Challenges

SARISTU focuses on the challenges posed by the physical integration of smart intelligent structural concepts. It addresses aircraft weight and operational cost reductions as well as an improvement in the flight profile specific aerodynamic performance. This concerns material concepts enabling a conformal, controlled distortion of aerodynamically important surfaces, material concepts enabling an active or passive status assessment of specific airframe areas with respect to shape and potential damages and material concepts enabling further functionalities which to date have been unrealizable.

Past research has shown the economic feasibility and system maturity of aerodynamic Conformal Morphing. However, few projects concerned themselves with the challenges arising from the structural integration on commercial aircraft. In particular, the skin material and its bonding to the substructure are challenging. One of the SARISTU goals is to demonstrate the structural realizability of individual Conformal Morphing concepts concerning the leading edge and the trailing edge on a full scale outer wing section by aerodynamic and structural testing.

Operational requirements on Conformal Morphing surfaces necessitate the implementation of an independent, integrated shape sensing system to ensure not only optimal control of the aerodynamic surface but also failure tolerance and robustness. Developments made for structural health monitoring will be adapted to this task. Similar systems optimized for rapid in-service damage assessment have progressed to a maturity which allows their inclusion in the next generation of aircraft. However, the time consuming application of these sensor systems has to be further improved by integration at the component manufacturing level. The additional benefit of a utilization of these adapted systems for part manufacture process and quality control shall be assessed in SARISTU.

Addressing the Nanotechnology aspect of the call, benefits regarding damage tolerance and electrical conductivity improvements shall be realized at sub-assembly level.

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