January 9th 2023

IES Digital Twin technology is helping achieve sustainable aviation as part of ambitious EU Green Deal project

IES Digital Twin technology is helping achieve sustainable aviation as part of ambitious EU Green Deal project

We are delighted to announce that IES is helping to accelerate greener aviation as a partner of Stargate, an ambitious project selected by the European Commission.

Stargate’s mission is to develop, test and deploy a set of innovative solutions to make aviation and airports significantly more sustainable. In the next four years, Brussels Airport, together with a consortium of 21 partners from all over Europe will be working on approximately 30 projects with three main objectives:

  • Enhance further decarbonisation of airport operations
  • Improve local environmental quality 
  • Stimulate the modal shift. 

"With Stargate we want to show, together with our partners, that more sustainable aviation is possible, and that we want to take the lead in this. Through partnership and innovation, we want to address the climate challenges we are facing. Within the Stargate project, we will promote the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, make the ground operations more sustainable, and turn airports into intermodal hubs, where alternatives to car travel are even more accessible. By exchanging knowledge and experience with our partners, we can learn from each other, and our fellow airports will be the first to roll out the specific actions that prove successful at Brussels Airport. Within Stargate we are also looking at opportunities to cooperate with the local residents, for example regarding renewable energy. In addition, the initiatives around the modal shift will of course have a positive impact for them as well.”

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.

IES’ main role in the project is the development and coordination of the Digital Twin ecosystem for airports, with the ICL Performance Digital Twin at the core. This is used to create a physics based virtual replica of the Lighthouse Airport (Brussels), linking detailed models of the terminals with large scale models of the whole airport energy networks. This way, the Digital Twin will allow to baseline the current performance of the airport as an accurate and reliable source to evaluate and monitor future decarbonisation scenarios.

This approach has been replicated in the project’s Fellow Airports: Athens International Airport, Budapest Airport and Aéroport de Toulouse-Blagnac. 

Throughout this last year, IES has carried out site visits to all the airports involved in the project. These visits are essential to understand how the buildings and networks are operated, collect any useful documentation and define how the Digital Twin technology will facilitate each airports path to decarbonisation.

One of the common topics for the airports is looking at onsite renewable opportunities. The Digital Twin contains all information about the energy use of the various processes at the airports, so different solutions can be mapped in advance, in order to study where things can be improved and adjusted. In this way, it is possible to simulate the impact of PV generation before installing solar parks.

The IES team are now creating Digital Twins of the airports and are looking forward to continue working with their partners towards more sustainable airports and aviation. 

Visit the Stargate project website and LinkedIn page to find out more.