In the today’s world, many people want to be connected and entertained. A life without portable electronic devices is hardly imaginable. Mobile phones, notebooks, tablets, cameras, e-book reader, e-cigarettes, smartwatches are electronic devices nobody wants to miss. Consequently, people do not only use them at home but take many of those electronic helpers with them. 

Number of produced Lithium-Ion-Cells and fire incidents and accidents on aircraft related to Lithium-Ion-Cells and batteries (Source: US FAA / AVICENNE ENERGY, 2018-2020 estimated).

The number of produced Lithium-Ion-Cells (blue line) is continuously growing over the last 25 year. The number of fire incidents and accidents on aircraft related to Lithium-Ion-Cells and batteries (red line) is rising strongly.  However, most of those incidents have not left the incident status, i.e. no passenger or crew member has been hurt, but a level of several dozens of incidents, the vast majority of them in the cabin, are an alarming issue, which requires a scientific examination of the possible consequences and an assessment of the emergency procedures in place today.

The LOKI-PED project will provide a deeper understanding of the thermal runaway consequences and the associated risks and will raise awareness for critical situations from passengers and crew. Furthermore, operators will be enabled to conduct their risk assessment based on scientific information and authorities will be provided with evidence for the existing regulations or proposals for necessary improvements.

Thermal Runaway of Portable Electronic devices

Thermal runaway events of batteries or portable electronic devices (PED) can be characterized by the following chain of effects: some kind of mechanical damage results into an internal short circuit in the battery cell. This enables locally a very high electrical current, which rises the local temperature tremendously. When reaching the onset temperature, the battery cell is going in the uncontrolled thermal runaway. The high temperature of the battery cell and very hot gases and smoke released can trigger neighboring battery cells to go into thermal runaway, resulting in an uncontrolled propagation of the thermal runaway event. Due to the emitted gases and smoke, a battery undergoing a thermal runaway can be a major threat for passengers and crew as well as for the safe conduct of the flight. Assessing the risks associated with PEDs in flight is a challenging task due to the amount of PEDs entering the market every year, the heterogeneous and individual group of PEDs per flight, the multiple situations where thermal runaway can take place and the different characteristic of the thermal runaway depending on the type of both PED and battery.

Tasks and Time Table


WP1 Characterization of the main hazards posed by lithium batteries and PEDs carried by passengers and aircrew in the cabin


WP2 Evaluation of the consequences of fire and smoke

WP3 Assessment of the limits related to the number of batteries and the battery power / energy

WP4 Comparison of the risk scenarios with the limits established by the applicable regulations



WP5 Assessment of the cabin emergency procedures

WP6 Assessment of additional mitigation measures

WP7 Identification of gaps in the regulatory provisions