European Project UTOPEA: UHBR Engine Technology for aircraft OPeration, Emissions and economic Assessments

Partners:

Cranfield University (UK)

National Technical University of Athens (GR)

Empresarios Agrupados Internacional S.A. (ES)

Introduction

To meet Flightpath 2050 environmental targets, CS2 research is targeting further improvement in overall aero-engine efficiency as an objective. This requires transition from traditional propulsion system design and hence includes introduction of ultra-high bypass ratios, higher core temperatures through utilisation of advanced CMC materials for the hot section and the utilisation of alternative fuels to reduce emissions. Project UTOPEA (UHBR Engine Technology for aircraft OPeration, Emissions and economic Assessments)  is focused on specifically these areas of research.

Funded by H2020 CS2 as part of CFP10, the project relates to the call UHBR Engine Studies for Aircraft Operations and Economics ( JTI-CS2-2019-CFP10-LPA-01-74) and falls under the “Ultra-high Bypass and High Propulsive Efficiency Geared Turbofans” demonstration area which contributes to the “Breakthroughs in Propulsion Efficiency” theme. This demonstration area is within the Large Passenger Aircraft (LPA) Innovative Aircraft Demonstrator Platform (IADP) that focuses on the most fuel efficient propulsion concepts (such as the Ultra-High Bypass Ratio Geared turbofan) and their integration into compatible airframe configurations and concepts for next generation aircraft. More specifically, the project targets the Advanced (2030) and Ultra-advanced (2035+) Short/Medium-range (SMR) conceptual aircraft that aim to deliver reductions in CO2, NOx and noise of 20% and 30% respectively (compared to EIS 2014 reference aircraft). The strategic positioning and general overview of the project is presented in figure.

Through numerical simulations, UTOPEA will investigate impacts of these design change on the utilisation of the aircraft in terms of operational capabilities, economic competitiveness and potential for reduction in emissions through introduction of dual-fuel combustion systems and non-drop-in fuels. The key outcome of UTOPEA will be integration and delivery of multi-fidelity tools/methods for preliminary design of more economically and environmentally efficient UHBR engines.

Research

Flightpath 2050 ambitiously targets 75% CO2 and 90% NOx emissions reductions, relative to year 2000. In the longer term, a combination to a switch to hydrogen fuelled aircraft, advanced integrated airframe and propulsion system technologies (incorporating more electrical technologies) and improved asset management has the potential to more than meet the ambitious long-term environmental and sustainability targets for civil aviation by:

  • Completely decarbonising civil aviation (if the hydrogen is produced and liquefied using renewable/nuclear sources of energy)
  • Delivering unrivalled mission energy efficiency (through utilising the formidable heat sink potential of hydrogen)
  • Delivering ultra-low NOx emissions (thorough lean hydrogen micromix combustion)
  • Significantly reducing the impact of civil aviation on the environment (particularly through appropriate flight management for avoidance).

In order to achieve Flightpath 2050 targets, the nearer term aviation technologies being targeted by Clean Sky2 are largely aimed at improving the overall efficiency of the integrated airframe and propulsion system, and consequently a reduction in fuel consumption and the aviation industry’s overall environmental footprint through reduced emissions.

The overall efficiency is proportional to the product of thermal and propulsive efficiency and hence for high thermal efficiency, the Overall Pressure Ratio (OPR) and the Turbine Entry Temperatures (TET) of the gas turbine propulsion system must be high. Propulsion technology for civil aviation in the last few decades has witnessed evolutionary improvements in engineering and application, aiming precisely at this requirement. Thermal efficiency over the years has consistently improved through higher TET (1900-2000K) and cycle OPR (around 45-50). However, conventional aero gas turbine technology and materials are now reaching the limits of any further improvement. Additionally, increasing the pressure ratio much beyond current levels raises the temperature at compressor exit to the point where considerations of the material characteristics of components pose a limitation. Furthermore, the higher temperature, accentuates the problem of cooling the turbine, increases levels of NOx production in the combustor and losses in the last stages of the HPC, while providing a relatively small fuel burn benefit.

