Electronics in an Aircraft Nose Cone

The Problem

Incoming cool air enclosed within the complicated duct flow of an aircraft nose cone can be affected by the presence of hot hydraulic oil tanks. An investigation into the flow over a new electronic module was required by a company in order to assess possibility of insufficient cooling in the nosecone and to reduce the risks of premature failure of the module. The complete problem involved multiple configurations, multiple models and multiple boundary conditions.

The Approach

The complicated 3D geometry was modelled and meshed and the resulting discretised model involved a computational mesh of approximately 10 million cells. Due to this the problem was simulated in a steady-state static configuration and a steady-state multiple rotating reference frame configuration using advanced parallel processing techniques.

The Result

The results indicated that a sufficient cooling flow was able to reach the electronic module in both the static and multiple rotating reference frame case. Estimated hand calculations of heat transfer from the flow in the vicinity and experimental temperature sensitive stickers affixed to the interior of the nosecone between aircraft services were used to validate the CFD predictions. It was found that the results compared well, leading to the successful installation of the new electronic module within the nosecone.