Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - INNOVATE (The systematic Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies)

This ambitious Aerospace programme sought to train, nurture and develop the skillset of thirteen Early Stage Researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Initial Training Network, InNovATe: The systematic Integration of Novel Aerospace. The expertise of the team was broad, ranging from electrical and mechanical engineers to human factors specialists and computer scientists. In addition to their residence in the Aerospace Technology Centre, each ESR was placed in one of the many leading research groups across the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham. In their research groups they pursued their individual PhD’s and in the Aerospace Technology Centre they performed aerospace themed collaborative work; a UAV design, make and test, team project at the start and seven cross-disciplinary demonstrators exploring the future of aerospace at the end of the project. A summary of their training, publications record, PhD completions,future destinations and project work is as follows:

Throughout the programme, ESRs have jointly attended Aerospace Summer and Winter Schools focussing on key technical software including PACE suite, Finite Element Software and Computational Fluid Dynamics. They have attended 23 university modules, 198 internal training courses, 42 external training courses, 48 international conferences and 2 International Airshows, further exposing them to the Aerospace industry. They have also undertaken stimulating placements across European aerospace industries, many leading to job offers.

***Publications to date***
To date, 39 publications have been produced from this programme; 11 in peer reviewed journals and 28 at international conferences. The number of peer-reviewed journals will increase to at least 22 as ESRs publish final work from their theses.

***PhD completions and future destinations***
Three ESRs have successfully passed their vivas with minor corrections, a further 3 have submitted and the remaining 7 will submit by either the end of October or November. 9 ESRs have secured excellent industrial positions within European companies including Rolls Royce, Dyson, Airbus, Siemens, Thales, Cambridge Mechatronics and European Space Agency; 3 have secured academic positions at the University of Nottingham, the University of Teesside and the University of Chile.

In line with the project objectives for each work package, the following text outlines the work performed across the programme, both individually and as a team:

**WP1**Objective: Investigating technologies toward higher pressure-temperature cycles and the more electric engine (WP1)

ESR1 completed CFD analysis of the radial gap air-riding seal system by analysing the fluid film characteristics for shaft perturbations by carrying out 2-way Fluid-System Interaction (FSI) analyses. A purpose built test-rig was used to run experimental tests to determine the stiffness and damping properties of the fluid film.

ESR2 demonstrated the numerical (CFD) modelling of the air/oil flows with heat transfer in an aero-engine bearing chamber. For the first time, the Volume of Fluid (VOF) technique was implemented on a real geometry, moving beyond the past simplified applications. The analyses performed highlighted the strong effect of turbulence damping scaling on the accuracy of the results, and led to the definition of new guidelines for future analyses and research work.

ESR 3 completed work developing strategies to minimise the Electro Mechanical Interactions (EMI) within aircraft power systems, where the behaviour of electrical loads (on/off, transient etc.) produce transient vibrations on the engine shaft. To alleviate this effect, the work has developed a novel loading method based on the Posicast Strategy for PMS applications, which minimises the interactions between electrical and mechanical systems.

ESR 4 has converted an electrical machine into a bearingless machine through the application of electromagnetic forces on a rotating shaft. He developed a control system for the electromagnetic actuator which allows it to act on the dynamic vibration of the shaft. This system also produced a damping effect which reduced the vibration of the shaft and a provided a damping injection to avoid critical speed experienced by the shaft.

**WP2**Objective: Investigating drag reducing, electrical actuations and structural technologies (WP2)

ESR5 characterised the magnetic properties of high-silicon steel produced via Selective Laser Melting (SLM); he showed that for some of the most important magnetic properties the SLM samples were comparable, or surpassed, samples manufactured using traditional processes. An algorithm was also developed enabling the free-form design optimization of an electrical rotor core; the optimised design was 50% lighter and can only be manufactured using SLM.

ESR6 investigated numerous active flow controls and turbulent drag reduction for application on aircraft wings based on disruption of hairpin vortices. An original procedure to identify outer coherent motions in turbulent channels was developed using image processing and pattern recognition. Work also explored laser energy deposition to produce a remote flow perturbation which destroys hairpin eddies directly from the near-wall region.