Current legislation for NOx is limited to the landing and take-off (LTO) cycle (currently CAEP/8 limits) with very ambitious long-term goals. It will be very challenging to meet these ambitious targets with hydrocarbon fuels and even the most promising lean combustion technologies, particularly for the most efficient aero engines with higher overall pressure ratios. NOx produced in the troposphere contributes to the formation of ground level ozone which impacts local air quality and is responsible for a number of health issues such as respiratory illness, impaired vision, headaches, hearing disorders and allergies. There is currently no legislation for NOx at cruise altitudes. However, NOx produced at these altitudes is also a major concern as it contributes to ozone depletion resulting in an increase in ground-level UV radiation (which contributes to health problems like skin cancer and eye diseases) and is therefore an issue that must be addressed particularly as very low specific thrust (high bypass ratio) engines have higher cycle temperatures (and subsequently flame temperatures) at cruise.

Therefore, in an endeavour to further improve overall efficiency (and consequently reduce fuel burn) and reduce emissions, introduction of a number of key design modifications on the aero gas turbine are actively been researched and pursued. Some of these include:

  • Achieving higher propulsive efficiency through very low specific thrust engines i.e. significantly higher bypass ratios.
  • Advanced materials for the hot section
  • Researching the technical viability and NOx emissions of alternative fuels with lower carbon to hydrogen ratios (relative to Jet-A1) i,e, LNG (liquid natural gas) with the ultimate goal of transitioning to LH2 (liquid hydrogen).

An increase in propulsive efficiency may be achieved through reducing specific thrust (i.e. by increasing bypass ratio (BPR)) e.g. by transitioning to Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) or Open Rotor Concepts. Transfer efficiency states how-efficiently power is transferred from the core engine to the propulsion system. Turbojets have very high transfer efficiency, but increasing bypass ratios in turbofan and open rotor engines tends to reduce transfer efficiency. However, the trend can be offset by raising the component efficiencies of low-pressure turbines and fans or propellers. Using gearboxes to enable the speeds of different components to be optimised can also help to improve transfer efficiency, even after accounting for the gearbox transmission losses, cooling requirements and additional weight.

The design transition to significantly higher BPRs,  accompanied with the utilisation of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) blades and alternatives fuels, while promising exceptional benefits, will be a transition from traditional aeronautical propulsion system design, engineering and asset utilisation. The implications of these design improvements will therefore necessarily need to be better understood in the context of possible design limitations, operational feasibility and economic viability. Further to these considerations the following are some pertinent observations in the context of UHBR engines:

Low speed performance and stability

While transitioning to high OPR and BPR turbofan (geared or ungeared) designs a number of challenges, outlined below, may be encountered, especially when considering low-speed operation and acceleration times.

  1. The trend towards larger low-pressure (LP) systems with relatively more inertia and smaller cores tends to increase the mismatch in acceleration and deceleration rates between the spools, thus leading to possible excursions of the high-pressure (HP) compressor operating line from the steady state working line.
  2. An increasing trend in OPR has also meant that all large engines (since the RB211-535) have needed variable vanes on at least one of the compressors, in addition to handling and starting bleeds. While being exceptionally helpful in terms of engine control, utilisation of conventional bleed valves at low speeds (e.g. approach) contributes to noise.
  3. Higher bypass engines may also additionally necessitate a larger surge margin, introducing the possibility of moving to a higher idle value. The implication of this will be issues that may arise in achieving acceptable levels of idle thrust required for aircraft descent and manoeuvres from idle (e.g. go-around and ground manoeuvres). This is further compounded by the fact that constantly improving aerodynamics on airframe designs will require even lower idle thrust than on current aircraft designs.
  4. The engines need to idle with higher OPR to maintain acceleration times and to avoid the combustors being overwhelmed in the case of heavy rain during descent.
  5. Higher secondary power requirements from smaller cores may result in power extraction (offtake) from the LP spool, to avoid hampering the HP spool and needing to idle at higher power settings.
  6. Extracting power from the LP spool might also be necessary to maintain an acceptable altitude relight envelope by reducing drag on an idling HP spool if other means are not available (e.g. utilising a hybrid electrical system for electrical power or a more conventional ram air generator until the engines are restarted).
  7. Rates of acceleration from a low approach idle to 95% take-off power should be possible within a stipulated timeframe based on regulatory requirements, which could result in further design implications for UHBR engines (larger LP systems, with relatively more inertia and smaller cores).
  8. Engines are required to be able to run at low thrust to increase rates of descent or would alternatively require larger sized airbrakes and spoilers.

