Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies – The INNOVATE Project

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Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies – The INNOVATE Project


application/pdf Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies – The INNOVATE Project Constanza Ahumada, Hervé Morvan, Jason Atkin
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Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies – The INNOVATE Project


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Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies – The INNOVATE Project Constanza Ahumada (1), Herve Morvan (2), Jason Atkin (3) University Of Nottingham, Institute for Aerospace Technology, Triumph Road, NG1 2TU Nottingham 1 : INNOVATE Project, 2 : University of Nottingham, 3 : University of Nottingham, Abstract The design of new technologies in the aircraft industry has historically been done with each field (electrical, mechanical, communications) using an independent approach. However, considering the increasing interlinking between the different sciences and fields, it is becoming more and more clear that a different approach needs to be considered. Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies, better known as INNOVATE, is a project within the Institute for Aerospace Technology of the University of Nottingham that has as its main objective the integration of the different areas of aircraft research to provide a framework, capable of addressing the present and future challenges of the aerospace industry. As a vessel to investigate this, a Virtual Demonstrator is proposed. Through this Virtual Demonstrator the INNOVATE project aims to create an integrated air transport engineering vision and to close the gap between companies and universities research. Thus, INNOVATE integrates areas of research such as propulsion technologies; airframe and control technologies; ground operation technologies; and innovative navigation and communication technologies. Introduction Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies or INNOVATE (Fig. 1) is a research project from the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT), at The University of Nottingham, that is funded by the European Project Marie Curie Innovative Doctoral Programme [1]. Fig. 1: INNOVATE Logo. This multidisciplinary project, conformed by 13 researchers from different backgrounds (electrical, mechanical, aerospace, computer science) aims to develop an integrated air transport engineering vision and investigate core technologies associated with reducing the impact of and optimising air transport [2]. To achieve its goal and manage a successful exploitation of technology, the INNOVATE project works along industrial partners: Rolls Royce, Avio, Airbus, SKF, Sintef, Airlight Energy, Eagle Burgmann, Nafems, Cenaero, and Midlands Aerospace Alliance. In this manner, this multidisciplinary project has also as an objective to operate across a range of TRLs and close the existing gap between TRL 1-3 and TRL 4-6 [3]. The integrated air transport engineering vision of INNOVATE is going to be represented through a Virtual demonstrator that simulates the operation of an airplane integrating the developed technologies. As observed in Fig. 2, each researcher works in an individual project (that finally will give a PhD grade) and also along the others researchers and a partner company. This allows the developing of the Virtual Demonstrator as final end. Fig. 2: Project Diagram As presented in Fig. 3, the aircraft technologies studied can be separated in Aircraft Systems and Aircraft Operations, and each of these is separated in two Work Packages (WP). Aircraft Systems studies Propulsion Technologies (WP1) and Airframe and Control Technologies (WP2), while Aircraft Operations research Ground Operation Technologies (WP3) and Innovative Navigation and Communication Technologies (WP4). Each of the researcher projects is related to one of the WP, interconnecting the research fields. Furthermore, besides the individual projects interconnections, each research project helps in the generation of the virtual demonstrator (WP5). The next sections describe the different WP, including the WP5, where the virtual demonstrator is presented. Fig. 3: Work Package Work Package 1 (WP1) WP1 studies the growing demand for reduction in Specific Fuel Consumption. Its aim is to increase OPR and cycle temperatures, and to reduce the mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic power off-take. Therefore, WP1 researches the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) propulsive system. Its specific objectives are:  Simplification and rationalization of the propulsion system.  Recourse to the generator as a supplementary control device.  Optimization of the engine thermal cycle. The projects in this work package are:  Radial gap air-riding seals for gas turbine machinery (ESR1).  Heat transfer and thermal management for the aero-engine bearing chamber (ESR2).  Interaction of electrical power system on turbine dynamics in MEA (ESR3).  