national aerospace technology strategy


Nov 18, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


national aerospace technology
The National Aerospace Technology Strategy
(NATS) is the result of an important partnership
between industry, Government and academia
to address UK competitiveness in aerospace
The objective of the strategy is to ensure that the
technology generated by the UK science base
flows through to industry and is embedded in the
supply chain for commercial exploitation.
The strategy addresses specific challenges
relating to the environment, safety, security and
national defence.
The UK has the world’s largest aerospace industry
outside the USA. It is one of the country’s few
globally competitive manufacturing sectors,
supporting more than 276,000 jobs with a turnover
of around £22bn per year.
The Aerospace Innovation
& Growth Team
The Aerospace Innovation and
Growth Team (AeIGT) was launched
to ensure the UK aerospace industry
maintained its global strength and
developed world class technologies.
The AeIGT is a partnership between
UK Government, industry and
academia, with the vision that
by 2022:
‘The UK will offer a global
aerospace industry, the world’s
most innovative and productive
location, leading to sustainable
growth for all its stakeholders’
NATS was produced by the AeIGT
to focus the applied research and
demonstration effort needed for
success, and was published in their
Implementation Report in 2004. This
strategy identified areas where the
UK aerospace industry could remain
globally competitive if action were
taken to sustain and develop its
technology capability.
The Value of Research &
Investment in research and
development enhances the
productivity and competitiveness of
the firm or sector that undertakes it.
UK Government directly recognises
the importance of R&D investment
in raising productivity and has a
specific objective of increasing UK
R&D spending to 2.5 per cent of
GDP by 2014. It is widely recognised
that some of the benefits of R&D
expenditure extend beyond the firm
or sector that makes the investment.
Some of the technological advances
and innovations that come from R&D
spillover into other firms and sectors,
helping to boost their productivity.
There is a strong body of evidence
suggesting that R&D spill overs
have a very positive impact on the
wider economy. The Department
of Trade and Industry and H.M.
Treasury specifically recognise
this in providing direct support and
R&D tax credits. There are a large
number of channels through which
R&D spillovers occur. These include
interaction and knowledge sharing
in the supply chain, through skills
development, labour turnover, peer
contact and entrepreneurial activity,
as well as the more traditional
dissemination of basic research
through papers and conferences.
Recent research by Oxford Economic
Forecasting has concluded that R&D
investment in the aerospace sector
is particularly effective in generating
spillover benefits.
Delivering a National
Aerospace Technology
The AeIGT team identified a number
of research themes relating to
the environment, safety, security
and national defence that were
critical for the UK to maintain global
competitiveness in aerospace
technology. These are illustrated in
Figure 1.
The AeIGT implementation report
identified two mechanisms that were
required to bring innovative ideas
through to validated systems. These
were termed Aerospace Innovation
Networks and Aerospace Technology
Validation Programmes.
Figure 1

Relationship between challenges, key product areas, technology themes and technology validation.
Continue to play a world-leading role
• Wings (civil & military)
• Aero-engines (civil)
• Rotors & rotor drives (military)
• Sensor Systems (military)
• Simulators, training and Synthetic
Environments (civil)
• Electrical Power Systems (civil)
• Actuation Systems (civil)
• Airframe Fuel Systems (civil & military)
• Maintenance Systems (military)
• Aircrew Protection & Life Support
Potential to become world-leading
• Engines & exhausts (military)
• Weapons Systems (military)
• Communication, Navigation, Surveillance
and Data Links (civil)
• C3I Systems (military)
• Electronic Systems Integration
(civil & military)
• Simulators, training and Synthetic
Environments (military)
• Maintenance Systems (civil)
Aerospace Innovation
An Aerospace Innovation Network
(AIN) is a research network carrying
out jointly funded research projects.
AINs are led by a single UK company
and are open to all industry and
academia operating in the UK.
AINs focus on a specific research
theme, identified as part of the NATS,
over a rolling 5-year period. An AIN
is a nominated set of networked
research institutions with distributed
research facilities.
