Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ESTERA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 278268
Funded under: FP7-JTI

Smart air flow control in aircraft wings

EU-funded scientists developed novel intelligent control of air flow on a wing's surface to enhance lift efficiency. The technology promises to reduce drag, fuel consumption and emissions as well as operating costs.
Smart air flow control in aircraft wings
Active flow control by sensing conditions and responding to them intelligently is an important area of research in the aeronautics industry. To further this effort, EU-funded scientists developed a closed-loop control (CLC) system for active flow control actuation at a wing's trailing edge within the context of the project ESTERA .

Numerical simulations were employed to investigate various aerodynamic concepts and control techniques after the introduction of sensors and actuators under designated operational conditions. The final CLC system was designed to control flow on the upper flap surface during deflection and retraction. This was achieved with an air blowing system situated at the airfoil main body trailing edge. It employed electromagnetic valves as fluidic actuators and pressure on the flap trailing edge as the control parameter. Experimental wind tunnel tests validated against numerical simulations confirmed improvement in the air-foil lift coefficient. In addition, the CLC system passed all environmental tests.

Commercialisation of ESTERA technology promises an important decrease in the environmental impact of air transport through reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Reduced transport costs as a result of lower fuel consumption will also boost the competitive position of the EU aerospace industry in the global market.

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