What is the Technology Evaluator and what are the challenges?
What is the value of a new technology developed under the umbrella of Clean Sky?
It's a question which is posed when an idea is proposed at the "Call" stage before a project or sub-programme is accepted into the world of Clean Sky. It's also a question which lingers throughout the life-span of that technology as it transitions through its long lifecycle – through conception, design, demonstration, development, testing, certification, deployment to market, all the way through to end-of-service disposal and recycling of materials.
It's a process that that can span decades – an ongoing question of value.
The Technology Evaluator (TE) is Clean Sky's platform for quantifying exactly how environmentally beneficial the innovations developed within its programmes really are - and, critically, how these efficiencies correlate to ACARE's ecological targets. In fact, the Technology Evaluator is so important and so integral to Clean Sky's modus operandi that it is in fact a programme in its own right.
The Technology Evaluator analyses and monitors how new technologies developed within Clean Sky perform in realistic simulations of flight or mission scenarios (usually this occurs as a cluster of new Clean Sky technologies that are evaluated in unison).
On a technological and product-testing level this happens through simulation systems and processes that have been developed in industry, in research establishments and in academia - Clean Sky Members and stakeholders pool their evaluation tools and savvy to provide a "belts and braces" approach, cross checking results using a variety of tools.
On a strategic level, assessment of ecological value is segmented into four layers of evaluation:
At "Aircraft Level" a flight scenario is set up and the performance of new Clean Sky programme technologies are measured against their counterpart technologies from the year 2000 (the ACARE baseline year), as well as the ACARE goals for 2020. In Clean Sky 2, the 2025-2050 timeframe has increasing relevance as the imperatives of Flightpath 2050 loom closer.
At "Airport Level", representative airports are simulated, with the new technologies tested in a variety of scenarios representing different times of day, varying levels of traffic congestion, mixtures of different types of aircraft and from contrasting technology eras.
At "Global Level", the Technology Evaluator substitutes Clean Sky technologies into airline fleets to calculate the savings in emissions and the extent of noise reduction that could be achieved in and around major European airports - benchmarked against year 2000 technologies, and 2020 and 2050 ecology targets.
At "Life-cycle Level", the environmental benefit of new Clean Sky 2 technologies is modelled against year 2000 technologies over the entire lifetime envelope of an aircraft. This not only looks at the aircraft in isolation throughout its service history, but also considers the impact of aircraft in their "after-life", when they have been dismantled (usually when it is no longer economic to keep them in service or when they are no longer airworthy).
Though the Technology Evaluator has progressed to a high level of maturity in Clean Sky 1, in Clean Sky 2 there is always the challenge to integrate new testing systems and platforms – both physical or through new software programmes – as they become available, and to integrate them into the TE in an effort to make ever more accurate predictions and calculations.
The cumulative feedback from all these four levels of evaluation provides a truly holistic and credible perspective on the environmental value that Clean Sky 2 technologies will bring to skies in Europe and beyond in the years ahead.
In Clean Sky 2, impact assessments will evaluate the performance potential of CS2 technologies at both vehicle and aggregate levels (airports and air traffic systems).
A Technology and Impact Evaluation (TE) infrastructure remains an essential element within the Clean Sky PPP, and the TE will be reinforced and continued in Clean Sky 2 in order to ensure monitoring, assessment, communication, orientation of the JU and IADPs/ITDs/TAs.
Impact Assessments, focused on noise and emissions in Clean Sky 1, will be expanded and evaluated against the Programme’s delivered value. Where applicable they will include additional impacts, such as the mobility/connectivity benefits or increased productivity of Clean Sky 2 concepts.
The progress of each demonstration platform (ITDs and IADPs) will be monitored against well-defined environmental (Noise, CO2, NOx) and socio-economic (Mobility/Connectivity, Employment, GDP impact) benefits and targets.
In the case of full vehicle-level demonstrations as in the IADPs, the core aircraft performance characteristics will be reported by the IADP to the TE under the responsibility of the leading company.
The Innovative Aircraft Demonstrator Platforms (IADPs) for the Technology Evaluator will provide verification and validation of the aircraft designs proposed. In the case of the Clean Sky 2 Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITDs), the TE will enable an aircraft-level synthesis of results in such a way (via ‘concept aircraft’) that the ITD results can be shown at aircraft level and evaluated within the Airport and Air Transport System alongside IADP results.
The TE Impact Evaluator function will reside within the Joint Undertaking (JU).
Impact Assessments of Clean Sky 2 outputs will be the responsibility of the TE Impact Evaluator and will focus on aggregate impacts.
Based on lessons learnt in Clean Sky 1, the following principles will be followed:
The Progress Monitoring of Clean Sky 2 achievements versus defined environmental and societal objectives will be established via an efficient and effective interfacing between TE and the ITD/IADPs through dedicated work packages (TE WP2 and ITD IADP dedicated Wps).
The evaluation at Mission Level will be done by integrating ITD outputs into TE concept aircraft / rotorcraft models (including innovative long term aircraft configurations); and in the case of IADPs receiving IADP concept aircraft / rotorcraft models.
The concept aircraft/rotorcraft models will be the input for impact assessments at Airport & ATS Levels.
The composition and rules of procedure of the governing body of the Technology Evaluator shall be proposed by the Executive Director and adopted by the Governing Board at a later stage.