AcQ was one of the partners in the AFLoNext European research project. This project investigated and demonstrated technologies to improve aircraft fuel efficiency, reduce aircraft weight and reduce aircraft noise.
The project was subdivided in multiple Technology Streams; AcQ was part of TS1 collaborating with DLR, Airbus Germany and other partners. This technology stream implemented, integrated and demonstrated Hybrid Laminar Flow Control (HLFC) technology on the tail. As an aircraft flies, the flow of air can become turbulent, leading to unwanted drag. The HLFC demonstrator used passive and active suction to control the flow of air around the tail to better maintain an even (laminar) flow of air. This reduces drag, thus improving fuel efficiency of the aircraft. The technology was demonstrated by means of test flights of the DLR-A320 ATR aircraft.
To monitor and control the HLFC demonstrator, the tail area was fitted with numerous temperature and pressure sensors. AcQ developed an acquisition system (the HLFC Verification System, or HVS) to read and log the data from these sensors and provide this data in real-time to on-board operators. This high-performance VPX system was designed and qualified to strict environmental requirements and interfaced dozens of sensors all throughout the tail.
Final video of the AFLoNext project: