Background and objectives
Systems and equipment play a central role in aircraft operation, flight optimisation and air transport safety, bringing significant benefits in many key areas:
- Environmental - by making a direct contribution to environmental objectives such as optimised green trajectories or electrical taxiing, resulting in reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
- Innovation - by enabling the development of innovative engines or new aircraft configurations
- Optimisation - by bringing new levels of efficiency in air transport system through improving the greening of aviation, and boosting ATS efficiency through the development and integration of on-board systems
- Market demands - by responding to the needs of aircraft operators that are driving higher performance goals while, at the same time, striving to reduce weight and volume.
- Integration - by the customisation, integration and maturation of these individual systems and equipment in IADP demonstrators, enabling assessments of how these new systems prove their value under realistic service conditions.
- Transverse actions - that is to say working cross-functionally with other ‘sister‘ projects which will also be defined to mature processes and technologies with potential impact on all systems, either during development or operational use.
What we have already achieved
The Systems ITD is ambitious and ongoing. Here follows a synopsis of the progress and achievements thus far, plus an update on the status of each of the Work Packages:
- WP1 Avionics Extended Cockpit
In 2017, the flight crew interfaces were detailed, a high fidelity mock-up of the cockpit demonstrator was developed, and more representative evaluations were carried out with pilots. The new cockpit concept was matured to take into account pilots and EASA recommendations as well as new installation variability. The system demonstrator was defined with the initial functional perimeter .
The prototype of the very large interactive Head-Down display with an 18 ”5 touchscreen was successfully tested, reaching TRL 5. Work started on the very high brightness and ‘ eyes out‘ compact full colour micro display for the next generation of ‘eyes-out‘ cockpit products.
Activities on the tactile Interactive Multifunction Display Units progressed to reach TRL 6 and TRL 3 respectively on the small and large IMDU. The new generation of Cursor Control Device reached TRL 5 for the incremental innovations. Voice recognition was integrated in the cockpit concept, and several use cases were explored at TRL 3 in an airborne environment.
Tools oriented around analysis of pilot interaction and behaviour with the new cockpit concept to assess its design were progressed further.
FMS functions were further developed from their 2016 status. The ‘Fly By Trajectory‘ concept aiming at simplifying the aircraft control and guidance management reached TRL 5 on the Vector trajectory, Flight Recovery, and Incidence limit functions, and also attained TRL 5 on vertical navigation in descent and approach, as well as TRL 3 on open world / avionics.
The advanced Modular Surveillance System was progressed up to TRL 5 for the anticipation of risks against terrain, obstructions and weather along a complete flight plan check function.
The objectives of the advanced mission-oriented Flight Warning System concept was defined. The advanced functions for Vision & Awareness were further progressed from their 2016 status.
The Modular Inertial Reference Unit reached TRL 5 on the product architecture, and the incremental innovations of the MEMS accelerometer reached TRL 5 on the new design.
The detailed requirements of the new Integrated Modular Communications concept for cockpit communication systems were defined.
- WP2 Cabin & Cargo
This WP2 has just started with the inclusion of the ACCENT proposal, selected through last call for Core Partners and aiming at developing a set of enabling technologies capable of achieving a step change in the Aircraft Cabin and Cargo (C&C). A global, standardized and open C&C system platform will be developed that will ensure enhanced and interconnected passenger flight experience, more efficiency in logistics and environment-friendly (Halon free) fire suppression systems.
- WP3 Innovative Electrical wing
The Liebherr Smart Integrated Wing Architecture and Demonstrator were progressed in 2017 by the modelling of Reference aircraft and definition of the SIW architecture completed.
Moreover the build-up of the first phase of the SIW demonstrator in the Liebherr laboratory was achieved including the control room & FCS test rig. A significant accomplishment was that in 2017 the build-up of the Smart Integrated Wing Demonstrator Phase 1 set-up was completed.
Technology bricks for the de-centralised Hydraulic Power Pack progressed in respect of the concept selection motor/pump, design and simulation to achieve the PDR milestone at the end 2017. This included risk mitigation tests for the motor and pump components. Long-life EHA testing progressed at the level of tribology-meter wear test which was completed, as well as the running of the pump test rig and the EHA Aileron test unit.
CESA Electro-mechanical flight control technologies for regional aircraft progressed with:
Flap Tab Actuation including linear EMA and ECU. Detail design of the ECU was completed and functional prototypes launched. Meanwhile, the Qualification Plan for both EMA and ECU were defined.
