Development of air and space vehicles: research projects
For over 100 years, NRL has been a leading knowledge institute for applied research, committed to a better world of tomorrow. We work objectively and independently, for and with the national and international business community and government agencies.
On this page you will find a number of the research projects related to this programme.
Research projects Development of air and space vehicles
STUNNING is aimed at the development of a multifunctional and integrated fuselage made from thermoplastic composite material for large, short to mid range aircraft. The STUNNING fuselage will lead to considerable weight reduction, with the corresponding decrease in CO2 and NOx emissions. The production and assembly costs will also be reduced, and manufacturing technology will be developed for the high volumes needed. STUNNING is essential for the competitiveness of the Dutch aviation industry and suppliers.
Goal 2022: The research will concentrate on bonding technology for thermoplastics, additive manufacturing technology, thermoplastic panels, laser-based fibre replacement and data transfer between spaces separated by composite panels.
Project: Support to Future CROR and UHBR Propulsion System Maturation - PropMat
The goal of PropMat is to bring Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) propulsion to a higher TRL (Technology Readiness Level). The aeroacoustic behaviour of integrated UHBR engine designs is being investigated at the aircraft level. For the wind tunnel testing of (installed) UHBR engines, new measurement methods are being explored, including new tools, instrumentation and the integration of these, and data analysis methods. The goal is to more accurately measure the aerodynamic and acoustic behaviour of the engines during the wind tunnel test, as well as all kinds of factors that influence this behaviour in the wind tunnel. With this, the behaviour of engine designs at the aircraft level can more reliably be predicted.
Goal 2022: The effect of a disruption to the inflow of air in a UHBR engine will be investigated. This kind of disruption can arise if the engine is installed in or near to the boundary layer of an aircraft component (BLI). This can lead to a reduction in the air resistance of that component, which in turn results in fuel saving – provided that the effects of the disruption to the engine air inflow remain limited. The effects will be investigated via flow calculations. Work will also be done to prepare a wind tunnel test for a UHBR engine, for the purpose of realism and test safety. The air flow through the design of the wind tunnel model will be calculated and evaluated. The loads on the fan blades will also be calculated. The internal construction of the instrumented fan blade will subsequently be modelled and further detailed, and the behaviour of the fan blades analysed in diverse wind tunnel conditions.
This project is dedicated to the sustainability and greening of aviation. Various aspects are being explored that can contribute towards this. The two main themes are: reducing mass in aircraft constructions and increasing the aerodynamic efficiency of aircraft.
Goal 2022: further development of welding processes for thermoplastic materials UD, LMPAEK and woven PPS. In the area of in-situ monitoring of the induction welding process, the potential use of optical fibres will be explored. Support will also be provided in designing a component to be made (by one of the other project partners) from recycled thermoplastics.