Flight control systems are an important part of the safety-critical system architectures of an aeroplane. The reliability of these systems is crucial for humans as well as for the aircraft itself. The objective of the team “Safety-Critical Architectures” is the development of concepts and assessment methods for modern architectures with maximum robustness and flexibility regarding reconfigurations. To accomplish these objectives, the research focuses on the following core areas.
Focus: Rapid Preliminary Design Processes
The design of flight control systems is a multidisciplinary optimisation process which is driven by aerodynamic aspects. System aspects are considered late in the design process and must meet the given requirements of the prior disciplines. Consequently, for finding global optimums additional degrees of freedom cannot be used in the optimisation stage. This leads to the fact that the design of new and unconventional configurations, characterised by reduced emissions and costs, is going to be much more difficult and expensive.
Therefore, the focus of the group lies in the development of rapid preliminary design processes for aircraft including an early consideration of system aspects. The assessment will be provided up to the aircraft level to evaluate the flight control systems regarding global parameters like estimation of loads, power consumption and mass. For this purpose, interfaces between the involved disciplines will be defined and implemented. Furthermore, requirements for the processes and methods will be derived and parameter uncertainties will be considered. Finally, tools will be developed which allow a fast and robust assessment of innovative configurations with corresponding system architectures.
Focus: Flight Control Concepts and System Architectures
Another focus of the group is the development and assessment of new flight control concepts and system architectures in the areas multifunctional flight control systems, active flow control systems as well as distributed systems. New flight control concepts and new technologies are defined using a function-driven approach where either primary and secondary flight control surfaces are linked together or classic flight control concepts are amended with additional functionality. Research activities are the kinematic design of multifunctional flap systems, the actuation as well as the integration of flaps and flow control systems into the aircraft. For the validation and assessment, system- and parameter-models are being developed. Furthermore, systems and architectures are merged in digital mock-ups and linked to assessment algorithms to verify functionality and available space on a physical area as well as to secure the feasibility of the design.
Focus: Safety and Reliability
A third focus is the development of assessment algorithms for complex and safety-critical architectures. Safety and reliability analyses for the defined architectures are performed keeping certification issues in mind as well as considering requirements from the manufacturer regarding an efficient operational and maintenance performance. Therefore, methods like FHA, FTA, FMEA and CCA based on security guidelines (e.g. ARP4754) are applied and expanded to the relevant system concept. The requirements are identified from aircraft to system level to validate the implementation of the concepts from a safety point-of-view. For this purpose, algorithms and methods for the virtual testing are developed.
Clean Sky2 – Echo
Clean Sky 1 – JTI SFWA