ACHEON Project Official Website is Online

The official ACHEON Project Website is Online now.



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ACHEON Project Submitted: Please help us in gaining consesus thought social Media

ACHEON project has been submitted on October 25, 2011.

It was the deadline for this Level 0 Project on breakthrought innovations in air Transport.

We hope in a large consesus in social media and web to sustain this project oriented to much greener Aeronautics.

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ACHEON Potential Application to Air Transports

Jet deflection systems are important to define novel concepts of air vehicle with enhanced performances, manoeuvrability shorter take off and landing spaces: It will permit to explore radical new concept of aerial vehicle and to give a realization to some very advanced concepts which have been intuited during the history of aviation but couldn’t be applied because of the absence of effective and affordable jet vectoring system.

The main importance of an effective and affordable system to control the direction of a propulsive jet can be, interesting because it could lead to two directions of aeronautic design development:

–          improving performance, safety, efficiency and manoeuvrability of today air vehicle concepts;

–          defining future air vehicle designs, which include innovative concepts such as control without vertical empennages and reduction of mobile ailerons, and innovative aerodynamic concepts  which requires directional control of propulsive jets;

–          analyze most efficient and environmental friendly aircraft model based on distributed propulsion systems and on novel propulsive concepts;

–          investigating novel aerial vehicle concepts which are optimized to enhance and maximize the possibilities which are guaranteed by similar technologies;

–          exploring novel aerial vehicle guidance model and, in particular, novel trajectories, novel manoeuvring models such as vector flight and most efficient aerodynamic configurations;

–          experiencing novel propulsive which can reduce the emission greenhouse gasses such as electrical turbofan, which can be alimented by renewable or photovoltaic electricity.

It has been demonstrated by the experiences matured along last 4/5 decades that control based on sophisticated mechanical systems can be suitable for military combat planes and for very short operational periods (combat flight), because they lack in term of affordability and safety.

The integration of HOMER nozzle concept with an active control system such as PEACE can have a disruptive potential of innovation. HOMER overcomes the traditional limitations of common Coanda effect Nozzles with an active enhancement and control of adhesion by control jet. PEACE introduces instead an effective low cost control system and easily to integrate control system which can introduce a more effective governability of the system. By coupling two elements that can produce by themselves an effective innovation it is possible to generate something that can produce disruptive innovations.

1.1.8 – Operative considerations

The key element to define a decisive breakthrough by using this propulsive system is related to the definition of novel aerial vehicle architectures which can take the maximum advantage from the HOMER nozzle by PEACE control system lead opens new possibilities through a more easy and controllable effectively uses of Coanda effect. By these considerations ACHEON project (which mix together the two outstanding themes of research) has been conceived. In particular different architectures with different operational models can be tested and verified both by CFD simulation (to identify best operative solutions) and by testing models of the most promising in order to acquire the necessary operative experiences which can accelerate further investigations on the system.

In particular different nozzle designs can be tested to verify if a similar propulsive concept with direction control of the propelling jet could be implemented on well tested air vehicle architectures and could gradually lead to effectively optimized future air vehicle concepts which can maximize the benefits of this kind of nozzle and the consequent jet directionality.

The HOMER nozzle presents a related security problem related to the failure of one of the high speed sources, and in this case it presents a problem related to permanent flux direction. The application of the PEACE electrostatic control will produce effective control not only of adhesion angle but also of rectifying the outlet jet in the case of a primitive source failure.

In particular the project aims to investigate different configurations and different uses of this propulsive system with trust direction control capability. Different aircraft architectures will be investigated both by CFD simulation and experimental tests. In particular this test activity will be performed on different architectures and design concepts which can have significant advantages by the proposed propulsive architecture.

In particular it will be tested the use of this propulsive schema for different aerial vehicle configurations with the aims of enhancing the overall system manoeuvrability and shortening take off and landing spaces:

–          traditional wide-body airliner with wing mounted engines;

–          traditional airship bodies;

–          innovative concepts of aerial vehicles, with distributed or localized propulsion;

novel concepts specifically designed to maximize advantages

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PEACE Concept

The second IDEA originating the ACHEON project is in the PEACE system which is in a very preliminary stage of development. It is the PEACE project started at Universidade da Beira Interior. PEACE is the acronym of Plasma Enhanced Actuator for Coanda Effect. PEACE aims to produce an active control of the Coanda adhesion to a surface by means of the BSD technology (Dielectric Barrier Discharge) which can enhance and control adhesion of the syntetic by an active control system.

A plasma actuator consists of two offset thin electrodes that are separated by a layer of dielectric insulator material (Figure 2). One electrode is exposed to the air. The other is fully covered by a dielectric material. The electrode exposed to air is assumed to be loaded by a high voltage, whereas an electrode buried under the dielectric is expected to be grounded. A high voltage ac potential (high-amplitude (several kV) and high-frequency (typically several kHz) AC voltage) is supplied to the electrodes. This effect permit a partial ionization in the region of the largest electric potential, which usually begins at the edge of the electrode that is exposed to the air, and spreads out over the area projected by the covered electrode. The ionized air (plasma) in presence of the electric field produces an attraction/repulsion on the surrounding air. Ionized particles are accelerated and transmit their momentum, through collision, to the neutral air particles in the plasma region over the covered electrode. The result is an acceleration of the air in proximity of the surface of the dielectric.

Figure 2 – Schematic of Plasma actuator method

This technology permits an active control on the Coanda effect by means of a very simple system with very high advantages against Coanda adhesion control by control jets.