The development of the Aileron back-up SHA and Roll Feel Unit has been completed and test units released for manufacture in 2017. The Development Spoiler and Aileron EMA detail design is in progress, where detail of the EMA electrical motor and ball-screw has been completed.
Conceptual design of the Spoiler/Aileron ECU has been closed, and the preliminary architecture and operational modes have been defined. Also, 2017 saw the completion of the Flap Tap ECU Detail Design.
Safran S&E Smart Active Inceptor trade-off activities have been performed to evaluate the optimum solution for development and tests, and a solution has been agreed for the Backup Electronic Unit (BICU) to secure the Flight Tests. Based on this configuration, a preliminary PDR has been performed and a preliminary equipment specification has been issued for review by an Airframer.
A 3D mockup (CAD) has been provided in order to initiate electromechanical integration in the cockpit, and in parallel, the existing internal design has been improved, to upgrade performance and ergonomics.
The electronic definition has been upgraded in order to accommodate mechanical modifications.
Additional milestones and results accomplished in 2017 include the Preliminary Design Review of the HPP Brick Motor/Pump, reaching TRL3.
- WP4 Landing Gear System
The preliminary concept of the electro-hydraulic main landing gear extension/retraction system was completed, and Smart brake prototype tests and integrations have been completed too, marking the end of the SMART BRAKING EMA activities.
Trade off solutions to reduce the Turn Around Time were identified and the detailed design of the Green Autonomous Taxiing System (GATS) has started, signifying the successful conclusion of the preliminary design phase.
In 2017 the local hydraulic system was progressed, enabling a TRL4 milestone to be reached as well as the completion of PoC testing. The development of a light weight LG structure by the HECOLAG consortium successfully conducted TRL4 readiness for a primary single load path CFRP structure for landing gears. Based on the TRL4 achievement, further detail has been added to the design.
By end of 2107 the HECOLAG consortium had defined the CFRP production tool concept, analysed tool thermal behaviour and conducted performance trials. The lightweight CFRP LG structure reached TRL4 and passed its preliminary design review.
The EMA R/E actuator for rotorcraft has achieved the TRL4 readiness. The development of an electromechanical actuated brake by the CP-project B.E.S.T performed state of the art screening, relative to current friction material availability and existing electrical braking systems, actuators and sensing technologies. Additionally, the first formulation and preliminary benchmark testing activity of innovative friction materials was completed.
In 2017, the specification phase of the Advanced Landing Gear Sensing and Monitoring (ALGeSMo) system was completed. Progress was made with the system design and the test rig passed CDR.
Other milestones and results accomplished in 2017 include the end of trade off, preliminary studies, and beginning of detailed design for E-MLG EHA System and Equipments. And finally there was the kick off meeting with a Partner and achievement of TRL3 at the end of Q4 2017 for the Short Turn Around Time (Short TAT).
- WP5 Electrical chain
Technical working sessions have been underway with the selection of a Core Partner for the HVDC Power Management Centre. The HVDC Commutation Matrix specification was delivered enabling kick off of the HVDC Power Management Centre Core Partner activities. The Commutation matrix design was initiated with the architecture definition and technology trade-off.
A preliminary analysis of the benefits resulting from fast current protection on electrical installation has been performed. Full Digital Generator Control Unit (GCU) design reviews were held - relating to the electrical board design. Also, 2017 saw the launch of the GCU full digital development with the release of the specification released. In addition, voltage control laws simulation and evaluation on HW was set up.
Technical activity on electrical conversion also started (converter topology comparison). In respect of the Innovative Electrical Network, trade-off studies for the HVDC architecture was finalised for the impact on wiring, electrical boxes weight and volume. Additionally, preliminary design reviews (PDR) of EDCU demonstrators were accomplished.
EDCU related technology brick maturity activities were progressed, reaching TRL3 for the high density electrical cabinet, wiring Heath Monitoring, and the Power Module smart control.
In respect of the Power Electronics Module (PEM), technology bricks for this reached TRL3/4 (sic semiconductor’s, cooling technologies) and in 2017 entered into the test phase, and PEM control laws studies continued. Both activities contributed to the definition of a Power Electronics Module specification.
- WP6 Major Loads
The architecture for the new electrical environmental control system (ECS) has been selected. Following comparative analysis, detailed analysis and trade off on AI & LTS architecture and agreement on selection criteria was reached. Candidate Innovative ECS solutions for the main air contaminants under consideration have been narrowed down, and contaminant concentration levels have been defined to allow design of air filtering.
