42 Technology and electronics manufacturer Briton EMS have joined forces to help the Aircraft Research Association (ARA) develop and launch an innovative new research tool for use within its high-speed wind tunnel in Bedford, UK.
The two companies have developed a sophisticated control system for ARA’s new gust generator, the first of its kind in the world capable of simulating gusts at transonic, or cruising, speeds that are typically experienced by aircraft.
The new generator will help drive new research into improving understanding of how turbulence affects aircraft performance and is part of an investment at ARA in new systems and services, funded to the order of £9 million by the Aerospace Technology Institute. The tool could help manufacturers to modify their aircraft designs or to develop systems to compensate for gusts, leading to smoother flights.
42 Technology and Briton EMS – who have frequently worked together for industrial and consumer electronics clients – teamed up with ARA’s in-house engineering team to design, manufacture and install the control system for the new generator. 42 Technology designed the system to link the generator’s control desk with a network of 1,800 solenoid valves, each of which needs to be opened and closed within 20 milliseconds to deliver the required gust profiles. The control system is housed in four 2m-high electronics cabinets and was completed from initial design to installation in under two months.
September 24, 2015