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Bioinspired Electroactive Aeronautical multiscale LIVE-skin

Project description

Nature-inspired ‘live skin’ boosts aerodynamic performance

In the pursuit of efficient air travel, the aviation industry needs to find a way to enhance aerodynamic performance and reduce noise. Conventional solutions fall short, prompting the need for a paradigm shift. In this context, the EIC-funded BEALIVE project draws insights from bird aerodynamics and marine adaptability. It introduces a transformative ‘live skin’ that is poised to revolutionise flight by seamlessly integrating aeronautics with bioengineering. The project also propels aeronautics into a realm of unprecedented efficiency and silence. Powered by AI and big data, the system optimises in real time, relying on wind tunnel experiments and high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics structural mechanics. The project’s multi-scale interface manipulation promises unprecedented aerodynamic efficiency, revolutionising flight beyond current limits.


Inspired from the highly efficient aerodynamics of birds, the versatility of the jelly-moon fringes, the manta ray and sharks, the multidisciplinary project BEALIVE introduces a new science and technology at the interface between aeronautics and bioengineering. The project creates a “live skin” composed of an innovative moving interface between an air-vehicle and the surrounding turbulence. Applied around a body, e.g. around an aircraft’s wing, this contributes to increase the aerodynamic performance and reduce noise far beyond all systems currently under study. The solid-fluid interface is composed of a large number of electroactive fringes made of an optimized combination of Carbon-Nano-Tubes and Graphene with high sensing and actuation capacity, able to deform and vibrate. This allows the skin to interact with the surrounding inhomogeneous turbulent flow. The interface between the solid and the fluid consists of the active fringes (shells) forming a porous-medium, modeled by poroelastic theory. The interaction and manipulation of the fluid-structure and fluid-fluid turbulent interfaces will create an optimal new medium with no distinction between the fluid and the solid structure. The “live skin” and the overall design will contain Big Data and rely on Artificial Intelligence and on a Controller that will define and optimise the dynamics of the system in real time and in large scale. The optimization will be based on data assimilation from Wind Tunnel experiments and from Hi-Fi CFDSM (Computational Fluid-Dynamics Structural Mechanics) using a triple solver coupling: structural modelling (SM), porous layer and turbulent flow. The design has as kernel a hierarchy of the interfaces, from micro to macroscale, between material-material, material-flow and flow-flow. Such enhanced levels of manipulation will allow drastic increases of aerodynamic performance and energy efficiency in all flight phases, beyond any currently foreseeable targets.


Net EU contribution
€ 566 722,50
31029 Toulouse Cedex 4

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Occitanie Midi-Pyrénées Haute-Garonne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 566 722,50

Participants (6)

Partners (1)