Optimised UHBR engines will necessarily utilise aggressive cycles (high compressor loadings and low core sizes) and these issues are likely to worsen on these configurations. A robust methodology is thus required to predict idle characteristics in terms of component design, engine cycle, mission requirements and operational constraints.

Utilisation of CMC components in the hot section

The development of aircraft gas turbine engines has extensively been dependant on the development of advanced materials. Some highly successful examples include forged titanium alloys (now widely used in aircraft structure as well), several nickel super-alloys, single-crystal turbine air-foils, forged high-temperature powder metal alloys, coatings for environmental protection and for thermal barriers, and, most recently, titanium aluminides.

It is pertinent to note that there are few applications other than gas turbines that clearly justify the cost of developing these specialty materials, which while requiring extensive research development and testing, are inherently very expensive to develop. This complex development process is however justified by the system-level benefits in terms of reduced weight, higher temperature capability, and/or reduced cooling, each of which increases efficiency.

In this field, the development of High-temperature ceramics has made considerable progress and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are now in the forefront. Commercially-produced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components and environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) have been extensively evaluated over the years with a focus on the reduction of NOx emissions, fuel burn, and noise from turbine engines.

Through a comprehensive study by NASA, the utilisation of CMCs has been investigated for a number of components. The components considered include combustor liners, high pressure turbine vanes, and exhaust nozzles. Additionally, advanced EBCs tailored to the operating conditions of CMC combustors and turbine vanes was also investigated. Utilising the composite system silicon carbide (SiC) fibre reinforced silicon carbide matrix composite (SiC/SiC) the study indicated that the expected system level benefits of the CMC combustor liner included 40% reduction in cruise NOx and a 60% reduction in cooling air. The system level benefit for the CMC turbine vane was a 3-6% reduction in fuel burn and Conventional CMC exhaust nozzles for large commercial aircraft offered a 20+% reduction in component weight. CMC mixer nozzles for regional jets and business jets offered increased mixing efficiency through improved shape retention at operating temperatures. Reduced fuel burn is the result in both cases. The EBCs also provided reduced erosion rates, which results in enhanced durability and prolonged component life. All components contributed to improved overall system efficiencies and reduced fuel burn, in comparison to utilisation of conventional metallic components.

Based on existing research, utilisation of CMC materials in the hot sections of UHBR engines (combustor, high-pressure turbine) could certainly aid the utilisation of increased core temperatures, with reduced cooling flows to maximise performance. Then, a detailed assessment to establish the trade-offs that may arise between engine performance, durability and cost is imperative.

Utilisation of alternative fuels and the design of novel combustor technologies

Liquid hydrogen (LH2) has the potential to completely decarbonise civil aviation (both at mission and life cycle level) and significantly reduce the impact of aviation on the environment (with appropriate mission management for contrail avoidance and “green” hydrogen production). In the pathway towards the ultimate goal of LH2 for a fully sustainable future for aviation, drop-in fuels and LNG have been envisaged as interim solutions and could play a critical role.

The unique environmental benefits of LH2 as a fuel for aviation must ultimately be exploited, with the transition starting as soon as possible to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. Research and development for LH2 for civil aviation must be revitalised to take full advantage of these benefits. Nevertheless other alternative (non-drop-in) fuels or dual fuelled combustion systems may need less radical changes to the aircraft, propulsion system and airport infrastructure and may also be more economically viable in the short-medium term. It is therefore important to assess changes required to the engine and combustion system for implementing alternative fuels and whether the changes would be retrofittable. The impact of these alternative fuels on overall engine performance, weight and general arrangement must also be assessed. Dual-fuel combustion systems have been widely and successfully employed for industrial gas turbines and such combustion systems may provide a shorter term solution to ease the transition to hydrogen. Changes required for implementing dual-fuel combustion systems must therefore also be assessed in parallel.

