in Aerospace

Study to examine aircraft electrification impact on Heathrow infrastructure

Posted 11 December 2019 · Add Comment

Heathrow Airport is looking to understand how electric aircraft will impact future infrastructure needs with the help of researchers from Cranfield University, the University of Essex and the University of Reading.



Above:
Heathrow Airport.
Courtesy Cranfield University


The first phase of the Airport Infrastructural Requirements for Electrical Propulsion Systems (AIREPS) project, which started on 1 December, will comprise a six-month feasibility study of the physical infrastructural and airspace components associated with aircraft electrification at Heathrow. An evaluation of potential modelling and simulation tools to help develop a digital twin of these assets will also be conducted.

Outputs from AIREPS will help aid strategic decision making for airports generally as to how they should plan for an increasingly electrically powered future for aviation.

Matt Prescott, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainability, Heathrow Airport, which is funding the research, said: “Heathrow has an important role to play in encouraging the use of cleaner, greener and more innovative aircraft as it focuses on sustainable and responsible growth. We have already committed to free landing charges for the first electric aircraft as we believe it to be a viable option in years to come, as the industry decouples growth in aviation with a growth in carbon. Now we are proud to be bringing some of the UK’s brightest universities together to ensure the airport will be ready to support sustainable flight in the future.”

Dr Thomas Budd, Lecturer in the Centre for Air Transport Management, Cranfield University, said: “Safely and efficiently integrating electric aircraft into existing systems and supply chains represents a key challenge to fulfilling the potential offered by this technology. This includes questions around the optimal nature of in-house charging facilities, electrical power and distribution requirements, and certification of safe connections between aircraft and charging infrastructure.”

The research will also consider the impact of electric aircraft in the context of resilience and climate change adaptation. Professor Paul Williams, Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, said: “We know that departing aircraft suffer from reduced lift when the air is warmer, potentially leading to take-off weight restrictions in the summer. We will use climate model projections to analyse the operational consequences this will have for electric aircraft.”

The research will be informed by the use of advanced virtual infrastructure (digital twin technology), airspace simulation modelling approaches, machine learning, and intelligent analytics, which will be used to explore the complex resource management challenges future flight technologies will create.

Dr Faiyaz Doctor, from the Intelligent Connected Societies Group at the University of Essex, who is leading on the modelling and simulation part of the research, said: “Sustainable aviation is integral to how we as a society continue to use air travel in the future. To meet this need, the AIREPS project seeks to scope the development of future flight ready infrastructure.”

The project was officially launched at Cranfield’s recent Aviation and the Environment Conference.

Outputs from Phase 1 will be used to inform subsequent phases of the research, where it is envisaged that the live research airport environment at Cranfield, including the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC), with other specialist facilities at the University of Reading and University of Essex, could be used be used to enable progress of the research from TRL 3 to 4 (Phase 1) to TRL 5 (pilot scale).

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Future Combat Air continues to drive economic advance across the UK

Seven companies representing the breadth of innovation across the UK have signed agreements to progress opportunities to work on future combat air concepts and underpinning technologies across Team Tempest.

BAE Systems and WAE partner on fast jet development

BAE Systems and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have joined forces to explore how battery management and cooling technologies from the motorsport industry could be exploited to deliver efficiency and performance gains in the

CFMS study bolsters business case for regional electric aircraft

A new study from the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), a not-for-profit specialist in digital engineering, has helped the aerospace industry move a step closer to the development of regional electric aircraft.

Horizon Technologies awarded Transformational Xtender SIGINT Technology Patent

Horizon Technologies was issued a patent (US 10,727,932 B2) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 28th July 2020, covering the company's fundamental Xtender technology, which allows the smallest UAVs and

BA's August schedule returns to more destinations

Throughout August, British Airways is resuming flying to more destinations, albeit with continued low frequencies while the impact of Covid-19 is still being felt across the globe.

Babcock Team 31 complete whole ship preliminary design review

Babcock's Team 31 has successfully completed its Whole Ship Preliminary Design Review (WSPDR) marking the end of the Engineering functional design phase.

Getac SK2606280920
See us at
DVD 2020