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Aeroelastic Gust Modelling

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AEROGUST (Aeroelastic Gust Modelling)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2018-07-31

The aviation industry in Europe supports many jobs and makes a substantial contribution to the prosperity of EU; however, the market is changing rapidly with the emergence of new competitors in response to growth in the Asia Pacific region. To meet this challenge, and the environmental targets of Flightpath 2050, there is a need to rapidly adapt aircraft designs. It is likely that the manufacturer first to market with a disruptive product is likely to secure the majority share of the market i.e. very significant added value for the European Economic Area including a large number of high value jobs supported both directly and in the wider supply chain.

To meet this challenge research in a number of areas is required. The AEROGUST research project therefore decided to focus on one specific important area - to investigate and develop improved simulation methods for gusts (turbulence) to allow innovative aircraft design changes.

The three main project objectives were:
• To develop and implement high order methods to predict and understand non-linearities in gust/structure interaction
• To develop methods to numerically reproduce the industrial gust loads process and hence reduce reliance of wind tunnel data
• To develop methods to adapt the loads process for non-linear and innovative structures

The AEROGUST methodology also finds direct application in wind turbine design. This means that future wind turbines could be placed in the Arctic Circle and below the tropics, where the wind shear and gusts loads are currently prohibitive due to structural overdesign.

Important conclusions of the Aerogust project are:
• Prescribed velocity methods allow large computational savings for high fidelity CFD and for typical certification gusts on standard aircraft configurations the simplest method is adequate
• Aerogust technology allows the certification authorities to reconsider specifications for gust encounters knowing that prescribed velocity methods are still applicable
• The current gust loads process can be recreated numerically for design purposes and improved by the inclusion of small amounts of unsteady CFD data
• The evaluation of results from uncertainty analyses has shown that there will be significant computational savings in an industrial setting by using only linearized structural models
• ROMs can give orders of magnitude savings in computational cost, facilitating the introduction of higher fidelity gust methods within industry. The ROM technologies are generic and thus applicable to novel configurations and outside of the aerospace industry
• In service wind turbines can be successfully instrumented providing valuable. The work highlighted opportunities in improved blade life.
AEROGUST has been a successful project, with good working relationships between partners. Key highlights are:
• Establishing a Solution Data Base
• Developing industrially relevant test cases for comparison
• Implementing and testing a range of CFD approaches for simulating gusts. Surveying and implementing very high order methods for gust simulations
• Implementing a range of nonlinear structural finite element models
• Recreating an industrial loads process. Investigating alternative methods
• Developing ROMs and extending to include non-linearities
• Developing a high-fidelity solver for simulating wind turbines encountering gusts
• Measuring and analysing data of an in-service wind turbine
• Comparing and evaluating results

The project has produced important results from high-fidelity methods; reduced order modelling; uncertainty analysis and a numerical recreation of the industrial gust loads process. The results of the project have been disseminated via a number of channels.

• The Aerogust public website (
• 22 conferences including AIAA Special Session
• 14 workshops including 2 Aerogust workshops
• 34 publications including 22 refereed conference papers and 6 submitted journal papers
• Project video – a short video documentary about the project was made and is available on the project website and YouTube. It has also been shown at 3 events.

AEROGUST has received recognition from overseas and was credited as ‘one of the three most promising research projects in Europe’ in a Keynote presentation by a Boeing Senior Research Fellow (IFASD, 2017).

The knowledge gained from the project is already being exploited to support customers of research organisations and SMEs. For example, Numeca customers have already expressed interest in the new Aerogust technology: this will thus impact across many sectors.

At Dassault a new state of the art method for gust loads computation has been shown to offer benefits on current aircraft which will be exploited in future. The work of University of Cape Town, University of Bristol and University of Liverpool will be exploited via further developments for civil aircraft in collaboration with Airbus.

Valeol will exploit the methods developed in the project to bring increased accuracy into their design process. The in-service data will be exploited within the company and in collaboration with INRIA to update and validate new methods.
Aerogust has brought together academic, research and industry experts to investigate new methods for gust loads analysis. These are essential if Europe is to maintain and extend its industrial leadership. The project has investigated efficient high-fidelity methods and explored their range of validity for current aircraft configurations as well as their applicability for future innovative designs that will be needed to protect the environment and the energy supply. The project has developed an innovative numerical gust loads process for use earlier in the design process; it will contribute to improving European industrial competitiveness by reducing reliance on wind tunnel testing. By reducing reliance on wind tunnel testing in this way, a faster exploration of the design space using Reduced Order Models, that have also been investigated in the project, can be achieved. This will enable the European aerospace industry to produce superior products at reduced cost.

The project will impact positively on the environment thanks to developing methods that will ultimately lead to lighter aircraft structures with lower fuel burn levels and hence reductions in CO2 emissions that will help meet Flightpath2050 targets. The technology developed in AEROGUST will have direct application in improving wind turbine design, for which gusts are a dominant issue. The transfer of knowledge in AEROGUST will therefore improve the efficiency of this green technology.

AEROGUST has had a positive impact in delivering international collaboration for innovation and fostering new partnerships which will help integrate new knowledge into industry after the project. Aerogust has facilitated the education and training of the next generation of researchers and engineers who will be vital to meeting the challenging FlightPath 2050 targets and securing employment within the European Industry. This aligns with the goal of prioritising education. 5 PhD students and 3 Masters students had training within the project, before entering industry or continuing with academic research. One Research Assistant has taken up a PhD position. Early stage researchers have continued onto other research contracts, moved into industry and one has taken an assistant professorship at an Italian university.