SATCAS Simulation of the assembly tolerances for composite aircraft structures

SATCAS is a project within the framework of the CLEAN-SKY European aeronautical program led, together with other companies, by AIRBUS. Among the different research lines covered by the program, SATCAS is a sub-project of BLADE (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe ? Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft), aimed at achieving solutions for large wings that can operate, at least partially, under natural laminar regime (NLF Wings). These solutions will significantly reduce current fuel consumption and, consequently, offer improvements from both an economic and environmental point of view.

One of the limitations that currently exists for the design of Large aeronautical structures under natural laminar regime are the requirements to be achieved from the point of view of tolerances, with the objective of ensuring that the flow rate is sufficiently stable. These will depend, among other factors, on the deviations of the constituent parts and of the way in which they are assembly processes.

The SATCAS project, which is the sole responsibility of ITA, aims at to develop a numerical methodology for simulating the processes of assembly of the wings and to be able to predict the geometrical deviations and resulting dimensions. This will make it possible to assist companies the definition of their processes and to determine the effects of component supply conditions.

The project has started in April 2011 and is currently expected to will last until mid-2013. It is being executed with the collaboration and under the supervision of AERNNOVA, a BLADE project partner responsible for assemblies and Topic Manager of SATCAS.

The technological solutions resulting from the BLADE project will be will be implemented in a full-scale demonstrator to be tested in 2015, one of the 6 planned Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITD) within the CLEAN-SKY program.

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