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Composite AeroelasTics ANd Aeroacoustics

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CATANA (Composite AeroelasTics ANd Aeroacoustics)

Reporting period: 2022-09-01 to 2023-12-31

The aeronautical industry faces persistent challenges in advancing technological capabilities, particularly in the development of Ultra-High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) turbofan engines. Prevailing knowledge gaps hinder the predictive capabilities of current design methods, particularly in understanding composite material behavior and multi-physical interactions occuring in turbomachinery. Incremental improvements are insufficient to establish UHBR concepts in the aeronautical industry, necessitating a more fundamental approach.

Maintaining Europe's competitiveness in the global market relies heavily on technological advancements in the aeronautical sector. The aeronautical industry plays a crucial role in societal and economic development, facilitating global connectivity and transportation. However, technological stagnation could jeopardize Europe's position in the global market and hinder economic growth. Additionally, advancements in aeronautical technology have broader societal implications, including environmental sustainability and noise reduction, which directly impact public well-being and quality of life.

Project CATANA aims to contribute to industrial advancements in several key areas:

-Develop methodologies to enhance current design procedures, particularly in utilizing composite materials for rotor blades.
-Provide an open-test-case representative of near-future applications, serving as a valuable validation tool for industry use.
-Investigate intentional mistuning and inlet geometry to inspire future design procedures and fully exploit the potential of UHBR concepts.
-Address rising fuel costs by developing UHBR concepts aligned with fuel-burn efficiency trends.
-Advance understanding of multi-physical fluid-structure interactions, with broad industrial applicability across sectors.

Overall, CATANA seeks to bridge critical knowledge gaps, stimulate innovation, and promote collaboration within the European research community, positioning Europe at the forefront of aeronautical advancements.
Project CATANA, a collaboration between Ecole Centrale de Lyon and the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, aims to advance UHBR turbofan engines by addressing aerodynamics and aeroelastics knowledge gaps. Fabrication of the ECL5 fan included 48 carbon-fiber composite blades, with both tuned and mistuned rotor configurations. Experimental investigations on the ECL-B3 facility in Lyon from December 2022 to July 2023 analyzed the fan's behavior, revealing insights into stability and performance.

Results showed good agreement between experimental and numerical designs in total pressure ratio and stage efficiency. Structural characterization confirmed the tuned system's validity, while significant blade-to-blade variations in aerodynamic field measurements were observed. Different phenomena, including rotating stall and convective vibrations, were noted near the stability limit, aiding in understanding lock-in mechanisms.

CATANA's sensitivity analysis assessed performance and instability mechanisms under various conditions, influencing stage performance and stability. Despite challenges, results provide valuable insights for future research and collaboration within the European research community. The openly shared ECL5 geometry and data form a robust foundation for validating simulations and advancing turbomachinery research.

Exploitation possibilities include improving computational methods, predicting multi-physical coupling processes, deriving design laws for mistuning, utilizing asymmetry to attenuate NSV, accessing Open-Test-Case data, and developing novel vibration analysis methods. These avenues offer opportunities for cost savings, enhanced competitiveness, and accelerated innovation, aligning with EU initiatives promoting collaboration and sustainability. CATANA's focus on advancing methods resonates with EU policies promoting technological progress and competitiveness. Moreover, its commitment to open access and collaboration contributes to EU goals of fostering innovation and sustainability.

The already published results of project CATANA encompass 10 journal articles and 12 conference publications, with 6 further manuscripts accepted for publication in 2024. The test case is used by 16 international research institutions and further interest of the community is expected upon release of the final experimental dataset, anticipated for April 2024.
The whole concept of Project CATANA is dedicated to the philosophy laid out in the H2020 Open Access Pilot. CATANA's contributions extend beyond technical advancements to stimulate research, innovation, and collaboration within the European research community. By providing open access to datasets and methodologies, the project promotes democratization of knowledge and promote interdisciplinary cooperation. Moreover, CATANA's focus on environmental sustainability aligns with European Union technology programs, aiming to surpass emission reduction goals. The manifold of research opportunities arising from the CATANA outcomes can be a key enabler for more collaborative and purposeful actions within the European research community.
The availability of a composite-fan representative open-test-case is of undisputed value for the European Research community for interdisciplinary method development and validation. The proposed fan stage is not only an improvement of existing test cases but will be the first one available at all, which is openly shared including geometry, structural properties and multi-physical steady and transient measurement data.

CATANA's groundbreaking advancements in UHBR turbofan engine development have propelled it beyond the state of the art. Through research into aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and aeroelastics, the project has refined methodologies and validated them with extensive experimental data. These efforts not only enhance predictive capabilities but also increase their relevance to industrial applications, driving progress in turbomachinery design, materials, and performance. By addressing prevailing knowledge gaps on multi-physical interactions, CATANA paves the way for the widespread adoption of UHBR concepts, promising substantial reductions in cabin and community noise due to lower fan rotation speeds compared to current engines. Moreover, the project's innovations offer significant potential for reducing CO2 and NOx emissions, thereby mitigating climate change impacts.

CATANA's societal impacts are profound, offering solutions to environmental challenges while promoting sustainability in air travel. By advancing UHBR concepts, the project contributes to global efforts in combating climate change and air pollution, aligning with broader goals of economic growth and societal well-being. In summary, CATANA represents a paradigm shift in the aeronautical industry, advancing in an era characterized by innovation, collaboration, and sustainability on a global scale.
Overview of test cell PHARE-2 / ECL-B3
Installation of fan EC5/CATANA in machine core
Front view of fan ECL5/CATANA