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Case Study

AutoJet® Artificial cloud system helps aeronautical research institute to develop electric aircraft


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As we are transitioning into a more environmentally friendly society many of the worlds’ brightest minds are researching carbon neutral travel solutions. While electric cars are now a common sight on the road, air travel is facing a lot more challenges to make a similar transition.

One of the major issues that is currently emerging with electrically propelled airplanes is the buildup of ice and frost on the wings at high altitudes. Conventional airplanes use the excess heat of the thermic engines to de-ice the wings but obviously that’s not an option with electric motors.

Because of these issues we were recently contacted by an aeronautical research institute to help them simulate high altitude conditions in their wind tunnel. More specifically, they were looking to simulate clouds to test the effect on the wings.

In the past they were using a setup with nozzles that were unable to deliver a constant droplet size at varying flow rates. As a result they had to run advanced calculations to compensate for the inaccuracy. Now they were looking to fix this shortcoming by installing a system that would give them full control over the droplet size under a large range of different flow rates.

AutoJet® Custom Spraying System

Cloud simulation is not a typical everyday application but with over 80 years of expertise in spray technology we were well up to the task. In essence the requirements aren’t too challenging but we had to make sure that we could meet the targets at very high wind tunnel speeds as well.

After we shared the lab results of our proposed system, proving its ability to deliver a large and homogenous spray pattern, we continued to on-site testing. After setting everything up in the windtunnel the aeronautical engineers could see that the performance was as expected and that we were able to deliver large spray patterns with a steady drop size at various flow rates.

The installed system contains:

Result

Immediately after testing it was clear to the aeronautical research institute that they could now simulate high altitude conditions much more efficiently. As a result they can get more accurate and reliable data. The better data has a significant impact on the speed of the research and testing process. Altogether the new AutoJet® system helps to give a modest contribution to the development of electric aircraft and more sustainable air travel.