In line with the specific challenge and scope of required resaerch and the overall objectives of CS2, UTOPEA will focus on the assessment of a UHBR engine. UTOPEA will provide a clear and objective assessment of the performance characteristics of a UHBR engine. The three research themes and their individual objective are as follows:

Research Theme (RT) 1: Engine Impacts on Aircraft Operational Capabilities

  • Compressor stability studies at both component and engine level
  • Idle prediction studies
  • Mission level fuel burn studies accounting for idle performance and compressor stability

Research Theme (RT) 2: Engine Impacts on Aircraft Use and Economic Competitiveness

  • A review of state-of-the art in CMC materials, manufacturing processes and material properties
  • Development of life prediction models for CMC components
  • Analysis of CMC component deterioration and impact of CMC usage on direct maintenance cost

Research Theme (RT) 3: Impact of Fuel Characteristics on Engine Design and Performance

  • A review of existing emissions prediction methods
  • Development of emission prediction models for kerosene-fuelled UHBR engine (with a LDI-PP combustor)
  • Evaluation of the feasibility and impact of alternative, non-drop-in fuels and dual-fuel combustion systems on engine performance, weight and emissions
  • Detailed, higher fidelity studies of the hydrogen micromix and novel dual-fuel combustion systems

Project Partners

Cranfield University

Cranfield University was founded for aerospace research and is an entirely post-graduate university primarily focusing on technology and management with a strong, globally renowned research presence in aerospace. The key Centres participating in the project include the Propulsion Engineering Centre and the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing Systems.

Propulsion Engineering Centre: The capabilities within the Propulsion Engineering Centre encompass a comprehensive portfolio of activities including analytical research, large-scale laboratories and educational programmes, covering gas turbine technology, fuels (and alternative fuels), combustion, turbomachinery and icing research, engine performance and diagnostics. The Centre has established an international reputation for its advanced postgraduate education, extensive research activity and applied continuing professional development. It is strengthened by close links developed with the international propulsion industry partners. The Cranfield University Rolls-Royce UTC was established to undertake long-term research in the broad field of performance engineering covering aircraft engines and integration. The Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University has excelled and built a strong reputation in the field of propulsion research internationally. A large number of projects within the Centre focus on multi-fidelity modelling and Technoeconomic Environmental Risk Assessments (TERA) of novel aircraft, propulsion and low emissions combustion technologies for civil aviation aimed at reducing the impact of civil aviation on the environment. In this research field, the Centre has made significant contributions to several EU projects including VIVACE, VITAL, NEWAC, DREAM, CLEANSKY and LEMCOTEC, with ongoing contributions to ULTIMATE, TURBOREFLEX, DEMOS, EFFICIENT, ENABLEH2. Through a number of these projects, the Propulsion Engineering Centre has developed strong collaborations with key EU industrial partners, research establishments and universities well beyond completion of the projects. CU, NTUA and EAI (the UTOPEA consortium) have had a particularly well-established and successful collaboration for a large number of these projects and have also previously collaborated with Airbus France (either individually or as part of a consortium) most recently in the ongoing DEMOS project. These research projects have received considerable technical input from EU industrial partners and many of the MSc and PhD students have won ‘Best Paper Awards’ based on the outstanding achievements published in their theses.

CU, through the Propulsion Engineering Centre are the coordinators of the ENABLEH2 project, which aims to revitalise enthusiasm in LH2 for civil aviation by exploiting the unique properties of LH2 and addressing the key challenges and scepticism associated with its introduction.  ENABLEH2 is a very important project in the context of research and innovation of technologies that have the potential to significantly reduce the impact of civil aviation on the environment. LH2 has the potential to completely decarbonise civil aviation and the ENABLEH2 project will demonstrate that switching to hydrogen is feasible and must complement research and development into advanced airframes, propulsion systems and air transport operations. Combined, these technologies can more than meet the ambitious long-term environmental and sustainability targets for civil aviation.

Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing Systems: The Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing Systems is a front runner in the field of manufacturing and material research, creating new models of best practice. The centre achieves this by applying fundamental science and thought leadership on the technological, economic and social context to identify ways forward for commercial success and sustainability. Activities are tailored to industry partner needs and include applied research, technology transfer, teaching, consultancy and short courses. The strategic focus of the centre is on areas manufacturing processes, systems, modelling and simulation. It is also a partner to the EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing, and Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability.

Contribution in UTOPEA

CU has considerable experience in investigating novel propulsion technologies, materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, alternative fuels and low emissions combustion systems for civil aviation and is ideally placed to perform the various studies in UTOPEA. UTOPEA will benefit from inputs from a number of past and ongoing projects in which CU were involved. In particular, as the leader of the hydrogen micromix combustion research activity in ENABLEH2, CU will be able to apply the lessons learnt from ENABLEH2 directly to UTOPEA, with regard to micromix combustor design, hydrogen combustion modelling with experimental validation. The high pressure high temperature experimental campaign in ENABLEH2, being carried out with state-of-the-art measurement techniques, will provide comprehensive combustor performance data such as combustion efficiency, pressure loss, outlet temperature distribution as well as NOx emissions and flame thermoacoustic characteristics. The altitude relight capability of the micromix combustor will also be experimentally assessed in ENABLEH2. The unique access to these models and data from CU will save a large amount of time and cost and provide higher confidence for the design of hydrogen-fuelled combustor in UTOPEA. CU will additionally use its existing suite of reduced order combustor preliminary design and performance tools and significant experience with high fidelity combustion modelling, as well as its state-of-the-art high performance computing facilities for the studies of non-drop-in fuels in UTOPEA.

Role in UTOPEA

CU is the coordinator of the UTOPEA project. Within UTOPEA the roles of CU will be as follows:

  1. Assess the impact of new materials, focusing primarily on Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC), for the use in Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) engines
  2. Assess the potential of alternative (non-drop-in) fuels and corresponding combustion technologies to meet the ambitious Flightpath 2050 goals for reducing NOx emissions. CU will also assess the changes in engine performance, general arrangement and weight necessary for implementing these fuels. High fidelity CFD studies will be performed on hydrogen micromix and dual-fuel combustion systems
  3. Provide guidance, as appropriate for the aircraft mission analysis
  4. Overall project management leadership and lead the UTOPEA dissemination efforts

National Technical University of Athens, NTUA

The Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines (LTT) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) was founded in 1982. It has a substantial and modern infrastructure in a number of gas turbine related research areas. It hosts two strong research groups (Diagnostics & Modelling Group and Parallel CFD & Optimization Group) that work under contract and/or in collaboration for contract work with industrial, research and academic partners and organizations.

The Diagnostics & Modelling Group has performed extensive research in the field of gas turbine performance modelling and engine diagnostics mainly through its participation in several EU and domestic industrial projects. This resulted in:

  1. comprehensive engine performance models for legacy, contemporary and future complex engine configurations
  2. the development and application of advanced modelling techniques enabling mixed-fidelity, multi-disciplinary and distributed simulation capabilities
  3. the development of customized systems for engine condition assessment and fault diagnosis, which are currently installed in a number of gas turbines operating in the field

LTT/NTUA has developed its own tool for gas turbine performance simulations and a gas turbine educational suite, VLAB (Virtual Laboratory of Gas Turbines for Aircraft and Naval Propulsion).These tools are used to support research activities, undergraduate and postgraduate courses and seminars. In addition, it participated in the development of the commercial simulation platform PROOSIS and the creation of a common real time, non-linear, adaptive engine simulation tool, to be used as an on-board observer for large civil turbofans. The group is also one of the main contributors in the development of PROOSIS gas turbine engine components library, especially in the areas of transient and control system modelling. This enables the simulation of engine transient operation for a modern turbofan complete with a controller and including power management, protection logic and sensor/actuator dynamics.