ESR7’s work has addressed the problem of controlling the unsteady flow separation over an aerofoil using plasma actuators, with the aim of improving the performance of fluid systems through the use of robust feedback controllers. A robust multivariable feedback control algorithm was designed, on the basis of a novel low-order, linear, dynamical model approximating the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, using the plasma actuators' voltage as the control inputs and realistically available real-time velocity measurements as the control outputs.

ESR8 developed a novel stiffening method which can be applied to aircraft wings that exploits internal pressure and gives high mechanical performance under bending loads. During his placement at DLR (Germany) he worked on the FEA of imperfect cylinders prone to buckling, developing a technique to implement real imperfections into Finite Element (FE) models and analyse these against buckling with high accuracy.

**WP3** Objective: Investigating technologies aimed at green ground take off operations (WP3)

ESR9 completed the design and analyses of a novel motor topology to actively achieve engagement / disengagement from the aircraft wheel along with experimental validation of the proposed concept. The work culminated in the realisation of a small prototype of the mechatronic system for demonstrating the concept of wheel engagement.

ESR10 investigated the effects of airport layout on the delays that can occur during taxiing of aircraft. The work constructed an integrated model that solves gate allocation problems by taking into consideration aircraft ground movements. Furthermore, a faster routing algorithm was developed that uses a heuristic to find the remaining time to the destination.

ESR 11’s work considered the feasibility of different technologies for electromagnetic launch systems to assist civil aircraft take-off. Results showed that only 50% to 60% of the actual runway length is required, reduced usage of engines at take-off could allow a fuel saving of approximately 19.6%, a noise emission reduction of 66% and an exhaust emission reduction of 20.8% at ground level. The work was validated using an experimental rig to launch a UAV weighing 4.5 kg.

**WP4** Objective: Enhancing the reliability of GNSS and communication (WP4)

ESR12 analysed the integration of the ARAIM (Advanced Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring) algorithm using various innovative approaches to test the integrity of performance prediction, going beyond the basic real-time function. Results showed that dedicated systems need to be developed and integrated into the flight management system if the ARAIM technique is to be used as an on-board system for integrity monitoring. Further results confirmed that a dual-constellation GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver might not be sufficient for all scenarios, supporting the need for an international collaboration of multi-GNSS applications.

ESR13 explored the physiological reaction of people subjected to various levels of workload. Various laboratory studies have been performed showing the feasibility of using multiple physiological parameters to predict the level of workload experienced by the participant. The studies also revealed that the same physiological parameters do not work equally well for all participants.

**WP5** Objective: Integration of various technologies into a virtual demonstrator
ESRs combined their research work to develop seven physical demonstrators showcasing their cross-disciplinary research work, a short description of each is as follows:

1. Future transmission systems in aero engines (ESR1,2,3,4) - the demonstrator highlights the impact of an electrical generator and a bearing-less machine on the vibrations and sealing of a rotating shaft.

2. Novel pressurised wing structures (ESR8) - the demonstrator culminates the design, manufacture and test of a wing prototype exploiting internal pressure methods.

3. 3D printed rotors for electrical machines (ESR4,5) - the demonstrator showcases a topology optimised electrical rotor core which has been manufactured using Selective Laser Melting and a novel magnetic powder material composition developed by ESR5.

4. Electric catapult for civilian aircraft (ESR 11) - The catapult demonstrator is a fully functioning scale Electromagnetic UAV launcher used to validate civilian aircraft launch methods.

5. Integrating new cockpit technologies to improve pilot experience (ESR10,12,13) - This demonstrator consists of a test cockpit used to amalgamate and investigate the integration of GNSS (ESR12), physiological monitoring (ESR13) and aircraft routing algorithms (ESR10).

6. Green Taxiing (ESR9) - This demonstrator showcased improvements to the green taxi motor initiative through the development of a novel mechatronic system. The integrated clutch prevents damage to motors by disengaging upon landing.

7. Development of a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuator for Flow Separation Control and Drag reduction (ESR6,7) – This demonstrator showcases the development an active Dielectric-Barrier-Discharge actuator which can ionise air and produce a plasma jet from a wing surface to control flow separation under gust condition.

***See for videos of ESRs describing their integrated projects***

***Further information:***
Project website:
Project co-ordinator: Prof. Hervé Morvan ( )
Deputy Project co-ordinator: Dr. Jason Atkin (

Reported by

United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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