Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


REFLECTOCFP16 Report Summary

Project ID: 641067
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - REFLECTOCFP16 (In-Flight Local Surface Deformation Measurement by Means of Reflectometry and Shadow Casting)

Project Context and Objectives:
Laminar Flow is a key technology to reduce aircraft drag and fuel consumption. This will reduce the carbon footprint of the commercial aviation. The European Commission has initiated a follow up project as part of the Clean Sky Programme the Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA) project, in which a consortium of aerospace companies, including Airbus, Saab and GKN, has designed a new laminar wing. However, its application on commercial aircraft requires manufacturing to a very high standard and minimum degradation of the wing surface during flight.
Clean Sky – Call16/ Reflecto - requested a robust and mature measurement system, which would detect any deformation of a laminar wing profile in flight. Because any disturbance (waviness, steps, gaps, insect debris...) could trigger the transition of the boundary layer to turbulent conditions thus cancelling the benefits of laminar flow.
To prove the development of the new laminar wing the outboard 9 metres of the wing of the High Speed Flight Demonstrator, an A340-300, will be replaced with the new laminar profile.

Project Results:
Equipment in Wing Tip Pod:
Camera Module:
Redesign completed and prototype modified and retested to meet the environmental specification in terms of EMI, vibration and temperature.
Redesign completed, prototype modified to proof functionality. Sufficient illumination after redesign and modification tested, the final mechanical modifications of prototype for environmental tests are ongoing. Environmental test campaign planned for May 2016.
Environmental test completed. All tests passed, only a single deviation during EMI test is still under review by Airbus.
The manufacturing of ship set units ongoing, delivery is planned for cw 10/ 2016.

Equipment in aircraft cabin:
Cabin Computer:
Design of 2 cabin computer considering the new ‘single computer concept’ is agreed with Airbus and closed, the COTS products are ordered and will be modified to meet the cabin integration requirements from Airbus. Completion and first integration into a/c for first power on and system test is planned for June 2016.

Equipment on ground:
Ground Computer:
Design, set up and hardware is completed.
Adjustment bench:
Ongoing. This tool is to optimize the field overlap of the cameras and to adapt their orientation to the 4 possible positions of the camera modules on the aircraft (Left Wing near field, left wing far field, right wing near field and right wing far field

The improved reflectometry software is now tolerant to reflection flaws as well as to wing bending and torsion and able to analyse general wing deformation (bending and torsion) in a certain range.
As the BLADE flight test campaign is shifted to 2017 and to assure that the reflectometry software is reliable and robust additional simulation test software have been generated. The software therefore was tested in deep with this simulation program which is generating theoretical wing surface behaviour as bumps, bending and torsion. Further tests of finalized pattern on the fairing and its compatibility of the reflectometry architecture have been performed, too.
Optimization of the algorithms to assure adequate calculation time and provision of results in time during flight test campaign
Shadow Casting:
The shadow casting software modifications have been completed and tested. The software is now capable to retrieve the profile data of long steps along the interface main wing / leading edge.
Single Computer Concept :
The single computer concept is a new work package that have been addressed from Airbus due to the need to have an adequate user interface which is respecting the requirements of the flight test engineer during flight test.
New task have been completed and is considered in the software and hardware requirements of interfacing systems. The concept is optimized for the human interface between flight test engineer (operator during flight) and measurement system. The flight test engineer will be enabled to automatically start and stop measurements in flight on both wings, using only one common control console.
Filler Shape Measurement:
An additional measurement method is required. To measure the behaviour and shape of the filler material used to fill the joint between leading edge and wing box during flight.
This new work package replaces WP 17 (formerly assigned to troubleshooting during flight test)
Completed in p1
Self-illuminated marking system has been developed. Although the self-illumination function of the marker has been achieved the requirement of maximum thickness (5 µm) could not be fulfilled. Tests with pressure to simulate the airflow during flight have shown that the possible gluing system either will cause additional thickness or will not stand the airflow. As a result the developed markers do not fulfil the defined requirements.
A development of alternative system (combined white paint with retro-reflecting paint) as a new additional work package started after discussion and agreement with Airbus and is completed and positively tested.

Potential Impact:
The Reflectometry Measurement System:
To measure the minute disturbances of the designed wing shape in-flight, at high altitude and subsonic cruising speeds a measurement system has been pre-designed in Clean Sky call 7 and need to be matured and evaluated for the flight test campaign in this project call 16. Based on this preliminary ‘reflectometry measurement system’ design the complete system as sensor components (hardware) and the analyses-software have to be improved so that the complete reflectometry system will be appropriate for the current overall BLADE design. Robustness and reliability during the flight test campaign is the top target. As the measurement method shall not affect the behaviour of the wing profile structure the wing reflectometry methodology development need to be completed in such a way that the requirement to detect any local deformations of the laminar wing surface whilst airborne will be met

List of Websites:


Ute Franke, (CEO)
Tel.: +491713647849
Record Number: 187813 / Last updated on: 2016-08-24