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- About TRIP
Recent developments in advanced manufacturing technology have made possible the fabrication of Microfabricated-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) enabling sensors and actuators, having dimensions of a few hundreds of microns, to be integrated with controlling electronics. One potential application of MEMS is the active control of the thin boundary layer flow that exists on the aerodynamic surfaces of aircraft and their propulsion systems. The development of these boundary layer flows directly affects the performance of the aircraft since they give rise to skin friction drag and flow separation, which leads to buffet and limits maximum achievable lift.
MEMS technology offers, in the medium to long term, a means whereby these boundary layers can be actively controlled during certain phases of flight to achieve a performance benefit whilst not incurring penalties at other stages as is the case with more conventional passive flow control systems. An EU 4th Framework project (AEROMEMS) undertook a “basic research” study to assess the viability of applying MEMS for boundary layer control on aircraft. The project demonstrated that:
AEROMEMS II aimed to undertake industrial-scale wind-tunnel demonstrations and engineering integration assessments of MEMS flow separation control technology applied to improving the performance of wing high-lift systems, intake ducts and turbo-machinery components. A target objective was to demonstrate the ability of MEMS flow control technology to increase maximum lift by 10-15%.
Development of prototype MEMS flow sensors and actuators had to be undertaken to address the issues of robustness associated with engineering integration. Finally, aerodynamic prediction tools had to be developed and validated for use during future full-scale development. This programme was focussed on the industrial development, demonstration and assessment of the technology benefits required prior to full–scale development.
The major work packages addressed the following areas:
The studies focussed highly on the requirements for the industrial scale demonstration and assessment of the technology benefits required prior to full–scale concept development. Significant progress was made during the project, and many of these developments were embedded into the final demonstration experiments.
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research (DG Research)
The highlights of the project were:
The major results of the project were:
Future studies should focus on:
PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR : BAE SYSTEMS
PARTNERS: Dassault Aviation
EADS – Military aircraft
CNRS – LPMO
CNRS - LML
Tel: (+44) 117 302 82 42
TRIP is funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).