Aerospace Technology
Validation Programmes
Aerospace Technology Validation
Programmes (ATVP) demonstrate
and integrate innovative technologies,
reducing the risk in downstream
product programmes. ATVPs are
open to all UK aerospace companies
and academia for work to be
undertaken in the UK. Government
will recognise the importance of
technology validation in its research
and technology expenditure.
ATVPs focus on a specific theme,
identified as part of the NATS over
a rolling 5-year period. In time the
topics requiring validation will need
to reflect new technologies being fed
through from AINs.
13 AINs are being developed Examples of research areas
Advanced Electrical Power Systems electrical materials, electrical machines, power electronics and converters, thermal
management, distribution architectures and power management, condition monitoring
Advanced Aerospace Materials and Structures advanced metallics technologies, advanced composites technologies, smart materials
and structures, design and test methodologies, manufacturing process development
Aerodynamics numerical simulation methods, tools and technologies, flow physics and application
technologies, test facilities and data acquisition, design environments, management &
Electromagnetic Systems Engineering lightning, EMP threats and protection, antennas, sensors and installed performance, EMC
and systems susceptibility, signature management, EM measurement and accreditation,
RADHAZ and biological effects, EM design tools
Environmental Technology fan noise, low-noise nozzle designs, low-noise combustor design, airframe noise,
operational procedures, emissions
Health Management and Prognostics structures, avionics, power systems, wiring, corrosion monitoring, fuels and lubricants
High Temperature Materials single crystal blade alloys, nickel disc alloy, net shape powder hipping, nickel and
molybdenum silicides, nickel and molybdenum silicides, fire resistant compressor
materials, static titanium structural materials, TiMMCs for rotating disc structures in
Interactive Network Systems fundamental concepts, system analysis, system design, system control
Sensor Technologies sensors to enhance pilotage, navigation, safety and security, sensor fusion and
networking, supporting/underpinning sensor technologies
Synthetic Environments and Systems Simulation specification, acquisition and operation of airframes, systems network enabled
capability etc.,optimising manufacturing and operational processes, de-risking complex
programmes, training and safety
Systems Engineering systems architectures, system measurement and through life management, systems
integration and autonomy, design for affordable life-cycle cost of immortal systems
Through Life Support design strategies, tools and technologies that will increase the predictability of the need
for maintenance action, replacement of obsolescent equipments, emergent safety and
environmental legislation, management of aged airframes, product disposal
Disruptive and Emerging Technologies technology analysis, toolset development, subject matter networking, information
architecture, validation of emerging technologies
6 ATVP topics in NATS Examples of technology areas
Integrated Wing wing optimisation, flow control and noise reduction, new materials, design and
manufacturing techniques, advanced fuel and landing gear systems, ‘virtual’ integration and
validation environment
More Electric Aircraft power storage, generation and control, engine systems, distribution and load management,
actuators and actuation systems, environmental control system, overall integration
Environmentally Friendly Engine aerodynamic and mechanical designs, novel high temperature materials, low emissions
combustion, advanced control systems and actuators.
Autonomous Systems security/safety, system reliability, intelligent autonomy, human factors/integrating into the
environment, navigation/situational awareness, ease of operation, operations protocols
INFOAir secure and information sharing, protection of airspace, safer and more secure employment, test
facilities for rapid investigation
Integrated Air Traffic Management Network autonomous decision making, reliability, safety, security, ability for deployed and remote
operation, civil vs military requirements, integration
NATS Governance
The AeIGT established the Aerospace
Technology Steering Group (ATSG)
to oversee the implementation of the
NATS. This joint group is comprised
of representatives from industry,
academia, national and regional
The ATSG reports to the UK
Aerospace Innovation and Growth
Leadership Council whose role
includes driving all the various key
strands of AeIGT implementation
work on Technology, Enterprise
Excellence, Skills and Environmental
issues. The Leadership Council is
comprised of the leading aerospace
industrialists involved in implementing
the AeIGT agenda, senior
government officials, together with
representation on behalf of regional
partners and trades unions.