Following the results of the SGO in Clean Sky 1, large demonstrations on PROVEN test bench and Airbus A320 (eFTD- Flight Test Demonstrator), the Clean Sky 2 baseline of the electrical Environmental Control System (eECS) for future aircraft needed to be agreed and frozen in order to continue the activities and allow further demonstration and maturation. This baseline definition was achieved in 2017. Two trades-offs on new electrical ECS architectures for Single-Aisle were performed in order to select the most promising one.
This down-selection was jointly agreed after evaluation. In order to secure the eECS demonstration up to TRL6, aircraft requirements and the Verification and Validation (V&V) strategy have been set.
The main results achieved in 2017 within the Adaptive Environmental Control System project consisted of the design of the air sensing and filtration technologies prototypes. A first air sensing prototype has already been fabricated and the fabrication of the filtration prototype will be carried out in 2018.
For the Wing Ice Protection System, 3 different architectures proposed during the 2016 TRL3 were evaluated in 2017 (anti-icing, communalised anti-icing and de-icing) and the most promising concept has been retained, which is de-icing. Its architecture has been worked on with some aircraft level safety assessment.
Some different installation concepts for the heaters in the slats were proposed (fully integrated heaters to in-operation replaceable heaters), and evaluation at aircraft level has been launched for these concepts.
For Ice Detection System, modelling of the ice accretion has been performed for the PFIDS, and aircraft level requirements for an Airborne Interferometric Ice Sensor (AIIS) have been defined. A re-scoping of the activity has also been carried out, and consequently the PFIDS technology will now also be looked at for ice crystal detection capability. Hence, a System Requirement Document has been issued for ice detection, covering any icing conditions.
- WP7 Small Air Transport Activities
Following the more electrical Landing Gear trade-off definition, a Call for Partner was issued and a suitable Partner on this topic was identified. A Partner for the De-ice System has been integrated, and currently the trade off study for De-Ice Architecture for Small Aircraft is being performed.
In the Electrical Power Generation and Distribution frame on Generation side with THALES the result was a mixed configuration approach (one conventional S/G and one TBD Gen)
The integration with Partner INDIS project (Distribution side) started a preliminary evaluation of architecture options.
The evaluation of components for the Fly-by-Wire Architecture for Small Aircraft progressed. The flight control computer has been identified and the collaboration with a Partner, by Call for Partner (CfD), started. Another component for the flight air data was identified and a CfP was issued to identify possible collaboration.
WP100.1 – Power Electronics
In 2017, UNOTT performed work on eight Demonstrator Topics, with the key outcome being the creation of a test bed to demonstrate the parallel operation of 2 power cores and the parallel operation of reversible 270V DC sources. This was complemented by work on creating dynamic simulation models which formed the basis of a tool for assessing the weight, mass, volume and efficiency of an electrical power system in centralised and decentralised configurations.
Key deliverables included the solutions trade-off document for the topics started in 2017 and progress of these towards a Preliminary Design Review.
An additional accomplishment in 2017 was the development of software for EPS decision support.
- WP100.2 – ECO Design
The activities surrounding new alloys and composites as well as electron beam melting continued in 2017, with new Partners which were introduced via a CfP. Two planned activities related to Cr6-free painting and surface treatment by LLI and Fraunhofer have now got underway after a long period of preparation.
All activities in the WP100.2 ECO Design Technology Stream were financed using the ITD Leaders Budget as dedicated funding for it is not yet secured.
At the end of 2017 this situation had started to improve with the first Eco TA topic assessment that selected two Eco Systems topics and assigned the necessary funding.
Finally, in 2017 a report on characterisation of new High Temperature Aluminium Alloy was completed.
- WP100.3 – Model tools and simulation
The core simulation environment of the MISSION framework at TRL-4 was deployed. The team has also progressed in the development of modelling, optimisation, control management and virtual testing activities. The system architecture modelling and design for the EMA and EHA actuation design platform was delivered. Furthermore, the FMI extension DAE document was completed and delivered to the SYS ITD and the project officer. In addition the first version of the technical requirements for the control and management functions was completed and delivered. These activities were successfully leveraged in the established collaboration with Dassault Aviation. Finally, MISSION partners led a number of dissemination activities including various conference presentations, technical papers and creation of digital media for communicating and promoting the project at the 2017 Paris Air Show.