Research and Development

 

Composite Stiffened Panel Optimisation

 

2013-2015: Aero Optimal developed the first analytical optimisation tool for CFRP stiffened panels that are typically used in large CAT “A” composite structures. This innovation facilitated the creation of minimum weight structures for multiple criteria in stiffness, strength, stability, and damage tolerance.  However, over-design as a result of damage tolerance criteria dominating the design drive for CFRP panels was a key concern, hence the subject of several Aero Optimal study proposals.

2016-2019: In collaboration with Cranfield University, Aero Optimal put forward proposals to Innovate-UK for the “Development of a Rapid Prototyping Analytical Structural Optimisation Tool with Improved Damage Tolerance Module Adapted for Graphene Enhanced Composite Aero-structures”. 

 

Aero Optimal believed that the solution was to develop analytical method for predicting the dynamic response of impact damage with high degree of accuracy.  The update of this criterion as a responsive damage tolerance module to the software tool allows engineers to enhance the accuracy of failure prediction and negate the need for unnecessary sizable expensive and time-consuming tests.

 

2019-2020: Analytical Prediction of Impact damage on Stiffened Composite Panels

In collaboration with Cranfield University and within this study, effect of variable stiffness distribution due to the stringer presence with various layups was investigated for panel-stringer laminate under impact loading. Analytical models from a typical skin-stringers assembly were developed based on a spring-mass system to predict the dynamic behaviour of the striker-plate domain and finally, determine the contact force history.  Comparison with experimental and Finite Element results that the model developed proved to be capable of successfully predicting the response of stringer stiffened composite panels with a range of layups and geometry designs under low velocity impact loading conditions.

 

Multi-Role Utility-Drone (MRU-Drone)

 

2018-2020: Development of a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle with e-S/VTOL capability, integrating the available technologies in a battery, optical and acoustic sensors.  It incorporates a full electrical propulsion system with short and vertical take-off & landing capabilities and airframe entirely made of advanced composites materials.

 

The MRU-Drone is designed primarily for use as a commercial delivery system for long-range and long-duration mission adaptable for use in inspection of oil & gas pipelines, long-distance aerial survey, and mapping:

  • An air express service connecting major cities up to 100 Km range

  • Delivery system for a payload of 5kg container

  • Design to meet the drone code Visual & Beyond Visual Line of Sight

    • Optical and acoustic sensors

  • Structure health monitoring and management

  • Composite airframe with modular/interchangeable parts

  • Easy access to the cargo bay

  • Battery: Ultra-High Energy Pack

  • Flight computer with an integrated control system

  • Electric propulsion power (e-motor propellers)

  • Modular composite construction and assembly

  • Energy recuperation capability

  • Real-time flight monitoring for timely safety action

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