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AEROGUST Report Summary

Project ID: 636053
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AEROGUST (Aeroelastic Gust Modelling)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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. In order to meet this challenge, and to meet the environmental targets of Flightpath 2050, there is a need to be able to rapidly adapt aircraft designs e.g. to make them more environmentally friendly and improve the customer and airline industry experience. 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 has therefore decided to focus on one specific important area - to investigate and develop improved simulation methods for gusts to allow radical aircraft design changes.

AEROGUST is a state of the art engineering computer simulation project that investigates how gusts interact with aircraft. Gust (or turbulence) loads are of critical importance to aircraft design as they often define the maximum stresses which aircraft encounter in flight. Currently the gust loads processes used within industry are based on linear methods, corrected with experimental data from wind tunnel experiments. This makes it difficult to rapidly assess adaptations of designs and places a limitation on innovations for which the linear assumptions may not be valid.

The AEROGUST project aims to develop a more accurate simulation-based gust loads process using reduced order models (ROMs) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that will decrease reliance on wind tunnel testing - cutting lead times and helping to produce superior products at lower cost. This enhanced simulation technology will include a more sophisticated representation of real world physics and allow a faster exploration of the design space which may lead to more environmentally friendly aircraft and novel configurations.

To achieve this, the AEROGUST participants will be producing cutting edge research with an industrial focus. The three main objectives are:

• To carry out investigations using CFD so that the non-linearities in gust interactions are understood;
• To create a gust loads process that can be used with or without wind tunnel data and hence reduces the need for wind tunnel testing;
• To develop updated reduced order models for gust prediction that account for aerodynamic and structural non-linearities at an acceptable cost.

Whilst the project mainly focusses on the problems associated with aeroelastic aircraft, the fundamental physics is common to large wind turbines which means the methodology of AEROGUST will find direct application in wind turbine design. This is a real advantage for the project and means that in the future wind turbines could be placed in areas such as the Arctic Circle and below the tropics, where the wind shear and gusts loads are currently prohibitive due to structural overdesign.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In order to ensure the success of the objectives, the project is divided into four technical work packages that are further broken down into tasks with the task leader responsible for achieving the milestones and deliverables. A fifth work package (WP1) has been defined to ensure a clear focus on project management, dissemination and exploitation activities within the project.

AEROGUST has enjoyed a successful first period of activities, with good working relationships being forged between partners. Key highlights of work performed so far show the AEROGUST project has successfully:

• Established a project management structure that has implemented management processes and maintained the social media account of the project, public website and monitored other activities;
• Developed a dissemination strategy;
• Produced a Solution Data Base and implemented a Research Data Storage Facility;
• Identified common test cases to use for comparison of methods;
• Implemented and tested a range of CFD approaches for simulating gusts including FVM, SVM, GEM, resolved gusts (via boundary conditions) and inviscid DNS. Surveyed and characterised LES/DES methods for simulations performed;
• Implemented a range of nonlinear structural finite element models;
• Performed aeroelastic simulations using Field and Split Velocity Methods;
• Recreated a typical industrial loads process. Standard gust analysis performed on some of the common test cases. Alternative methods for correcting standard loads process (DLM) using data from CFD investigated;
• Developed aerodynamic ROMs capable of simulation gust interactions. Extension of linear ROMs methods to include non-linearities. Made improvements to nonlinear ROM approaches;
• Developed a non-linear modal structural ROM method;
• Undertaken preparation of Cartesian/Bodyfitted incompressible Navier-Stokes solver for simulating wind turbines encountering gusts;
• Undertaken preparation for measuring correlated wind data and blade behaviour of a wind turbine;
• Initial comparison and evaluation of results

Dissemination activities have occurred in various forms including public events, academic conferences, and technical workshops. These activities will increase in the next period as the research matures and produces more publishable results.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

AEROGUST brings together academic, research and industry experts to promote intellectual leadership in aerospace. The project will contribute to the goals of improving European industrial competitiveness by reducing reliance on wind tunnel testing through developing an innovative numerical gust loads process. By reducing reliance on wind tunnel testing in this way, a faster exploration of the design space using Reduced Order Models can be achieved – enabling the European aerospace industry to produce superior products at reduced cost.

The project is in its first period of activities and therefore the progress beyond the state of the art and the socio-economic impacts are difficult to fully evaluate at this stage.
AEROGUST expects to have a positive impact in terms of delivering international collaboration for innovation and fostering new partnerships which will help integrate new knowledge into industry after the project end. The participants will work towards building the next generation of talent to populate the sector, which is still one of the most significant within the Community, thereby serving to secure employment within the European industry.

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. Lowering aircraft fuel burn will result in reductions in CO2 emissions that will go a significant way to meeting the 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.

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