Young researchers fly high at air show

October 31st, 2014

Research at Nottingham’s Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT) has been showcased at the Farnborough International Airshow, one of the most important events in the industry’s calendar.

As well as highlighting its expertise and commercial collaborations, the IATs early stage PhD researchers from the multidisciplinary INNOVATE programme made their Farnborough debut. They unveiled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that they had created.

Coming from different engineering and scientific backgrounds, the researchers pool expertise and share learning by developing their own experience in other areas of aerospace technology.

Professor Hervé Morvan, Director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology, said: “The project teaches the team systems design and integration and review processes. The UAVs are also part of an outreach project, demonstrating not only their skills to the public but that aerospace engineering is an exciting field.”

Sara Roggia, a Marie Curie Fellow and one of the PhD researchers, said: We attracted a great deal of attention at Farnborough, particularly from young people.

Sara, pictured with fellow INNOVATE researchers Nicolas Schneider, Luca Bertola and Valerio Polenta with the UAVs at Farnboroug, added:  “The UAVs — an airplane and a quadcopter — can be flown remotely via laptop and are programmed to follow GPS coordinates and recognise a target before releasing a payload.

Nottingham is the only university in its own right to be an associate member in the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, which is developing technologies to reduce costs and environmental impact, for example, by replacing pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical power with electrically-driven components as part of the Systems for Green Operation programme.

Professor Morvan said: “The aerospace industry is growing at a phenomenal rate. By 2030, it’s estimated there will be 27,000 new aircraft in the skies, worth around $3.7 trillion.

“Our world-class, multidisciplinary research is key to driving the technology forward. What we are able to offer commercial partners is truly unique. Farnborough is the perfect platform to showcase our expertise, as our work bridges the gap between academic research and the level of technology readiness at which industry can start to adopt novel results and technologies for internal development and exploitation.”

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