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Aerodynamic rigs for VHBR IP turbine

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - ORBIT (Aerodynamic rigs for VHBR IP turbine)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2020-12-31

The ORBIT project targets the environmental and competitiveness challenge of the European aeronautics sector, by addressing the topic of experimental validation rig testing to develop aerodynamic technologies for the multi-stage IP turbine of the Very High Bypass Ratio engine (VHBR).

The advancement of multi-stage IP Turbine technologies, as an important contributor to the VHBR engine concept, will participate significantly to the global objectives from Clean Sky2, which aim towards achievement of ACARE flight-path 2050 ambitious goals about CO2, NOx and Noise emissions.

The global objectives of this project are therefore aligned with the targets marked by Rolls-Royce for the Middle of Market Technology configuration. This project will deliver individual improvements in sub-system technology developments, to support the overall development of system level technologies capable of delivering substantial reductions in emissions.

The specific objectives of CTA as partner, include all the tasks to permit the experimental validation of relevant aerodynamic technologies (i.e. design, manufacture, assembly and finally testing and post-processing), including the test of innovative geometries to assess the improved losses and reduction in the generated noise. Comparison of the former results with relevant reference rig tests will be performed, as an opportunity to integrate the new knowledge and enable the application of the innovations.

To guarrantee the success of ORBIT project, it is required to develop European world-class test capability that includes the acquisition of testing and measurement. Experience from the participation in previous R&T European programmes is key to minimize program risks and deliver successfully aerodynamic rig test programmes in the required time scales.

Finally, the ORBIT project considers activities for the dissemination and exploitation of the results to maximize the expected impact on competitiveness
Test campaign of VT4-1 and VT4-3 rig have been completed. The main objective of these rigs was the experimental validation of the aerodynamic and aero-acoustic technologies required for the last stages of VHBR IP turbines rear stages up to technology readiness level TRL 4.

The work performed for both rigs, includes all the definition activities that are necessary to accomplish test objectives, such as the detailed mechanical design of all the parts, including those required to adapt the rig to the test facility, mechanical assesment and hardware procurement, the rig assembly, test preparation activities, and the completion of the rig testing.

Detailed measurements of aerodynamic characterization and noise performance of all the rows have been obtained in test campaign of VT4-1 and VT4-3 rigs.

Test campaign of rig VT4-2, have been completed during the fourth period. VT4-2 rig objective is focused on experimental validation of Oulet Guide Vane design representative of VHPR IP turbine.
Main added value to present state-of-the-art is the development of the specific aerodynamic and aeroacoustic technologies required for multi-stage IP turbine for the VHBR engine applications.

Differences of this new turbine configuration compared to those used in current state-of-the-art civil large turbofans, are more than remarkable. The main technical challenges are related to the increment in rotational speed and the turbine entry temperature.

Aerodynamic and aeroacoustic technologies required to design an efficient and low-noise turbine for the new high demanding architecture, are not currently available. The validation of these technologies up to TRL 4-5 within ORBIT project, will enable to advance beyond the state-of-the-art for the new VHBR engines.

Among Clean Sky 2 programme all the Engine ITD demonstrators and technologies are the most important contributors to the CO2 emission reduction aimed in H2020. This project is specifically focused on development of aerodynamic and aeroacoustic technologies, that will reduce CO2 , SFC and noise emissions.

The technologies that will be ultimately deployed from the results obtained in ORBIT Project, will ensure that Europe retains a fully competitive large civil engine capability.

In the last decades European aviation has successfully risen to a world leader through the combined efforts of public and private European entities, including major companies, SMEs as well as academia and research laboratories. Even though the global aviation market is increasing, Europe must ensure the continued success and economic contribution of its aviation industry by investing continuously and heavily in key enabling concepts, technologies and systems.

ORBIT project will provide innovative experimental capabilities to explore and understand the enabler technologies associated to the challenges of the VHBR IP turbine within the new engine architecture, that will contribute to achieve European engine industry competitivness objectives by developing enabling technologies towards cleaner and quieter aircraft according to the Flightpath 2050 goals.

As this project is addressing the environmental aspects of noise and air quality, it indirectly contributes on the one hand to meet the citizens needs for mobility while on the other hand helps to increase the acceptance of such mobility impacts in local communities in the neighbourhood around airports. This contribution is in line with the EU policy aiming at reducing emissions from the aviation sector to address those market and societal needs.
VT4-1 rig during test campaign