Select Committee on Trade and Industry Minutes of Evidence


Demonstrator proposals for discussions with government


  There is a potential market for low, medium, or high altitude (and low, medium or high endurance) UAVs to create a communications relay network as an alternative to military and commercial satellite communications Network.

  Applications: FOAS, civil communications.


  There are many potential military uses for UAVs in the Deep Strike role. These could be used for a range of C4ISTAR roles (especially ISTAR) as well as combat roles (SEAD and Strike). The likely technologies would encompass sensors and sensor fusion as well as survivable vehicle technologies (ranging from high speed Cruise Missile-type vehicles to stealthy vehicles).

  Applications: FOAS.


  Next generation civil wing technologies (wind design & manufacture, power plant and wing systems) integrated into an overall optimum wing demonstration.

  Applications: Next generation civil aircraft.


  Demonstration of an advanced design, manufacture, assemble and maintain capability for primary composite wing structures.

  Applications: Next generation civil aircraft.


  Demonstration of an advanced design, manufacture, assemble and maintain capability for next generation metallic systems.

  Applications: Next generation civil aircraft.


  A ground based demonstrator should be considered, which includes simulation of an Air Traffic Control environment operating with a static Flight Simulator. It could well be that the system operates this synthetic environment using a number of distributed simulators or control sites. Such a simulation capability would address issues of the new ATM system, communications, taxiway guidance, enhanced and synthetic vision and "free flight" to a much greater capability than an aircraft could do. In terms of dual use, the demonstrator would explore the requirement for the operation of military aircraft and UAVs within the civil ATM structure. Most of the UK avionics companies, airlines and airport authorities would gain value for such a system.

  Applications: Civil and Military Air Traffic Management Systems.


  The More Electric Aircraft represents the optimisation of current hydraulic, electrical and hydraulic power systems from a top-down, whole aircraft approach, and concludes that electricity should be the primary power source. This technology is applicable to a wide range of platforms, including civil passenger aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. However, a number of key system, product, component, material and process technologies need to be demonstrated, to achieve the ultimate benefits in efficiency, weight, safety and maintenance. To progress the evolution of the More Electric Aircraft, sub-system and component demonstrators are also required to confirm the benefits and reliability. The electric motors/generators, and associated power electronics, need to achieve a higher power density and to survive harsh environments. Novel topologies of electromagnetic machines need to evolve from concepts into demonstrators, in conjunction with advances in materials and manufacturing processes.

  The DTI is already sponsoring the development of electric actuation to replace the hydraulic actuation system for control of flying surfaces. The main driver is to reduce the very high maintenance costs and hence lifecycle costs of hydraulics. Projects such as HEAT, REACTS and TIME address aspects of the work, but do not take the concepts to a full flight simulation, unlike our US and EU associates. This could be extended to fly a hybrid or fully electric military aircraft. A military aircraft would be desirable—not just because of dual use, but because it does not need the certification of the civil aircraft. Such flight demonstration provides both significant technical risk reduction, and superior credibility when marketing new products.

  Applications: Civil and Military Aircraft, including helicopters and UAVs.


  Technologies such as the More Electric Aircraft introduce equipment with integrated computing power. This information processing capability could be utilised to significantly improve safety and availability. Detection and isolation of faults would be more effective, by locally monitoring the condition of critical equipment. This capability would evolve into the prediction of the remaining life for all the key systems and equipment on an aircraft. This information could then be integrated into the spares supply-chain and maintenance system, thereby reducing operating costs. Demonstration at equipment and system levels required to advance this technology.

  Applications: Civil and Military Aircraft, including UAVs.


  Modelling and demonstration of full "sensor to shooter" systems, including on and off board sensors, for a variety of platforms and network systems.

  Applications: Eurofighter/Typhoon air to ground and future platforms.


  The majority of today's engineering development processes depend upon prototypes to demonstrate performance and integrity. This represents significant investment in time, resources and money. By integrating design rules with Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools, system requirements could be automatically processed and a compliant design generated within hours rather than weeks or months. Successful demonstration of this "digital product" concept will enable a significant reduction in time to market, and ensure "right first time" design. The digital product could then evolve into a "virtual test" capability, whereby validation and certification testing, peculiar to the aerospace industry, may be modelled before hardware is produced. Demonstration will be key in proving such capabilities, but the potential benefit of more than a 50 per cent reduction in product introduction lead time would contribute to making UK industry more competitive.

  Applications: Civil and military design and proving process.


  There are a range of potential demonstrations, which are required to demonstrate integration and interoperability of C41 and ISTAR in a UK or coalition environment.


  A synthetic environment demonstrator to evaluate trade-offs between investment in various domain C41STAR assets.

  Applications: Military requirements.


  To predict, explore and demonstrate how flexible communications systems can perform and inter-operate, giving the UK a lead in the provision of infrastructure for international operations. Demonstrate the application of security and protection measures.

  Applications: Military, civil and emergency operations.


  The ability to offer reliable service entry for a complete powerplant demands whole-engine technology validation prior to inclusion in a final product. This demonstrator programme allows for this and is centred on core turbomachinery validation in a fully integrated engine environment. Developments in the engine core to minimise environmental impact and life cycle costs will continue with core turbomachinery running at increased temperatures and pressures and with increased emphasis on active control systems and variable geometry aerodynamics. Planned developments in these latter fields will allow simplification of the overall engine architecture with consequent additional benefits in weight, efficiency and unit cost.

  Applications: Large Civil Aircraft.


  It is planned to run a first generation "More Electric Engine" in 2004-05. This will incorporate electrically driven accessories and electrical generators embedded within the core of the engine. The further development of this technology and the validation of a flight viable system requires a major investment in both an underpinning technology programme and in the development of an integrated approach to the engine and airframe power systems requirements and architectures. The More Electric Engine/Aircraft is critical to achieving long-term industry goals for improved safety/reliability and reduced operating costs.

  The More Electric Engine and the Next Generation Large Civil Engine programme will increasingly become integrated into a single vehicle as the technology matures and marketable product become available. However the electric technologies within the engine are likely to become of such criticality to the engine operation and performance that a "More Electric Demonstration Unit" will be required long-term. This is envisaged as being a similar arrangement to industry's High Temperature Demonstration Unit programme, which, with the support of HMG, has operated as an ongoing demonstration vehicle to validate critical core engine technology developments.

  Applications: Large Civil Aircraft.


  This vehicle provides a validation route for core engine technologies—primarily low emissions combustor technology and high efficiency turbines where the emphasis is on reduced cooling. Both of these elements require an underpinning technology acquisition programme covering Materials, Heat Transfer, Aerodynamics and Combustion chemistry. All of these programmes will benefit civil and military applications, but it must be emphasised that whereas the drive for new technology in these areas has traditionally come from the military sector, technology development is now increasingly driven by the needs of the civil sector with subsequent spin-out to military applications.

  Application: Civil and Military Aircraft.

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Prepared 13 June 2002