Airbus Group Innovations is a Global Network of research facilities, scientists, engineers and partners focused on delivering leading-edge research and development to the wider Airbus Group. It operates a global network of corporate Research and Technology (R&T) laboratories that guarantee its innovation potential with a focus on the long term. The structure of the network is consistent with the Airbus Group R&T strategy and covers the skills and technology fields that are of critical importance to the Group. Its teams are organised into seven transnational Technical Capabilities Centres:
- Composites Technologies
- Metallic Technologies and Surface Engineering
- Structures Engineering, Production and Aeromechanics
- Engineering, Physics, IT, Security Services and Simulation
- Sensors, Electronics and Systems Integration
- Innovative Concepts and Scenarios
- Energy and Propulsion
Within the UK, Airbus Group Innovations concentrates on the last of these capabilities, Energy and Propulsion research, which is split across two sites – Filton, Bristol and Newport, South Wales. Its core competence is system-level simulation and modelling of a wide range of platforms, focusing on the energy architecture. Highly integrated systems offer a new opportunity to optimise energy distribution and management in order to maximise the performance of a system in an energy-limited environment. Recent case studies include the ExoMars Rover (Project Endover), a Single Aisle passenger aircraft (Project; IPPA), a Small Fuel Cell, Hybrid UAV (Project: SUAV), and a distributed propulsion future aircraft (Project: DEAP).
Airbus Group Innovations Facilities
In order to support these activities, Airbus Group Innovations offers a capability to include hardware-in-the-loop testing and simulation. Past activities have included batteries, fuel cells, solar panels and electric motors. Its highly configurable lab at the Newport Campus is equipped with a range of controllable power supplies and electronic loads, alongside a comprehensive suite of test and measurement equipment. Past hardware investigations have included a 250W PEM fuel cell (complete with a 10L/min hydrogen electrolyser), 3kW UAV electric motors for main propulsion, and various other electronic loads and energy systems such as solar, thermoelectric, and lithium batteries. The Newport site also has access to a wide range of technical facilities in the wider Airbus community (Power Campus, Battery Lab) and through its academic partners.