A Programme Coordination Task
Force has been established by
the ATSG to undertake detailed
management of the projects being
developed under NATS and brought
forward for government funding.
The ATSG has also, through its
Commercial Task Force, developed a
Model Collaboration Agreement to be
adopted across all the programmes
to speed agreement of collaborations
between the consortia partners.
The National Aerospace Strategy
Group (NASG) was established to
coordinate the funding for the NATS.
This Group is chaired by the DTI
Minister for Science and Innovation
and includes representatives from the
MoD, Regional Development
Agencies (RDAs), Devolved
Administrations (DAs) and research
Since 2004, NATS projects have
won approximately £88m of funding
from DTI. There has been good
progress in engaging the regions with
NATS. A regional forum to assist the
engagement of the RDAs and DAs
was established and funding from
the regions of around £43m is under
discussion. Most of the funding is
focused on support for the ATVPs.
This funding is spread over three to
five years, depending on the project.
So far more than 70 companies,
RDAs, DAs, MoD and DTI have
contributed to NATS.
Government and industry have
worked in partnership to implement
NATS. The funding for NATS
programmes comes from a number
of sources including industry, DTI,
MoD, RDAs, DAs and Engineering
and Physical Sciences Research
Council (EPSRC).

Challenges ahead
Industry is striving to ensure that
NATS (as a joint industry/government
strategy) becomes widely recognised
as the prime source for determining
future UK aerospace technology
requirements, technology themes
and funding priorities across
Government, particularly the DTI
Technology Programme.
Industry is working closely with
DTI to ensure that future topics and
funding schemes take a full account
of NATS. In addition industry
requires recognition and credit for
NATS proposals as part of a
national strategy.
Following the engagement of the
RDAs and DAs further work now
needs to be done to engage MoD,
particularly with respect to Defence
Industrial Strategy and EPSRC in a
coordinated approach to funding
research and technology activities.
to deliver wealth to the UK
Examples of AINs and ATVPs
Integrated Wing Aerospace
Technology Validation
Programme (IWATVP)
‘Phase 1’ is a 3-year £34m
programme with objectives to
develop key technologies and, via
application of advanced methods,
to optimise their application at
the integrated wing-level. Due to
challenging targets set for
sustainable aviation, high risk/high
potential technologies* are being
considered, for application across the
product life cycle.
‘Phase 2’ will down-select the most
promising advanced integrated
wing configuration and, via a large-
scale physical platform, ensure risk
reduction and validation of cost/
benefits versus the ACARE targets.
The programme, while focused
on technology development and
validation, will also provide, via
outcomes resulting from regional
funding, related opportunities for
academia and early priming of the
supply chain. One example of this is
the establishment of an additive layer
manufacturing cell in the South-West.
Major partners include Airbus,
QinetiQ, Bombardier Aerospace,
Ultra, Messier-Dowty, BAE Systems,
GKN, Smiths Aerospace, Eaton.
* eg:
• Wing optimisation, flow control,
noise reduction
• New materials, design and
manufacturing techniques
• Advanced fuel and landing
gear systems
• ‘Virtual’ integration and validation
Environmentally Friendly
Engine (EFE) Technology
Validation Programme
There is a critical need to address
the reduction of noise and polluting
emissions from aircraft and engines
if the industry is to remain sustainable
with the anticipated tripling of air
traffic over the next 25 years. The UK
and European aviation industry has
cooperated with the Advisory Council
for Aeronautics Research in Europe
(ACARE) to set a series of step-
change goals for reducing carbon
dioxide by 50% per passenger km,
oxides of nitrogen by 80% and noise
by 50%, all by 2020. EFE is a critical
part of the UK National Aerospace
Technology Strategy to meet these
goals and will provide the validation
route for future generations of
improved gas turbine systems. It will
enable the pull-through of technology
from the UK science and engineering
base and ensure that the integrated
and optimised operation of a range of
new technologies is validated ahead
of their introduction into production
vehicles in the 2012-2015 timescale.
