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ARA partnering in DAWS

Written by: T. Figg

Development of Advanced Wing Solutions

Aircraft Research Association Ltd (ARA) is pleased to announce it is a partner within the DAWS research & development programme, led by Airbus with partners CFMS Services Ltd, International Technegroup Limited (ITI), University of Bristol, University of Liverpool and University of Southampton.

The 3-year project started in August 2020 and plans to make significant contributions in several strategic key areas of aviation sustainability including vehicles, aero-structures and cross-cutting enablers. The project comprises four work packages and will explore and evaluate a range of innovative wing concepts including the use of folding wing tips to allow for greater wingspan needed to significantly improve the performance of future generations of commercial aircraft. DAWS will investigate loads and roll control, aerodynamic performance and assessment of handling qualities for systems leading to the development of an integrated system demonstrator.

In the Disruptive Wings Architectures work package, ARA intends to exploit previous work performed in the WINg Design MethodologY Validation (WINDY) project to develop the technology building-blocks necessary for a future high-speed test of a wing equipped with a Semi-Aeroelastic Hinge (SAH) concept. This will involve the design, build and bench-testing of a SAH concept. ARA will also further develop its Pressure Sensitive Paint (PSP) capability to include moving components for the extraction of aerodynamic loads. In the Design Environment Developments work package, ARA will develop innovative techniques to enhance wind tunnel testing by creating a real-time data visualization toolset and a 3D ‘virtual’ Transonic Wind Tunnel (TWT) comprising a mathematical model of the TWT’s flow circuit, built from representations and interactions of its architecture, major subsystems, instrumentation, and ancillary components – in effect, a Digital Twin of the TWT. Additionally, ARA will be conducting activities to improve the design philosophy for PSP models to concurrently improve output data quality and reduce manufacturing time and costs. This will include building on its industrialised and widely-used lifetime PSP technique, by assessing the binary PSP capability within the small scale wind tunnel facility and applying a rapid solver to create an optimisation tool to locate pressure tappings for robust PSP calibrations.

ARA’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Hutchings added: 
“ARA is proud to be a member of this team as it underlines our belief in the value of collaborative work to support sustainable aviation.”

ARA is a leading independent specialist in aerodynamic research providing complementary services and solutions to its international aerospace and defence clients including transonic wind tunnel testing of very high specification scaled instrumented models and computational analysis and consultancy.

The DAWS project is supported by the ATI Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme, delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, addresses technology, capability and supply chain challenges.

Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) promotes transformative technology in air transport and supports the funding of world-class research and development through the multi-billion-pound joint government-industry programme. The ATI stimulates industry-led R&D projects to secure jobs, maintain skills and deliver economic benefits across the UK.

Setting a technology strategy that builds on the UK’s strengths and responds to the challenges faced by the UK civil aerospace sector; ATI provides a roadmap of the innovation necessary to keep the UK competitive in the global aerospace market, and complements the broader strategy for the sector created by the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP).

The ATI provides strategic oversight of the R&T pipeline and portfolio. It delivers the strategic assessment of project proposals and provides funding recommendations to BEIS.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS) is the government department accountable for the ATI Programme. As the budget holder for the programme, BEIS, is accountable for the final decision regarding projects to progress and fund with Government resources, as well as performing Value for Money (VfM) assessment on all project proposals, one of the 3 ATI Programme assessment streams.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the funding agency for the ATI Programme. It delivers the competitions process including independent assessment of project proposals, and provides funding recommendations to BEIS. Following funding award, Innovate UK manages the programme, from contracting projects, through to completion.

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

UKRI is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

For further information, please contact:  business@ara.co.uk