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FLOCOSYS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 270531
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Germany

Keeping air flow over aircraft under control

Scientists developed and tested novel technology for the active control of aircraft using pulsed jets of compressed air. The system actuator has no electrical or moving parts, and promises robust and effective modulation.
Keeping air flow over aircraft under control
Active flow control (AFC) systems for the aerospace sector, as their name implies, actively control the flow of air over or around an aircraft component to improve efficiency or performance. AFC of flap systems using pulsed blowing can potentially shift stall onset. Scientists initiated the EU-funded project 'Efficient system for flow control actuation' (FLOCOSYS) to equip real-scale aircraft with AFC technology, including the actuator system and compressed air generator, distributor and conditioner system.

Actuators are basically transducers, changing an input signal that is often electrical in nature into an output signal that is often mechanical. FLOCOSYS used a novel actuator core with no moving or electrical parts (flueric), relying only on a supply of pressurised air. Developed by the scientists in a previous research project, this was integrated into the AFC architecture and the system was subjected to extensive and successful ground tests simulating various critical scenarios.

The flueric actuator is extremely robust and experiments demonstrated that the AFC system incorporating it is capable of very good flow control. Scientists have advanced understanding of AFC for civil aircraft and expect certification of the actuator to follow shortly. Active control of flow over aircraft components is an important and effective way to decrease turbulence, increase stability and enhance safety, and FLOCOSYS has delivered a reliable and effective way to achieve it.

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