The programme is focused on
the system level integration and
validation of:
• Aerodynamic and mechanical
• Novel high temperature materials
• Low emissions combustion
• Advanced control systems
and actuators
EFE will establish and operate two
large validation platforms: a gas
turbine core and a wind tunnel
nacelle/powerplant vehicle. The
programme will start in 2006 and test
vehicles will first run in 2008.
Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium
of five UK aerospace companies
(Goodrich, Bombardier Aerospace,
Smiths Aerospace and HS Marston)
and six universities (Queens Belfast,
Loughborough, Oxford, Cambridge,
Sheffield and Birmingham) with this
5-year, £95m project.
representatives from the UK
Government, industry, academia and
regional bodies. Industry consortium
partners include; Agent Orientated
Software, BAE Systems, EADS,
Flight Refuelling, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce
and Thales.
Materials & Coatings
Tip Clearance Control
Fuel Injection
Active & Passive Damping
Aerodynamics & Flow Control
Integration Architecture
Acoustic Treatments
UK Systems
Autonomous Systems
Technology Related
Airborne Evaluation &
Assessment (ASTRAEA)
ASTRAEA is a national programme
that focuses on the technologies,
systems, facilities and procedures
that will allow uninhabited air
vehicles to operate safely and
routinely in the UK. Autonomous air
vehicles will bring real economical,
environmental and security benefits
in many areas and ASTRAEA will
position the UK at the very forefront
of these opportunities. ASTRAEA
is a consortium that includes
Aerodynamics Aerospace
Innovation Network
Aerodynamics is a complex and
challenging subject, and is a core
competence of the aerospace
industry. The UK will only continue
to be successful in the global
aerospace market if it can develop
and deploy advanced aerodynamics
tools and technologies. The
Aerodynamics AIN (AAIN) is currently
developing a programme of research
aligned to challenging future airframe
and powerplant performance targets,
structured around the following
• Numerical simulation methods,
tools and technologies
• Flow physics and application
• Test facilities and data acquisition
• Design environments
This programme is being collated
by an extended Programme
Management Group representing
all of the major UK aerospace
organisations that have a close
interest in aerodynamic design
technologies. This includes Airbus,
Rolls-Royce, MBDA, BAE Systems,
Dowty Propellers, Westland
Helicopters, QinetiQ, Bombardier
Aerospace and Aircraft Research
Association. This team is supported
by representatives from the public
sector funding agencies and a
representative from UK academia.
Although the programme involves
mainly focused research activity,
it also addresses the provision of
facilities and extended capabilities.
Specifically, the AAIN is already
engaged in developing a large
programme aimed at developing
significantly more powerful simulation
methods, in conjunction with SWRDA
and other government agencies.
Preliminary discussions have also
taken place with another Regional
Development Agency related to the
development of an existing large test
facility aligned to changing future
programme needs.
Advanced Materials and
Structures Aerospace
Innovation Network
This industry-led research network
for advanced materials and
structures aims to provide research
and capability development for
the aerospace industry. The
network aims to develop low cost,
lightweight, high strength structures
in order to reduce fuel burn and
emissions as well as maximising
competitiveness. This is facilitated
by coordinated planning and funding
from industry and Government
agencies. The £20m per annum
programme is focused on the key
themes of materials development,
advanced design and cost effective
manufacturing of metallics,
composites and SMART materials.
Since initiation, the network has
been highly effective with twelve
research proposals funded under the
Technology Programme, the most
of any AIN. Additionally, AMAST has
provided much of the aerospace
element in the recently formed
Knowledge Transfer initiatives, the
National Composites Network and
SMART.mat. Working with these
and other KTNs ensures a wide
as possible engagement between
academia, the industrial supply chain
and provides critical links to other
industrial sectors.
For further information go to: