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SIPAL Report Summary

Project ID: 255742
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - SIPAL (Development and Manufacture Scoop Intake and Channel incl. ice and debris protection and acoustic absorbers)

Executive Summary:

The EU Clean Sky JTI Project 255742 (know as SIPAL) was devised to develop a ram air scoop and ducting for a new aircraft all-electric Environmental Control System, from a baseline geometry supplied by the project topic management [Airbus Germany] and a developmental performance specification.

This project is an enabler for the European Union initiative to reduce greenhouse gas and noise emissions through the development of a key component in a system which promotes the use of more efficient future aero engines.

The ram air scoop and developmental ECS integration presented some key design considerations for evaluation as part of the Phase 1 program.

The scoop requires ice protection due to the size of the air inlet specified and its position relative to the aircraft structure. It is also subject to the extreme environmental conditions of forward facing aircraft structures such as lightning strike, rain erosion, hail impact and bird strike.

Due to future noise restrictions during ground and flight operations, the scoop required acoustic absorption (abatement) treatment to reduce the overall noise output.

The ice protection architecture has been defined by both GKN and Aerotex UK in association with Airbus Germany. Aerotex simulated the icing conditions using bespoke software to predict the severity and extent of ice accretion. Using this data, GKN created specific heating element designs, to meet the power requirements suggested by the analysis, with the aim of removing ice accretion within acceptable (surface area and thickness) limits.

As a part of this study, GKN has also evaluated a number of new and novel composite manufacturing and material technologies to support future production rates and to generate process development data for lower energy processing of aerospace components.

Project Context and Objectives:


The clean sky SIPAL scoop program is an intake duct, defined by Airbus Hamburg to flow into an ECS compressor designed and manufactured by Leibherr.

The inclusion of the scoop and new compressor has created several design considerations that need to be evaluated as part of this phase 1 program. The scoop has to be ice protected due to the size of the air inlet required and its position relative to the rest of the aircraft structure. It is also subject to environmental conditions such as lightning and rain erosion. Due to the noise of the compressor in both ground and flight operations the scoop also requires acoustic abatement treatment to reduce the overall noise output.

The level of ice protection required has been defined by both GKN and Aerotex UK. Aerotex simulate the various conditions using bespoke software to predict the level of catch. Using this information GKN create specific element design, to achieve the correct power requirements and remove any ice accretion completed by GKN.

As part of this study, GKN have evaluated a number of new and novel technologies to support future production rates and to generate data on new materials and processes.

Aims and objectives of the project:


To design/develop a scoop intake to achieve suitable ice protection and acoustic performance in line with Airbus requirements specification


To design, develop and manufacture a lightweight scoop intake made from CFRP and include the following components

• Erosion shield
• Lightning protection
• Electrically insulated high power heating system (ice protection system)
• Temperature sensing elements
• Acoustic treatment of intake
• Ability to adapt materials into a flight worthy design, process and materials

Project Results:

The scoop project was delivered to schedule and was subsequently tested successfully in an icing wind tunnel. The development of the scoop provided a test bed to validate several high value technologies for GKN. Further activity in the incorporation of out of autoclave preg-preg, deposited erosion shield application and acoustic treatment into ice protected components are to be evaluated. This may be in the form of knowledge transfer partnerships with universities or direct employment of further resource to further research the initial positive findings in the application of these technologies. Component Once acoustically tested and the correct parameters defined, GKN could provide a more accurately tuned acoustic treatment and assessment of the acoustic treatment area required. Should a further phase to this project continue GKN would look to achieve a refined “up to date” method of rapid acoustic treatment such as laser oblation to achieve a higher tolerance and rate.

Potential Impact:

This project allows GKN Europe to compete with USA on the next generation of fuel efficient aircraft. It is important to establish a European capability to compete with the major world-wide supplier, namely Boeing, who has addressed the challenges of integrating new electro-thermal ice protection systems into composite aerofoil structures for the 787 programme. GKN believes this work specifically should lead to a more involved research activity to further integrate the acoustic panelling technology with the electro thermal ice element technology to provide greater noise reduction benefit at airplane level.

Theme 7.1.1 – Greening of Air Transport

This activity is focussed on developing technologies to reduce the environmental impact of aviation specifically with the aims of reducing CO2, NOx and perceived noise.


The integration of an electro-thermal ice protection systems into civil aircraft structures impacts critically on the prospects for the all-electric aircraft, (AAT.2007.1.1.4. Systems and Equipment) notably by removing the need for engine bleed for de-icing and specifically addresses this topic’s call for work to investigate “new concepts for aircraft de-icing” The project also makes a critical contribution to the objectives of (AAT.2007.1.1.3. Propulsion) in that the removal of the requirement for hot gas engine bleed offers the prospect of “improving engine thermal efficiency and reducing secondary air losses” and also in that the delivery of the integrated de-icing technology is essential for the development of “advanced light-weight (eg composite) architectures and components”


The project has a high impact on two main activity areas, AAT.2007.1.1.4. Systems and Equipment, because the system will inform the development of “advanced technologies for optimised flight procedures … including take-off and climbing …approach, descent and landing” for operation in icing conditions. The project also impacts the use of composite structures more generally, as in AAT.2007.1.1.2. Aerostructures, “Advanced concepts and technologies for increased and optimised use of light-weight …composite materials”

3.2 Dissemination and/or exploitation of project results, and management of intellectual property

Exploitation of Project Results; GKN held 2 events to diseminate the data generated from the project. The first was a presentation to the development board of GKN, the second was the display of the demonstartion unit at the farnborough internation airshow, supported by members of the GKN development team

GKN will use its extensive business contacts to exploit the technology to a wide range of aerospace business / markets. GKN is also ideally positioned to look to exploit the technology outside the aerospace community through its other industrial capabilities.

Management of Intellectual Property; the consortium agreement will cover all aspects of IP protection and ownership: the inventor owns the IP with the consortium members able use it.

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