DBD plasma actuators have a large number of advantages over other active flow control devices:

–          very simple, fully electronic, no moving parts

–          operated in either steady (continuous) and unsteady (pulsed or duty cycle) modes;

–          low power consumption (0,0067-0,0134 Watts per mm for unsteady operation);

–          simple integration, maintenance and operating costs;

–          it do not affect surfaces and their aerodynamic performances,

–          conformability to any surface curvature;

–          high mechanical resistance, affordability and durability;,

–          fast response for feedback control due to high bandwidth and possibility of closed-loop feedback control;

–          possible modulation in terms of frequency and of power variations.

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1.1.5 – H.O.M.E.R.: The Idea Originating the ACHEON Project

H.O.M.E.R. nozzle concept produces a fully controllable flux, with the ability to maintain a predefined direction and to change this direction arbitrarily as a function of momentum (or velocity) of two primitive streams and of the geometric configuration of the nozzle itself.

Figure 1 – Representation of the nozzle and its behavior

Figure 1 shows the architecture of the nozzle. It can have any arbitrary geometry as long as it is constituted by a duct (1) eventually bipartite into two channels by a central septum. The two channels converge into the nozzle outlet, connected to two Coanda surfaces (3) and (3’).

This nozzle is different, more rational and simple than any other jet vector system ever conceived before. It has the ability to permit the stabilization of a synthetic jet with an arbitrary predefined direction and to modify this direction dynamically without any moving mechanical part. It generates a vectored and controllable jet by the combined action of two different physical phenomena: the mixing of two primitive jets (2) and (2′) and the angular deviation of the resulting synthetic jet by adhesion to the Coanda surfaces (3) and (3’).

The synthetic jet is generated and governed by two primitive jets (2) and (2’) by varying their momentums. Physical quantities which guarantee the controllability of the deflection angle of the synthetic jets are the momentum – or speed, for homogeneous jets – and geometric dimensions and design of the nozzle. Minimal operating condition are related to the Reynolds number (Re > 5000) of the synthetic jet (4) in correspondence to the nozzle outlet. In case of lower Reynolds numbers the system behavior is unpredictable.

It has been verified that this nozzle can produce an angular deviation of a synthetic jet with no moving mechanical parts, and change the direction of the synthetic jet dynamically. It has been also verified that the synthetic jet always deflects on the side of the primitive stream with the maximum momentum. Referring to Figure 1 the following conditions can be identified:

–          if the momentum of the primitive jet (2) is greater than the one of (2’) the synthetic jet (4) adheres to the Coanda surface designated as (3);

–          if the momentum of the primitive jet (2’) is greater than the one of (2) the synthetic jet (4) adheres to the Coanda surface designated as (3’);

–          if momentums are equal the synthetic jet is straight aligned with the nozzle axis.

The angle formed by the synthetic jet (4) and the geometrical axis of the nozzle can be controlled by the momentums of the primitive jets (2) and (2’). It can be increased when the difference between the moments of the two primitive jets (2) and (2′) increases, can be decreased when it decreases and becomes null when it is zero.

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Project Team

Proposal full Title
Aerial Coanda High Efficiency Orienting-jet Nozzle
Proposal Acronym
Type of funding scheme
Collaborative Project- Small or medium-scale focused research project
Work programme topics addressed
AAT.2012.6.3-1. Breakthrough and emerging technologies
Other relevant Topics
AAT.2012.6.3-2. Radical new concepts for air transport
Name of the coordinating person
Prof. Antonio Dumas (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)

Participant N° Participant organisation name Org. short name Country
1 Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia Unimore Italy
2 Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB Belgium
3 Reggio Emilia Innovazione REI Italy
4 University Of Lincoln UoL UK
5 Universidade da Beira Interior UBI Portugal
6 Nimbus SrL NIMBUS Italy

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ACHEON Project

The ACHEON project aims to explore a novel propulsive system for aerial vehicle which overcome the main limitations of traditional aerial propulsion systems introducing an effective system for an effective and affordable vectored jet aerial propulsion system with no part in movement. This project aims to overcome well known limits related to commonly known jet deflection system and his passed on an Italian patent presented by University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

The MAAT system is based on the cumulated effects of two well known physical effects:

  1. High speed jet mixing effects;
  2. Coanda effect of adhesion of an high speed jet to a convex surface.

The strengths of the ACHEON concept are:

–          Elevated affordability because the deflection of the jet is realized without any moving part.

–          Easiness of control because the angle formed by the jet and the nozzle axis can be regulated only by varying the velocity of two incoming jets.

–          Possibility to be alimented by turbofan or jet propulsion systems and regulated by angular velocity of the applied propulsion system.

The ACHEON propulsive conce pt can produce a wide possibility of future and innovative aerial transport concepts. In particular it could lead to important applications related to a series of innovative applications which can benefit by this innovation:

–          STOL and VTOL applications: by vectoring the thrust it is possible to shorten take off and landing in traditional airplane architectures;

–          Increasing Manoeuvrability: thrust vectoring is necessary for novel concepts of enhanced manoeuvrability airplanes and to reduce vertical aerodynamic surfaces;

–          Diffused Propulsion applications: one of the most important innovations which are explored in today aeronautic research is constituted by diffused propulsion systems, and ACHEON system can improve these concepts enhancing their performances;

–          Exploration of more radical and innovative concepts: many future applications can benefit by an affordable and simple jet deviation and thrust vectoring opening new more radical scenarios of innovation for future aeronautics.

The ACHEON Project aims to study the system and its components in a full structured systemic approach

1. to define:

–          the system and its control methodology identifying it possible intrinsic limits and defining exactly fields of applications;

–          control equations of the system as a function of both geometric and physical parameters;

–          system design methods which could help to obtain better results on different sizes and architectures;

2. to explore the feasibility of:

–          applications to traditional aerial vehicles architectures;

–          applications to innovative aerial vehicle designs such as distributed propulsion systems;

–          innovative aerial vehicles concepts optimized for vectoring propulsion systems.

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