Over the years LTT/NTUA has used its know-how to model a large variety of gas turbines, including complex conceptual designs, such as the contra-rotating fan with a flow controlled core, the geared turbofan with an active core, the geared turbofan with a contra-rotating core and the contra-rotating open rotor configurations. Higher fidelity codes (1D and 2D) have been used to derive the characteristics of contra-rotating turbomachinery components, in order to account for the torque and speed ratio between the contra-rotating shafts. Different approaches have been implemented to include these characteristics in engine performance simulations (e.g. multiple maps and three-dimensional tables).

Advanced simulation techniques have also been developed to allow the direct integration of higher-fidelity, physics-based component codes in engine performance calculations (‘zooming’), in an effort to improve the accuracy of calculations. For example, a turbofan engine model has been developed, which is capable to simulate the effects of rain ingestion on engine performance using components represented at appropriate levels of fidelity (from 0D to quasi 3D). Another form of zooming was accomplished through the development of dedicated components library for secondary air system, allowing different engine air system configurations to be set-up, simulated, assessed and optimized on their own or as part of a whole engine performance model.

Models for rotary and fixed wing aircraft performance and noise assessments and emissions prediction have been developed and integrated with engine performance models, in order to perform multi-disciplinary calculations, including engine design point optimization.

Finally, a simulation framework for design space and optimization studies at engine as well as aircraft mission level has been developed in PROOSIS. This framework has the capability to assess steady state and transient performance models of variable geometry Ultra-High Bypass Ratio concepts, 1-D turbomachinery component aerodynamic design and additionally undertake flow path sizing and weight estimation.

Contribution to UTOPEA

LTT/NTUA will use its strong gas turbine performance modelling and simulation capability and expertise as well as its deep knowledge of the PROOSIS platform to perform the relevant tasks in the UTOPEA project. A dedicated team of senior academics and researchers, with more than twenty years of experience on gas turbine research, will be involved in the project to support its activities. All the necessary hardware and software (in the form of PCs, servers, clusters and licenses) are in place and will be made available, as required in the course of the project.

Role in UTOPEA

Within UTOPEA LTT/NTUA will develop the tools and processes required to meet the objectives of RT1 on compressor stability and idle performance and produce the corresponding deliverables. Furthermore, NTUA will provide input for the lifing tools in RT2, the combustor design in WP3 and the overall assessments. Finally, NTUA will contribute to the project management activities and the communication, dissemination and exploitation of project results.

Empresarios Agrupados Internacional (EAI)

Empresarios Agrupados Internacional (EAI) is an engineering consultant/architect-engineering company founded in 1971. Acting for international operations as Empresarios Agrupados Internacional (EAI), S.A., it has a permanent staff of over 1000.

EAI is a leading engineering organisation with significant experience worldwide. It provides complete solutions in the fields of consultancy, project management, engineering and design, procurement, construction management, testing planning, nuclear safety support, quality assurance, as well as support to operation in the following areas and industrial sectors:

  1. Nuclear power plants (new-built) and support to NPPs in operation
  2. Conventional power generation (coal and fuel)
  3. Aerospace, defence and civil aviation
  4. Information technology and numerical software

Experience in the simulation of thermo-fluid systems

EAI has been very active in the area of simulation over the past 30 years. First, EAI carried out many simulation projects in the 80’s and 90’s in the energy sector in the areas of fluids, mechanics, control systems, etc. During these projects, in-house codes were developed for the simulation of heat exchange process, water hammer effect, and power balance among other processes, including the development of numerical solvers, mainly for power plant applications (nuclear, combined cycle, thermo-solar, etc.).

Based on this wide experience, EAI developed EcosimPro, a multidisciplinary commercial simulation tool, initiated through a project with the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1989 for modelling, as its first application, the environmental control and life support systems of spacecraft on manned missions (at that time, Columbus and Hermes).

