The activities of the Group focus on the development, integration and operation of novel, sustainable and green power and propulsion technologies.
The activities of the group cover four main areas:
- Development and integration of novel Electrified propulsion systems
- Highly integrated airframe and propulsion architectures
- Computational Engineering Design, Optimisation and Multidisciplinary Decision Making
- Green Operations, Asset Management and Life Cycle Analysis of Aero and Stationary Gas Turbines
Research on electrification of aircraft propulsion systems encompasses electric and hybrid technologies along with the development of integrated solutions that explore the synergies of closely coupled gas turbines with electrical systems and components including batteries, fuel cells, motors, generators, thermal management system, etc. Work focuses on identifying and developing enabling technologies as well as integrating, modelling and assessing architectures and integrated solutions at component, system, aircraft and mission level. Partners include Rolls Royce, Safran, Embraer, ATI, NASA and CEA.
Research on novel configurations and aerodynamic integration focuses on the development and implementation of world leading energy and exergy based methods for the modelling, design space exploration and assessment of novel configurations including BLI and distributed propulsion and wing tip propeller. Partners include NASA, Rolls Royce, Safran Airbus and others.
Research on Engineering Design Optimisation and Multidisciplinary Decision places emphasis on the development and integration of multiphysics/multidisciplinary methods including post processing and decision making processes that encompass novel “human in the loop” capabilities for the design, optimisation and decision making methodologies. In this context novel high-dimensional data and visualisation methods and tools are being developed and applied in a variety of engineering topics including design, analysis and optimisation of novel electrified propulsion architectures, multidisciplinary design of novel aircraft concepts including aerodynamics, structures, systems and green operations. Partners include Airbus, Safran, Lufthansa Technik and others.
Research on Green Operations, Asset Management and Life Cycle Analysis of Aero and Stationary Gas Turbines focuses on the development and delivery of operational solutions used by gas turbine manufacturers, operators and maintenance organisations to manage their engines, powerplants and maintenance procedures. Research includes the development and implementation of gas turbine lifing methods and tools, health monitoring and diagnostics solutions, performance assessment methods, active engine life and degradation control strategies, fleet management and optimisation of maintenance scheduling. Industrial partners include Lufthansa Technik, RWE, Rolls Royce, Boeing, GE, Emirates, BP, Shell, Alstom-GE.
Facilities and resources
The Group has developed a variety of world class tools including:
- CHARM: Cranfield Hybrid electric Aircraft Research Model: a multifidly digital platform for the modelling and analysis of novel electrified aircraft.
- Energy and exergy based models for the analysis of novel aerodynamic and aero-propulsion concepts including BLI, distributed propellers and wing tip propulsors
- Gas turbine lifing analysis tools - Optimisation and visualisation software - Diagnostics and performance assessment tools
The Group is contributing to the Thermal Power and Propulsion MSc and is leading the delivery of several CPD programmes. Furthermore the Group has delivered several customised and in-house short courses and CPD programmes for Airbus, Safran, GE, US Navy, Siemens, AIAA and others.
Modules for the Thermal Power and Propulsion MSc include: - Mechanical Design of Turbomachinery - Propulsion Electrification CPD: - Mechanical Integrity of Gas Turbines - Gas Turbine Technology for Operations and Maintenance Engineers.
- NASA Grant: Techno-economic, Environmental and Risk Assessment of N3-X concept, NASA NNX13AI78G
- Sublime: Supporting Understanding of BLI Model Experiment, Clean Sky 2
- Futrpint 50: Future Propulsion & Integration towards a Hybrid Electric 50 seat regional aircraft, Horizon 2020
- PINES: Powerplant Integration of Novel Engine Systems, Innovate UK/ATI, Rolls Royce
- APROCONE: Advanced Product Concept Analysis Environment, Innovate UK/ATI, Airbus
- PIPS: Powerplant Integration with Platform Systems, Innovate UK/ATI, Rolls Royce, https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=113107
- MegaFlight: Innovate UK/ATI, Rolls Royce
- Assessment of turbo-electric propulsion architectures for aircraft, EPSRC & Rolls Royce
- Industrial Gas Turbine Air System Modelling, RWE Gas Turbine Hot Section Lifing, Lufthansa Technik Gas Turbine Advance Diagnostics and Health Monitoring, Lufthansa Technik BLI Assessment, GKN