In-line electrical machines for gas turbine propulsion engines (ESR4). Work Package 2 (WP2) WP2 aims to reduce the impact on the environment by the Aircraft Structure and System simplification, and for this, it studies the aircraft control technologies. Its specific objectives are:  Optimised electrical actuation and thermal cooling design to increase the on-board power density.  Optimised aircraft aerodynamic efficiency.  Efficient airflow regulation over an aerofoil section.  Structural and weight optimisation. The projects on this work package are:  Novel electrical machines and new thermal cooling designs for electrical components (ESR5).  Flow control and drag reduction for turbulent boundary layers (ESR6).  Full electrical closed-loop airflow control using plasma actuators (ESR7).  Exploitation of internal pressurisation as a means of enhancing structural properties (ESR8). Work Package 3 (WP3) WP3 aims to reduce the excess CO2 emitted as a result of ineffective and engine-powered ground operations. For this, technological options able to fulfil green taxiing ambitions and to reduce the impact of ground and take-off operations will be explored. Its specific objectives are:  Improvement of aircraft movement on the ground.  Improvement of the take-off procedure, studying assisted method.  Reduce the excess CO2 emitted as a result of ineffective and engine-powered ground operations (IATA study, 2005, reported by Airbus). The projects in this work package are:  Electric taxiing (ESR9).  Optimised preparation to take-off (ESR10).  Aiding take off and reducing weight using the electric catapult (ESR11). Work Package 4 (WP4) WP4 aim is the study of innovative navigation and communication technologies. For this, it studies the operation and control issues pertaining to integrity and reliability of the information provided by GNSS. And also, the impact of human-technology hybrid systems on operator safety. Its specific objectives are:  Investigate safety related critical aspects of the systems.  Recourse to different and innovative strategies.  Understand the impact of these technological innovations on systems performance, safety, reliability and costs. The projects in this work package are:  GNSS Denial and Integrity (ESR12).  Human performance in high technology aviation (ESR13). Work Package 5 (WP5) WP5 consists in integrating the other WPs, and therefore the individual research, into a virtual demonstrator. Because of this, the aim of WP5 is to develop the cross-WP links, and finally an integrated air transport engineering model. To develop this integrated model, a virtual demonstrator software will be use. This demonstrator will integrate the four work packages, receiving the output signals of each of them. To define these outputs, each work package is going to be integrated in parallel using more specialised software that can adapt better to its necessities. The methodology used in WP5 will be: • Draft a joint specification of requirements (SoR) as a part of the joint session with the coordinator. • Propose a preliminary system design to be reviewed by the supervisory board. • Propose and execute a complete system integration using a virtual demonstrator. Fig. 4 shows the expected outcome of the aircraft designed with the virtual demonstrator. The technologies developed in WP1 will allow to have aircrafts with less weight. WP2 and WP3 will allow the use of less fuel, and therefore a smaller operation cost. Also, WP1 will allow less maintenance, which will reduce the maintenance costs and the downtime of the aircraft. Thanks to WP3 the taxiing cost will be reduced. And finally WP2 and WP4 will increase the time the aircraft can fly. Conclusions In the growing airplane industry, the different aspects of aircraft operations are studied independently, which reduce the potential of achieving an optimal solution at a system level. This paper has presented the concept of IINOVATE which is one of the first attempts to address this issue at an academic/industrial level. INNOVATE is a project that searches to study the different area of an aircraft operation, such as propulsion systems, control systems, ground operations, and communication systems. For this, the work is grouped in five work package; four of them study one of these areas in particular, while the fifth one presents a virtual demonstrator. Additionally, as each of the research projects is done working along an industrial partner, INNOVATE searches to close the gap existing between industry and university research. WP5 Virtual Demostrator Less weight Less operation cost Less maintenance cost Less downtime Less taxiing cost Increased maximum fly time Fig. 4: Virtual demostrator outcomes. Acknowledge This work is funded by the European Commission under the project titled INNOVATE, The systematic Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies, FP7 project number 608322 which is part of the FP7- PEOPLE-2013-ITN call. References 1. Morvan, H. INNOVATE. 2013 [cited 2014 29/08]; Available from: aspx. 2. Morvan, H. INNOVATE programme handbook. 2013. 3. Tec, S., Technology Readiness Levels Handbook for Space Applications. 2008. p. 1-60.