Flying made clean and efficient
Aviation is a globalized branch of economic activity that must set standards for ecological and socio-economic acceptance. That’s why at Fraunhofer IBP, we conduct research on new aircraft architectures in a way that drives value creation, so that aircraft are more ecologically friendly while providing passengers with maximum comfort and performance. In civil aviation, the focus is always on safety, well being and health. Every development in this environment – regarding materials, life support systems or even in-cabin reading lamps – must satisfy a system-of-systems approach. Fraunhofer IBP’s Aviation business unit makes a noteworthy contribution in the pursuit of this goal.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft continues to play a leading role in the Joint Technology Initiative Clean Sky, currently the largest and most important aeronautical research program in Europe with a project volume of some 1.6 billion euros. More than 900 employees from various institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are actively involved in this research program, which is funded by the European Commission. Clean Sky’s objective is to increase the competitiveness of Europe’s aviation industry and reduce environmental impact by cutting emissions and noise in modern aircraft. The structure of the Clean Sky Initiative is based on six different technological areas, known as the Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITD), in which preliminary studies are carried out. Certain technologies are then selected and further refined to facilitate integration.
Fraunhofer IBP is involved with three of the ITD systems:
- Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft
- System for Green Operations
- eco DESIGN
As a co-leader for eco DESIGN, Fraunhofer IBP holds responsibility for the following areas:
- Thermal bench demonstrator for the eco DESIGN systems project (Holzkirchen)
- End-of-life demonstration for the eco DESIGN airframe project
- Aeroacoustics test and analysis as well as noise-attenuation measures in green regional aircraft (GRA) for the Low-Noise Configuration domain
- Global "ecolonomic" (ecological and economic) assessment in the Technology Evaluator
Highlights and outlook
Fraunhofer IBP has successfully developed a new method for the aeroacoustic design of aircraft components. For evaluating the optimized wing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were used to analyze transient air streams in various configurations – such as with extended landing flaps, conventional slats and lowered wing trailing edge. Radiated wing noise was calculated by applying computational aeroacoustics (CAA) in a way compatible with the CFD calculations. The researchers validated the "all-electric concept" for mechanics and power requirements in a wind tunnel.
As part of the eco DESIGN ITD, newly developed materials and components are tested to see if they interfere with or encourage air quality or on-board system performance. Fraunhofer IBP’s Flight Test Facility can simulate in-flight pressure, temperature and moisture conditions. With regard to future ecological demands on aircraft components, Fraunhofer IBP’s long-standing expertise in the area of life-cycle analysis (according to ISO 14040) helps protect the value chain management of Clean Sky partners against risks.