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The Project 
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Open GRAIN Forum 2012
Open GRAIN Workshop 2012
Lecture series on computational tools
Open Workshop 2010

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The main objectives of GRAIN are to identify and assess the future development of large scale simulation methods and tools needed for greener technologies reaching the Vision 2020 environmental goals. GRAIN will prepare the R&T development and exploitation with new large scale simulation tools used on distributed parallel environments to deeper understand and minimize the effects of aircraft/engine design on climate and noise impact.


GRAIN objectives can be met by supporting joint Europe-China networking actions for defining the necessary technologies to improve green aircraft performance.

High-performance and innovative methodologies and algorithms must also be designed to take full benefit of high-performance computer infra structures existing or quite soon available in Europe and China.

These high-performance computing environments are nowadays compatible with remote distributed and parallel computations and are based on large multi-core systems, including graphic processors (GPU) systems. Some of them are closely linked to aeronautical institutes.

The participating institutions will focus on future collaborative applied research concerning modeling, experiments, simulation, control and optimization for greener aircraft and engines technologies including: emissions reduction, drag reduction, noise reduction and green materials with an emphasis on multidiscipline approaches (aero acoustics, aero thermal, aero Engine,…) for environmentally friendly aircraft. These collaborations will be dedicated to 3-D configurations (take off, cruise, approach and landing) and these configurations will imply the use of high – performance computing facilities that are now available and upcoming in both Europe and China. New developments will be investigated concerning innovative methodologies on robustness and uncertainty for greener aircraft applications, taking benefit from high performance computing environments that can include graphic processors (GPUs) and high end supercomputing centers.

GRAIN will gather engineers, designers and scientists from multi physics and computer scientists to improve the local and global environmental compatibility of future aircraft and engine, to support the multidisciplinary design process, to foster the understanding between scientists and engineers and to increase the dissemination of relevant knowledge. Expected achievements of GRAIN:

  • The identification of greener technologies via new large scale simulation tools and the investigation and evaluation of their maturity and benefits and confidence.

  • The development of strategies for their implementation into greener digital aircraft/engine.

  • The multidisciplinary assessment of candidate technologies for digital configurations.

  • The dissemination of GRAIN information and results via the GRAIN communication platform.

  • Support on collaborative international joint projects.

  • Inputs for coordinated calls 2012.


The activities in the GRAIN CSA open a wide range of scientific and technological prospects for future cooperation between European and Chinese organizations in the development and validation of new green technologies for aeronautical applications. Access to state of the art information on RTD activities in China and in Europe on greener technologies opens many opportunities for the development of new and enhanced methods aiming to the emission reduction, noise reduction and green materials which will enable to reduce the environmental impact of aircrafts and air transport.

Technological aspects

The technological prospects will derive from the new modelling possibilities of experimental and computational advanced design of civil aircraft vehicles taking into consideration many multidisciplinary effects currently not strongly accounted for in practice and mainly related with environmental issues. The GRAIN Guidelines will define the strategic lines and methodologies (both, numerical modelling and experiments) to be developed in the near future for the reduction of environmental impact of air transport. These guidelines will bring flags and added values as a basis for setting up new RTD projects.

Contribution to EU policies

This project aims to enhance the open cooperation between Europe and China in the field of aeronautic research and engineering. Indeed this goal was achieved of the conclusions of the EU-China workshop in Aeronautics held in Beijing on April 15 2005, also confirmed on the latter Aerochina2 project final meeting in Brussels in September 2009.

AEROCHINA 1 & 2 CSA projects have been a very good example of leverage successful networking projects that were coordinated by CIMNE with the participation of many of the GRAIN partners. The contribution of both AEROCHINA projects to EU policies has been demonstrated trough the production of different collaborative development topics that has been used for the definition of a FP7 Coordinated Call in 2010.

The specific scope of the GRAIN proposal also fits within several aspects of the European Union policies. Improvement of the design, analysis and validation tools will help to build safer and more competitive aircrafts with improved environmental features (less emissions, less noise, less pollution). Indeed producing safer and cleaner airplanes is one of the targets to guarantee better protection of passengers. The enhancement of greener aircraft design, manufacturing and maintenance is one of the key aspects for a sustainable European aerospace industry meeting the challenges and demands of the air-transport sector for the next decades.

