 and even the Silvercrest. This year, it performed calculations for the LEAP. The objective: to evaluate by electric currents and electromagnetic fields induced on the motor by numerical simulation.


Many major incidents and accidents have in part been caused by the effects of icing, making the regulations increasingly more drastic. ONERA, a recognized player and benchmark in the field on an international level, is collaborating with the leading industrialists on the forecasting of forms of icing deposit and their aerodynamic consequences, as well as on the development of new protection and detection technologies.

As part of the HAIC project (High Altitude Ice Crystals, from 2012 to 2016) coordinated by Airbus, which relates to frosting due to the presence of ice crystals, ONERA is involved in the research on detection techniques and is steering the sub-project dedicated to the development of models and numerical simulation tools. The project is aimed at anticipating the risks of blocking of sensor tubes or damage to the engines. In 2014, ONERA developed new models to update the 2D and 3D versions of its software and be able to take into account the new regulations (big drops, crystals), as well as new electrothermal deicing technologies.

Internationally, ONERA signed a three-year cooperation agreement on the understanding and modeling of swept wing icing this year with NASA. It follows a first agreement (2006-2012) dedicated to numerical simulation aspects of aircraft icing.


ONERA is an expert on the problem of aircraft lightning strikes. Since 2012, it has a laboratory for the detailed understanding of its direct impact on aeronautical structures. This research facility conducted its 1st test campaign in June 2014, as part of the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). It has enabled the study of the resistance to lightning of new composite materials developed by the Fraunhofer (IFAM and LBF) HELENIC Aerospace Industry, Airbus DS and Alenia Aeronautica. These materials were subjected to a current of 100,000 amperes.