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Nacelle cowl NExt generation Opening System

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NNEOS (Nacelle cowl NExt generation Opening System)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-12-31

With the new UHBR engines, the design of cowls is moving towards a split concept, which divides the thrust reverser cowling system in two parts: external and internal cowls. The internal cowls bring new challenges to the cowl opening system, due to the highly constraint space allocation, high temperature and vibration environment.

NNEOS has developed an innovative nacelle cowl opening system based on electromechanical actuation to allow complete accessibility to the engine and nacelle components and consequently will help to drastically improve maintainability of the whole system. The NNEOS concept is compact, safe, reliable, easy to operate and able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions required.
In addition, NNEOS concept integrates dual functionality to both lock and release the cowls, which will bring significant progress beyond the state of the art, reducing the part count, the space and the weight of the equipment needed to operate the thrust reverser or the fan cowls.

The main characteristics of the developed technology are:
>The fully electrical actuation system improves safety and accessibility to engine zones for maintenance/reparation through the development of an electromechanical actuator that integrates the functionalities of opening/closing the cowls as well as holding them at the open position during maintenance task.
> The actuation system has been developed for exigent environmental requirements. The motor and the electronic control unit has been designed , manufactured and tested at critical temperatures and vibrational levels.
>The solution optimizes weight and dimensions with a design that favours the integration within the nacelle available space envelope.
>The solution contributes to the reduction of the development time of the future engine architectures through the optimisation of system integration for the power plant systems Provide a friendly design that is easy to use but ensures a safe operation of the nacelles
>The solution contributes to a 2-3% fuel burnt reduction (and consequent decrease of emissions) by enabling the use of UHBR engines.
>TRL 5 (component or breadboard validation in a relevant environment) assessment has been obtained for each component (motor & ECU). A high fidelity demonstration test model of components motor and ECU have been built and functional, performances and environmental test have been carried out.
During the project the following tasks have been completed:

- Specification definition in close collaboration between the topic manager
-Preliminary design of the system
- Development tests of some critical subsystems.
- Detail design of the whole system (EMA (Electromechanical Actuator), ECU (Electronic Control Unit) and electric motor)
- Test plan definition.
- ECU and motor components manufacuring and acquisition.
- ECU and motor successful individual assembly and testing.
- ECU and motor successful integration.
- ECU and motor acceptance and performance tests performed successfully.
- ECU and motor environmental tests (temperature, vibration and electrical tests) performed with successfull results.

In terms of commercial exploitation of the results of the NNEOS program, one of the main objectives is to develop new products which add value to the aerospace industry, such as easier maintenance, cost and weight reduction, environmental sustainability, etc. which can therefore be commercialized, creating new revenue sources.
Particularly for the NNEOS program, the technology for high temperature Electro-Mechanical Actuator Systems (EMAs) can be used in demanding requirements within the engine environment, resulting in optimized maintenance activities and reduced costs, as well as the environmental advantages of using fully electrical actuators.
CESA has been present in the following events and a specific brochure on electromechanical R&D projects (including NNEOS) has been produced.
• FEINDEF: November 3-5th 2021| Madrid .
• ADM Sevilla: Junio 7-9, 2022 | Sevilla
• Farnborough: : Julio 18- 22, 2022 |UK
• ILA: Junio 22-26, 2022 | Berlin
CESA has also posted news about NNEOS project on its own website.
The specific innovation capacities of the technology developed under the framework of NNEOS will radically shorten the gap between concept and product. This effort will give as a result new and innovative product that will be based in Europe and will help to increase European competitiveness.
To address the industry competitiveness, NNEOS will enable the European aero-equipment industry to provide the solutions that in turn enable the European aero-engines industry to provide airframers with new aircraft engines with significant gains in propulsion efficiency and fuel burn and CO2 emission rates.
In this global scenario, the NNEOS concept for the cowl opening system will have a remarkable impact on the Competitiveness Position and Sustainable Development of the European Aeronautic Industry, combining two of the trends targeted for the next generation of aircrafts:
• New propulsion systems with attractive fuel burn benefits at aircraft level: UHBR engines offers reduced weight, drag and specific fuel consumption compared to the current configurations.
• Use of more electrically powered systems to exploit its potential benefits when used instead of hydraulic ones: energy saving, weight reduction, reduction of maintenance operations, leakage-related problems, overall improvement of fuel efficiency and emission rates and health monitoring system compatibility.
The technology developed will open the door to high performance, environment friendly and economic aircraft operation by better exploiting the available weight and fuel burn reduction potentials of new design philosophies without compromising the existing safety of aircraft operations and improving maintenance operations. In particular, this technology will contribute to:
• Rethink actuation systems for cowling equipment, adapting to the volume and environmental constraints of the new nacelle architectures which brings high value for integration of UHBR engines.
• Increase the competitiveness of the European aeronautical industry by developing new and advanced eco-efficient technologies, with a concept that may be applicable not only to cowling systems, but to a variety of aircraft systems.
• Provide a step forward in the technology capability of environmentally friendly systems: integration of advanced technologies. :
• Meeting societal needs for environmentally friendly and safe validation processes.
• Contribution to reach EMA cost targets fixed by airframers by means of standardisation and off-the-shelf components integration.
• Improve fuel consumption management.
• Compliance with European and global initiatives towards sustainable mobility and societal changes.
Thus, the benefits to be reached from the implementation of NNEOS technology will give the European aerospace industry the opportunity to provide better solutions (operational, environmental and technological) than their competitors, to reduce the direct operating costs and thus to increase their market share, becoming more independent from the dominant North American aeronautics industry.