The objectives of the GRAIN proposal fit with the guidelines and recommendations proposed in the vision for 2020 EC report on European Aeronautics. The response to issues of public interest is a key element of the 2020 Vision Agenda including multidisciplinary problems such as noise reduction, emission reduction and safer air transport and affordability.

In summary, the joint activities of the GRAIN project will be of value for helping to achieve the goals of the research agenda in the European aeronautics sector in the next two decades. As clearly specified in the 2020 Vision report only “an integrated research approach can provide the basis for satisfying society’s need and ensuring European leadership in the global aerospace market by 2020”. Helping to build this integrated research scenario through a better cooperation between European and Chinese organizations in the solution of environmental issues in aeronautics is one of the main goals of the GRAIN proposal.

The successful development of the GRAIN project will open new opportunities for creating employment in a number of strategic lines. Thus, by having access to state of the art computational methods and software for a better design and production of aeronautic vehicles in a multidisciplinary environment, the need for skilled engineers will increase the demands for jobs. Similarly, new training and education programs will have to be implemented for developing the skills of practising and newly graduated aerospace engineers into the possibilities of the new methods for multidisciplinary design. This will also contribute to the preservation and creation of employment in Europe.

The interaction between partners from different organizations in Europe and China (aeronautics/aerospace industries, RTD centres, universities and international associations) will lead to an exchange of technical and policy ideas and personnel which will help towards making more attractive the work in these fields.

The GRAIN data will also find application in markets different from the aeronautic sectors that also need the computational multi physics transport technologies (i.e. turbo machinery, civil construction, naval architecture, automotive industrial forming processes, etc.). Transfer of the GRAIN greener multi-physics technology to these sectors through adequate disseminating actions (i.e. lecture series, road maps, workshops, conferences, publications, etc.) will help to create new attractive cooperative RTD scenarios and business opportunities for cooperation between different sectors and this will also contribute to the creation of new jobs.

Finally, GRAIN project can try to look for synergies with other ongoing FP7 Euro-Asia networks like the IERES project proposal. See the annexed letter from IERES coordinator as a demonstration of the mutual intention of collaboration between both networks.


The 2020 Vision aims to make European Aeronautics a global leader in the world market with safer, less noising and less polluting aircrafts. The GRAIN CSA activities and outputs will contribute towards achieving these goals by preserving the environment in a number of ways. First, one of the main goals is the improvement on the methods which enables the emission reduction. In addition, a better aerodynamic and acoustic design of aircrafts, plus the use of cutting-edge materials which will reduce the total weight of the aircraft will also be beneficial for reducing the emission of external and internal noise. The development of emission and noise reduction techniques is one of the goals of the 2020 vision report.

Likewise, a better understanding of flow turbulence and turbulence/chemistry interactions will contribute to a reduction of fuel consumption and pollution emissions. In addition, a better design of aircraft and structures (obtained by accounting for all the couplings and interactions of the participating physical phenomena) will ensure a longer durability of components and integrated aircraft vehicles. Finally the modelling of uncertainties in analysis and design software will contribute to reduce significantly margins which warranty the maintenance of performances and stability within real operations of aircraft. This will invariably contribute to extending the life cycle, thus, reducing the environmental impact of maintenance and replacement.

Quality of life, health and safety of the citizens

The objectives of the GRAIN proposal respond to a number of societal needs. Indeed, the design of safer, cleaner and quieter aircrafts has a direct impact on the quality of life and safety of citizens.

The GRAIN multidisciplinary data will be an essential contribution for developing new methods for the understanding of flow/turbulence and chemistry interactions, the better design of aircraft structures reducing noise emission, fuel consumption, fuel emissions and for extending the life of aircraft vehicles. All these aspects will have a very positive impact on the quality of life and health of citizens.

Indeed the design and production of aircraft structures with better endurance limits will contribute to reduce the technological risks involved in aircraft construction and operation. This will also have a very positive effect in the overall safety of aircrafts and, hence, on the safety of citizens.

GRAIN will confirm the hopes of proposers from new identified collaborative methods and tools for the design new civil and business aircraft in terms of performances, environmental problems and safety to issue a roadmap leading to a significant improvement (30% or more) over the existing range.

CIMNE - International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering