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  • Clean Sky - Riblets, Fluidics and Nanostuff
    Posted by Graham Warwick 5:26 PM on Feb 12, 2010

    Europe's Cleai Sky joint technology initiative is gathering pace, with an information day held on Feb. 9 in Madrid to discuss the third call for research proposals under the seven-year, Euro 1.6 billion program. So far, under Calls 1 and 2, 60 proposals worth Euro 13.5 million have been selected. Together they involve 123 participants - 43 of them SMEs - led by France, just ahead of the UK, then Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and a host of others.

    The third round calls for proposals on 45 topics across Clean Sky's integrated technology demonstrations (ITD), with Euro 12.4 million in funding available.

    Under the Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft ITD, Call 3 seeks proposals on techologies for planned high-speed and low-speed demonstrators. The high-speed demonstrator, an Airbus A340 with modified "smart" wing, will flight-test passive and active flow and load control systems to reduce drag. The low-speed demonstrator, a Dassault Falcon or Airbus A320, will test a low-drag high-lift system.

    Specific topics include development of robotic devices to apply riblets - a thin micro-grooved film that reduces the friction drag caused by turbulent flow over the aircraft's skin. Another is to study a device to clean the wing leading-edge of insects to promote drag-reducing laminar flow. Other topics include techniques for field repair of composite structures.

    Also sought are proposals to build a ground-based demonstrator of an integrated leading edge for a natural laminar-flow wing on a short-range airliner. This is to include high-lift and ice-protection systems, as well as protection from lightning and bird strikes.

    Other topics are looking at active flow control on the wing trailing edge and deployed flaps to increase lift and reduce drag, including fluidic and pneumatic flow-control actuators and fluidic sensors to detect flow separation on the high-lift flaps.

    Research topics under the Green Regional Aircraft ITD are focused on lightweight composite structures with embedded sensors for real-time structural health monitoring. Other topics in Call 3 include modifying carbonfiber composite resins with nano-particles to increase toughness and stiffness; and adding carbon nanotubes to carbonfiber to improve mechanical, electrical and thermal properties.

    Also under the regional-aircraft ITD, Call 3 seeks proposals for research into low-noise configurations, including an adaptive outer wing structure that would passively deform to optimize lift/drag.

    blog post photo
    Tiltrotor concept: Clean Sky JU

    Topics under the Green Rotorcraft ITD, meanwhile, include integration studies for installation of a diesel engine in a light helicopter (the EC120); airframe drag reduction on a tiltrotor and fuselage, mast-fairing and rotor-hub drag reduction on a helicopter; and advanced active and passive rotor-blade studies.

    Tags: AWT, EC, CleanSky

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