Pan European Networks - Government - page 196

Pan European Networks: Government
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196
AVIATION
PROFILE
P
eople have never been as mobile and interconnected as
they are today. Even flying has become part of everyday
life. Some 2.2 billion people board an aircraft each year
to fly to an exciting holiday destination, attend their next business
meeting, or simply return home. In total, aviation generates a
worldwide gross domestic product of €425bn.
One of the key challenges of the next few decades will therefore
be how can we make flying more environmentally friendly while
making it attractive to passengers and keeping it commercially
viable? Working within the framework of various programmes –
including the European ‘Clean Sky’ technology initiative – the
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is conducting research to address these
kinds of issues in collaboration with industry partners.
The Clean Sky initiative consists of six technology areas, the so
called integrated technology demonstrators (ITD). These are ‘eco
DESIGN®’, ‘Green Regional Aircraft’, ‘Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft’,
‘Green Rotorcraft’, ‘Sustainable and Green Engines’ and ‘Systems
for Green Operation’. They are connected by the ‘Technology
Evaluator’, where they are evaluated in terms of environmental
objectives. In this way, CO
2
emissions shall be reduced by 50%,
NO
x
emissions by 80% and noise by half. The Fraunhofer-
Gesellschaft leads activities, amongst others, in the research area
of eco DESIGN® about the use of current and future materials,
processes and technologies.
DressMAN 2.0 improves thermal comfort
Researchers at Fraunhofer IBP are currently working on specific
technologies designed to optimise the comfort of airline
passengers. Their main focus is on the indoor climate on aircraft,
which is a frequent source of complaints. As well as using human
test subjects, the researchers also rely on feedback from
objective measurements as well as virtual systems. The
DressMAN 2.0 climate measuring system has been specially
developed by Fraunhofer IBP to monitor the indoor climate in
aircraft, vehicles and offices. As well as measuring the air
temperature, this novel system also considers the effects of air
velocity and thermal radiation.
The innovative sensor developed by the Fraunhofer researchers is
also capable of measuring the equivalent temperature, which is
the temperature an air parcel with the mean radiant temperature
equal to air temperature and still air in which a person would have
the same heat exchange by convection and radiation as in the
actual conditions. This enables the scientists to describe thermal
environmental conditions in terms of a single value, thereby
opening up the possibility of running comparative assessments
of different climate scenarios with the ultimate goal of optimising
the indoor climate.
Ground-based test flights
The Fraunhofer IBP Flight Test Facility (FTF) in Valley near Munich,
Germany, is the only test laboratory of its kind in the world. One of
its main features is a low-pressure chamber containing a real
segment of an aircraft fuselage measuring 15 metres in length
and fitted with seats for up to 80 human test subjects. It is used
to perform tests on the environmental conditions in the cabin and
on the aircraft as an integrated system. These tests involve
evaluating the energy performance and functionality of the
cockpit, passenger cabin, avionics and cargo hold.
The flight laboratory recently has been joined by another unique
testing facility. The Ground Thermal Test Bench enables the
Fraunhofer scientists and their industrial partners to expand the
scope of their research activities. With regard to the growing
interest in ‘all-electric’ aircraft design concepts, i.e. the use of
electronics in place of hydraulics to control aircraft functions,
and the increasing use of lightweight materials in the
development of new aircraft, the Ground Thermal Test Bench
plays a key role in the simulation and testing of new systems in
light of thermal behaviour. A broad range of thermal
measurements can be conducted on a genuine aircraft fuselage
split into three typical sections – cockpit, cabin and tail. The goal
is to develop, validate and ultimately demonstrate innovative
energy management concepts.
Greener skies
Director general of aviation, John Simpson, on the Fraunhofer Institute for
Building Physics’ contribution to a greener vision of air travel
The Flight Test Facility operated by Fraunhofer IBP at the institute’s site
in Holzkirchen is the only one of its kind in the world
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