Development of SmarT Eco-friendly anticontamination technologies for LAminaR wings
The aircraft industry is facing issues with the increase of drag directly impacting the fuel consumption of the fleet. Achieving natural laminar flow requires high surface quality. Tiny air flow disturbances at the surface can indeed cause an early transition from laminar to turbulent flow. The accumulation of insect debris on the leading edge of laminar wings has been recognized as one of the most significant operational concerns associated with laminar flow.
The main objective of STELLAR is to develop efficient and durable anticontamination coating and cleaning solutions designed following a deep understanding of the insect residues properties. Hence, STELLAR project seeks to gain insight on the understanding of the biochemical transformation of haemolymph during flight phases and the consequent physico-chemical modification and interaction with the aircraft surface.
In order to meet these goals, the project consortium gathers cutting edge multidisciplinary knowledge and the needed facilities to provide a deep understanding of the insect contamination issues. STELLAR approach has the potential to significantly enhance the current understanding of the key issues and highlight which surface characteristics have the greatest influence on insect residue adhesion. From this approach, new coating and cleaning solutions will be developed.
The knowledge acquired and the coating and cleaning solutions developed will be evaluated through large scale tests:
- wind tunnel tests will allow the simulation of the extreme conditions occurring during flights and
- real aircraft tests, including short flight tests (on test aircraft) and long flight tests (on commercial aircraft), operating at higher altitudes will allow a full validation of the new solutions developed by the STELLAR project.