EcosimPro is an advanced simulation tool that includes state-of-the-art object-oriented modelling, acausal modelling, robust algebraic, dynamic and optimization numerical solvers, etc. EcosimPro is currently the official simulation tool of ESA in several disciplines, such as liquid, solid and electric space propulsion systems, satellite power systems and modelling of environmental control and life support experiments (many companies have developed complex models with EcosimPro for the International Space Station).

Based on EcosimPro, EAI developed PROOSIS for modelling gas turbines under the European projects VIVACE and CRESCENDO. PROOSIS represents today the state-of-the-art in simulating advanced applications in the aeronautical sector. It includes tools for design point and off-design studies, including steady, transient, optimization and multipoint design with constraints calculations, sensitivity analysis, advanced numerical solvers, etc. The flexibility of the tool enables adapting it to match specific needs for gas turbine modelling or configuring any complex calculation. This has made it easier to use for different European aerospace companies, both aircraft and engine manufacturers, in innovative project development. Today, PROOSIS is a consolidated tool in the fields of research and industrial aerospace.

EAI has continued to improve PROOSIS with additional capabilities in recent years, making the tool more powerful and versatile. For example, there is now direct communication with the SVN configuration control software in order to be able to work in teams; and the exporting of models to tools like Matlab-Simulink has been improved. Furthermore, the capability of using PROOSIS models from Hardware-In-Loop (HIL) systems has been implemented and the model debugging area has been greatly improved.

Additionally, EAI has also created new aircraft simulation modules that can be easily connected to gas turbine models. Some of these modules include the Aircraft Electrical Systems, the Environmental Control System (ECS) of the cabin and the Aircraft Fuel System. All of them can be integrated and simulated together from the graphical user interface of PROOSIS

PROOSIS is used today by aeronautical companies such as Safran, Airbus SAS, TURBOMECA, TechspaceAero, etc., for modelling gas turbines and other aeronautical systems.

In parallel with the developments on PROOSIS, EA has continued to improve its general purpose simulation tool, EcosimPro, over the last 15 years, converting it into a multi-disciplinary reference. In the space propulsion area, EA has developed along with ESA a simulation module for propulsion systems called ESPSS. This module is now used throughout European industry for modelling rocket and satellite propulsion systems. ESA has also developed libraries of Power Systems (batteries, solar panels, etc.) which are used in projects now under development. EA has developed as well a module for modelling Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) for manned spacecraft, covering fluid, chemical, control and mechanical phenomena.

EcosimPro is also used in the important field of Power Plants (nuclear, gas, solar, wind, etc.), to model complex hydraulic, mechanical, fluid (e.g. water-hammer), and other systems in different types of plants. The use of EcosimPro is also of note in Cryogenics, as EA has developed, in collaboration with CERN, a module for modelling cryogenic systems at very low temperatures (4K). This has been applied to the LHC at CERN and is now being used in the ITER project to model the complex cryogenic systems of the Tokamak.

Contribution to UTOPEA

EAI will contribute with its large experience on thermo-fluid systems modelling and simulation. The expertise on solvers, thermo-fluid systems simulation and computational science of EAI-EcosimPro/PROOSIS team will be available for supporting the work of the key personnel and the rest of consortium. Permanent communication with the partners will ensure that the maximum advantages of the simulation platform are used for the project, and to solve any eventual issue in the shorter time.

The key personnel involved in the project cover a wide experience in gas turbine and aircraft systems (ECS, fuel system…) with PROOSIS, in international collaboration projects with aircraft and engine manufactures (Airbus, SAFRAN), and in mathematical solvers and computer science.

Role in UTOPEA

  1. Provide a model for the Environmental Control Systems to be connected to the engine, for the accurate calculation of air bleed and power extraction through the mission.
  2. Provide the fluid models for the required new fuels. An assessment will be done for choosing the best solution, fluid tables generation or programmatic connection with some available chemical code.
  3. Contribute to the project management and to improve the impact of the project through the dissemination of project results.