AcQ was one of the partners in the AFLoNext European research project. This four-year EC L2 project investigated and demonstrated technologies to improve aircraft fuel efficiency, reduce aircraft weight and minimise aircraft noise, achieving a quantum leap in improved performance and a reduced environmental footprint.
The project was subdivided into 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 fin and wing. 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 in cruise conditions. 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 200 temperature and pressure sensors. AcQ developed a high-performance acquisition system (the HLFC Verification System, or HVS) to collect and store data from these sensors, and provide figures in real-time to on-board operators. This data was analyzed on the ground after flight, and demonstrated one of the objectives.
The VPX system was designed and qualified to strict environmental requirements.
Watch the final video of the AFLoNext project here.