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AIRBUS UK

Country: United Kingdom
11 Projects, page 1 of 3
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J011126/1
    Funder Contribution: 336,962 GBP

    This project aims at developing new methods of analysis of the stability of fluid flows and flow control. Flow control is among the most promising routes for reducing drag, thus reducing carbon emissions, which is the strongest challenge for aviation today. However, the stability analysis of fluid flows poses significant mathematical and computational challenges. The project is based on a recent major breakthrough in mathematics related to positive-definiteness of polynomials. Positive-definiteness is important in stability and control theory because it is an essential property of a Lyapunov function, which is a powerful tool for establishing stability of a given system. For more than a century since their introduction in 1892 constructing Lyapunov functions was dependent on ingenuity and creativity of the researcher. In 2000 a systematic and numerically tractable way of constructing polynomials that are sums of squares and that satisfy a set of linear constraints was discovered. If a polynomial is a sum of squares of other polynomials then it is positive-definite. Thus, systematic, computer-aided construction of Lyapunov functions became possible for systems described by equations with polynomial non-linearity. In the last decade the Sum-of-Squares approach became widely used with significant impact in several research areas. The Navier-Stokes equations governing motion of incompressible fluid have a polynomial nonlinearity. This project will achieve its goals by applying sum-of-squares approach to stability and control of the fluid flows governed by these equations. This will require development of new advanced analytical techniques combined with extensive numerical calculations. The project has a fundamental nature, with main expected outcomes being applicable to a large variety of fluid flows. The rotating Taylor-Couette flow will be the first object to which the developed methods will be applied. Taylor-Couette flow, encountered in a wide range of industrial application, for a variety of reasons has an iconic status in the stability theory, traditionally serving as a test-bench for new methods. In order to maximise the impact of the research, the project collaborators will conduct targeted dissemination activities for industry and academia in the form of informal and formal workshops, in addition to traditional dissemination routes of journal papers and conferences. Selected representatives from industry will be invited to attend the workshops. Wider audience will be reached via a specially created and continuously maintained web page.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I014683/1
    Funder Contribution: 401,227 GBP

    This project will develop a systematic approach to flight control system (FCS) design for very flexible or very large aircraft, of the type being considered for low-environmental-impact air transport and for long-endurance unmanned operations. It will create a virtual flight test environment that will support the design of advanced nonlinear FCS that fully account for the vehicle structural flexibility. To model the flight dynamics of flexible aircraft, it is necessary to develop analytical methods for generating Reduced Order Models (ROMs) via reduction of the full-order nonlinear equations of motion, and to do this in such a way that the essential nonlinear behaviour is preserved. The key issues addressed by our approach are that:1. The usual separation of flight dynamics and aeroelasticity is not appropriate for flight control when very low structural frequencies (which are also often associated with large amplitude motions) are present. Modelling and design methods based on a fully coupled system analysis are therefore necessary.2. Large wing deformations bring nonlinear dynamic behaviour, but current model reduction methods assume linearity. The development of nonlinear ROMs is an area that urgently needs advances, in general, and is necessary for control applications of flexible aircraft, in particular.3. Standard linear control design methods are inadequate for highly flexible aircraft, since their dynamic behaviour is intrinsically nonlinear. Fresh approaches to nonlinear FCS design are then required to control these systems in a provably robust way.The technical and scientific challenges to be overcome then include the simulation of significant aerodynamic and structural nonlinearities in full aircraft dynamics through the systematic development of a hierarchy of fully coupled large-order models, the reduction of these models to small-order nonlinear systems suitable for control development, and the development of robust control laws based on these reduced nonlinear models for gust load alleviation, trajectory control and stability augmentation. These methods will be exemplified in next-generation aircraft concepts that will be defined in discussion with end users. In fact, the project will benefit from a strong collaboration with major UK industrial partners, which will provide substantial technical inputs and support to the planned research activities.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I014594/1
    Funder Contribution: 264,622 GBP

    This project will develop a systematic approach to flight control system (FCS) design for very flexible or very large aircraft, of the type being considered for low-environmental-impact air transport and for long-endurance unmanned operations. It will create a virtual flight test environment that will support the design of advanced nonlinear FCS that fully account for the vehicle structural flexibility. To model the flight dynamics of flexible aircraft, it is necessary to develop analytical methods for generating Reduced Order Models (ROMs) via reduction of the full-order nonlinear equations of motion, and to do this in such a way that the essential nonlinear behaviour is preserved. The key issues addressed by our approach are that:1. The usual separation of flight dynamics and aeroelasticity is not appropriate for flight control when very low structural frequencies (which are also often associated with large amplitude motions) are present. Modelling and design methods based on a fully coupled system analysis are therefore necessary.2. Large wing deformations bring nonlinear dynamic behaviour, but current model reduction methods assume linearity. The development of nonlinear ROMs is an area that urgently needs advances, in general, and is necessary for control applications of flexible aircraft, in particular.3. Standard linear control design methods are inadequate for highly flexible aircraft, since their dynamic behaviour is intrinsically nonlinear. Fresh approaches to nonlinear FCS design are then required to control these systems in a provably robust way.The technical and scientific challenges to be overcome then include the simulation of significant aerodynamic and structural nonlinearities in full aircraft dynamics through the systematic development of a hierarchy of fully coupled large-order models, the reduction of these models to small-order nonlinear systems suitable for control development, and the development of robust control laws based on these reduced nonlinear models for gust load alleviation, trajectory control and stability augmentation. These methods will be exemplified in next-generation aircraft concepts that will be defined in discussion with end users. In fact, the project will benefit from a strong collaboration with major UK industrial partners, which will provide substantial technical inputs and support to the planned research activities.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I037946/1
    Funder Contribution: 4,219,570 GBP

    The world's oil supply is decreasing rapidly and over the next 10 or 20 years the price per barrel will spiral inexorably. Aviation is a significant consumer of oil and is also implicated in global warming through its generation of massive quantities of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Aircraft noise continues to be an increasingly important problem as airports expand. For these reasons aviation as we know it now will rapidly become unviable. There is no single solution to the problem and enormous changes to engines, airframe design, scheduling and indeed people's expectations of unlimited air travel are inevitable. Here we address one of the most important issues, improved aerodynamics, and develop the underpinning technology for Laminar Flow Control (LFC), the technology of drag reduction on aircraft. This will become the cornerstone of aircraft design. Even modest savings in drag of the order of 10% translate into huge savings in fuel costs and huge reductions in atmospheric pollution. Applications of the technology to military aircraft where range is often the main requirement and marine applications are similarly important. The development of viable LFC designs requires sophisticated mathematical, computational and experimental investigations of the onset of transition to turbulence and its control. Existing tools are too crude to be useful and contain little input from the flow physics. Major hurdles to be overcome concern: a) How do we specify generic input disturbances for flow past a wing in a messy atmosphere in the presence of surface imperfections, flexing, rain, insects and a host of other complicating features b) How do we solve the mathematical problems associated with linear and nonlinear disturbance growth in complex 3D flows c) How do we find a criterion for the onset of transition based on flow physics which is accurate enough to avoid the massive over-design associated with existing LFC strategies yet efficient enough to be useable in the design office d) How can we use experiments in the laboratory to predict what happens in flight experiments e) How can we devise control strategies robust enough to be used on civilian aircraft f) How can we quantify the manufacturing tolerances such as say surface waviness or bumps needed to maintain laminar flow The above challenges are huge and can only be overcome by innovative research based on the mathematical, computational and experimental excellence of a team like the one we have assembled. The solution of these problems will lead to a giant leap in our understanding of transition prediction and enable LFC to be deployed. The programme is based around a unique team of researchers covering all theoretical, computational, and experimental aspects of the problem together with the necessary expertise to make sure the work can be deployed by industry. Indeed our partnership with most notably EADS and Airbus UK will put the UK aeronautics industry in the lead to develop the new generation of LFC wings. The programme is focussed primarily on aerodynamics but the tools we develop are relevant in a wide range of problems. In Chemical Engineering there has long been an interest in how to pump fluids efficiently in pipelines and how flow instabilities associated with interfaces can compromise certain manufacturing processes. In Earth Sciences the formation of river bed patterns behind topology or man-made obstructions is governed by the same process that describes the initiation of disturbances on wings. Likewise surface patterns on Mars can be explained by the instability mechanisms of sediment carrying rivers. In Atmospheric Dynamics and Oceanography a host of crucial flow phenomena are intimately related to the basic instabilities of a 3D flow over a curved aerofoil. Our visitor programme will ensure that our work impinges on these and other closely related areas and that likewise we are aware of ideas which can be profitably be used in aerodynamics.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I033513/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,866,580 GBP

    The EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Centre in Composites will conduct a programme of fundamental manufacturing research comprising two research themes aimed at developing efficient, high rate, low cost and sustainable manufacturing processes coupled to effective and validated design and process modelling tools. These processes will aim to deliver high yield, high performance and high quality components and structures. The themes are as follows:Theme 1: Composites Processing ScienceThe focus for this theme is to develop integrated modelling systems for predicting and minimising process induced defects and defining and optimising process capability. Topics include: Multi-scale process modelling framework for candidate processes (fibre deposition, resin infusion, consolidation and cure); Stochastic simulation of process and resulting material/structure variability, leading to prediction of process induced defects at the macro, meso and micro scales; Analysis of design/ manufacturing/ cost interactions, enabling process capability mapping, design and process optimisationTheme 2: Composites Processing TechnologyThe focus for this theme will be experimental investigation of next-generation, high rate processing technologies as essential elements within a flexible composites manufacturing cell with multi-process capability. Topics include: Development of rapid deposition technologies: automated robotic control for tow/tape placement, development of flexible/ hybrid systems, application to dry fibre and thermoplastic composites manufacture; High speed preforming processes: fibre placement, Discontinuous Carbon Fibre Preforming (DCFP), multiaxial and 3D textiles and their automated integration into multi-architecture, multi-functional composites; High rate & controlled thermal processing: rapid heating/curing and innovative tooling; Process and parts integration with novel joining technologies, tolerance reduction and on-line inspection In addition to the main research themes, the platform element within the Centre will support four generic research projects operating across the Centre to develop common technologies and underpin the main research priorities. These technology areas are: Multi-scale modelling; Cost modelling; Automation/robotics; and, Design and manufacturing quality integration.

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