Simulation of Aircraft Evacuation

Evacuating the aircraft

Fire simulation models are already available to simulate the fire development in an enclosure. The project AircraftFire plans to enhance the SMARTFIRE fire simulation software developed by University of Greenwich.This software incorporated a range of sophisticated sub-model (flame spread along fuel solid surface, eddy dissipation combustion model, turbulence,radiation, toxicity, smoke optical density, etc.). In this project, new physical models related to composite materials in new aircrafts will be tested, validated by experiments and introduced into the numerical code to simulate fire ignition, combustion, heat transport, burning of solid fuel, radiation,toxicity etc.. This contribution will enhance the description of the fire evolution during in-flight and post-crash-fires in fullscale conditions. The flashover time will be accurately evaluated using information obtained both from measured material properties and from fire behaviour identified during laboratory tests. It will be checked if flashover must be considered as the main threat on the passenger survivability. Hypotheses will be introduced on the fire ignition source location and type.

For post-crash fires, this SMARTFIRE software is coupled to the EXODUS EVACUATION software, which is used to perform the evacuation of passengers. This software was developed for applications in the aviation industry including, aircraft design, compliance with 90-second certification requirements, crew training, development of crew procedure, resolution of operational issues and accident investigation. The EXODUS software takes into consideration people – people, people-fire and people-structure interactions. It comprises fire core interacting sub-models: the PASSENGER, MOVEMENT, BEHAVIOUR, TOXICITY and HAZARD sub-models. The project AircraftFire aims to adapt this software to new risks in new generation of aircraft where the load of fuel material increases inweight and in potential heat release rate. The sensibility of the physical models used for fire simulation will be evaluated on the evacuation procedure and survivability of passengers (survivability of people in the cabin during the fire development, evacuation conditions, flashover time, etc.).

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