PROSAVE2 Project: Looking for the 21th Century aircraft

 

Research centers participating in the PROSAVE2.

 

Spanish companies involved in the project.

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10 Enero 2011
The aeronautical company CESA is at the helm of the PROSAVE2 project, an initiative under the sixth CENIT Programme of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) which seeks to develop more efficient and eco-friendly power systems for the electric aircraft of the future. This project, which has a budget of more than 28 million euros, also involves participation by the Andalusian companies Hynergreen and Greenpower Technologies and the Andalusian Association for Research and Industrial Cooperation (AICIA) The concept of travelling in a totally eco-friendly electric aircraft is no longer such a far-fetched idea. European and international companies and research centres are already working on different projects and initiatives to adapt the characteristics and materials of today’s civil and military aircraft to build the aircraft of the future, which will enjoy major advantages over its competitors in the world aeronautical industry. Not only will it be more energy-efficient, it will help to protect the environment and will in general result in significant cost savings. Naturally, Spain is keen to break into this highly interesting technological field. On 12 November the Council of Ministers approved the grant of funding to the Project for Research into Eco-Efficient Avionics Advanced Systems (PROSAVE2) under the 6th CENIT Programme (Strategic National Consortiums for Technical Research) organised by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). This project headed by Compañía Española de Sistemas Aeronáuticos (CESA) has a total budget of 28.3 million euros. The project’s main objective is to foster cooperation between companies to develop more efficient and eco-friendly power systems for a fully electric aircraft which reduces engine bleeding and the weight of the components, including the power generation, distribution and management systems. The overriding aim is to reduce the pollution levels of the aircraft of the future. This ambitious project will be carried out by a consortium consisting of 18 companies from five Spanish regions: Andalusia, Madrid, the Basque Country, Catalonia and La Rioja. Apart from CESA, the initiative involves participation by other important companies in the Spanish aeronautical industry such as Airbus, Airbus Military, Aernnova and various companies from the auxiliary industry: Aeryper, Mapro, Ramem, Sisteplant, Temai and Vázquez y Torres Ingeniería. The consortium also includes companies from outside the aeronautical sector, for the intention is to apply the achievements and advances of PROSAVE2 to other industries by complementing aeronautical technologies and exploiting this know-how in other market sectors. These companies are Cegasa, Krafft, Naturgas, Alme, JMP Ingenieros, Tratamientos Térmicos TTT and the Andalusian companies Hynergreen and Greenpower Technologies. The project also has the support of another 13 national research centres, including the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the Andalusian Association for Research and Industrial Cooperation (AICIA), not to mention five Spanish universities. Safety first The search for efficient power sources and pollution reductions for the electric aircraft of the future is not the only aim of the PROSAVE2 programme, for modern society also requires aircraft to be safer. Accordingly, while the project focuses on eco-friendly technology it also addresses aspects relating to new systems and sensors to monitor the actuators of the future, enabling real-time monitoring in mid-flight of the wear of materials and parts which could give rise to accidents. Until now these risks could only be detected in periodic maintenance operations. Other highlights include the work carried out in the field of composites to develop lighter and more reliable actuation systems, which will enable improvements in other project areas; research into membranes for the treatment of gases used in aircraft systems; and the field of power optimisation. This project is a major opportunity for the Spanish aeronautical sector to establish itself at an international level in the field of new technologies to reduce noise pollution and other environmental impacts during the aircraft’s life cycle, including aggravation of the greenhouse effect. It will also improve passenger comfort, for example through improvements to cabin air quality. The Andalusian contribution Andalusia will participate directly under PROSAVE2 through the companies Hynergreen, a subsidiary of Abengoa, and Greenpower Technologies, along with collaboration by AICIA. Hynergreen will study and develop inorganic polymer membranes and related systems for the separation and purification of hydrogen via onboard kerosene reforming processes. Together with AICIA, it will develop power generation systems using alternative hydrogen-based energy sources through research into PEM auxiliary and emergency power generation technologies, alternative power generation for turbines and engines and SOFC technologies. In the case of Greenpower Technologies, the company will research and analyse electronic power convertors for aeronautical fuel cell systems. These systems are superior to currently existing systems in terms of their efficiency, size and weight. AICIA will participate in the evaluation of the different alternatives to improve the aircraft’s energy efficiency through innovation in areas related with the efficiency of power conditioners and storage systems. Finally, it will develop a power management system which integrates critical systems such as the electrical, thermal management and electric actuation system. Meanwhile, AICIA will collaborate with the company Temai to carry out a viability study of optical technology for the monitoring of materials and components using ultrasonic sensors.