Overview of the consortium
The SME participants include:
- A SME company specialized in design, manufacturing and marketing of parachutes and related avionics systems, CIMSA (Spain), that will act as the Project Coordinator
- A SME company specialized in the development of GPS, guidance units and communication systems for aero and space applications, Satellite Services BV (The Netherlands)
- A SME company specialized in lightweight structures and materials, Airlight (Switzerland)
- A SME space solutions company, Zero2Infinity (Spain)
- A SME simulation software company, QUANTECH (Spain)
The partnership includes three RTD performers in Spain, Germany, and Netherlands with unique experience in their fields:
- Development of numerical methods and computational techniques for finite element analysis (CIMNE)
- Development of avionics and guidance software (NLR)
- Flight tests and large aeronautical experience (DLR)
The consortium also includes a large company, due to its interest on the project, and its role as end-user.
- A company specialized in the design and manufacturing of gliders and light sport aircrafts, Flight Design (Germany)
Flight Design and Zero2Infinity are the end-users of the outcome of the project, while CIMSA, SSBV, Airlight and QUANTECH are the developers. All of them have strong interest in the outcomes of the project to reinforce the commercial strategies of their own companies. The capacities of each industrial partner do not overlap with others, providing a balanced consortium for the development and exploitation of the results from the project.
A similar situation happens in the case of RTD performers. CIMNE, NLR and DLR capabilities present a good complementarity, without overlapping. RTD performers are also interested in the developments on the project to reinforce their activities and existing research lines.
Partner 1: CIMSA
Since its creation in 1934, CIMSA Ingenieria de Sistemas, S.A. (CIMSA) has devoted its main efforts to the design, development and manufacturing of parachutes. The know-how accumulated along the years has allowed CIMSA to quickly respond to the new requirements imposed by the users.
CIMSA is certified under ISO 9001:2000, NATO AQAP 2110, UNE EN9100:2010 and EASA IR-21 A.G. quality assurance standards. CIMSA designs, manufactures and tests its own line of products to satisfy the customer´s operational requirements with guarantee of maximum quality, safety and service.
Since the first parachute until today, CIMSA has developed a complete range of military parachutes for troop personnel, both steerable and non-steerable, cargo drop, extraction, emergency for aircraft pilots and crews, aircraft braking, rocket/torpedo stabilizers and illuminating flares. CIMSA is member of the EuroChute consortium awarded with the design of the braking parachute of the new European aircraft Eurofighter-2000.
Likewise, CIMSA provides an extensive range of inflatable and permanent buoyancy life preservers.
Nowadays, CIMSA, as an active member of the PIA (Parachute Industry Association) is present in the civil market with sport parachuting equipment. In the Space Industry CIMSA participates in partnership with multinational companies in the development and manufacturing of the Ariane 5 space launcher solid fuel rocket boosters recovery system, in the ESA-IXV and ARV recovery systems and in the ESA research project dealing with the development of an integrated parachute and antenna system for the landing phase in Titan and Mars atmospheres.
Within the frame of the RAM-AIR Project, CIMSA has designed, manufactured and tested a wide range of ram-air parachutes with an extensive domain of wing loadings, configurations and performance specifications. CIMSA has demonstrated experience in testing both in wind aerodynamic tunnels and in real flight different ram-air types of parachutes. CIMSA is currently the main supplier of parachutes for JPADS systems in Europe, Canada and the US.
Roles of CIMSA in PARAPLANE
The roles of CIMSA in the PARAPLANE project is to coordinate the project as well as to provide its expertise on the parachute and airborne systems design. CIMSA will design and manufacture the steerable parachute system to be used for demonstration activities, and will participate in validation tests activities.
Partner 2: SSBV
SSBV is a technology driven organization, active in the domains of (aero)Space, Remote Sensing & Monitoring, Defense & Security and the development of High-Tech Systems. Based on in-house technology, engineering skills and long-lasting partnerships, SSBV is able to provide system, subsystem and unit/product level solutions for Ground and Space based applications and services.
Since its establishment as Satellite Services B.V. in 1985, SSBV has evolved into a group of companies operating world-wide. A number of SSBV operating companies are located in the SSBV building in the Space Business Park in Noordwijk Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands, which also serves as the SSBV Headquarters. The largest non-Dutch company, SSBV Space & Ground Systems UK, is located in Portsmouth, The United Kingdom. Within SSBV and partnership companies, a wide range of activities is supported. These include project-based engineering and the provision of ground-based systems for simulation, test and communication as well as space-based system for instruments, payloads and smallsats. Next to this, SSBV provides commercial services based on internally available products, infrastructure and experience. The SSBV organisation is built on traditional values in a high-tech environment and building reliable long-term relationships with customers, partners and suppliers.
SSBV Space & Ground Systems NL
This company is a market leader in the provision of ground-based systems in the domains of Simulation & Testing (EGSE), TTC and TM/TC Systems, (high-rate) modem, data processing systems and turn-key system solutions. The company has been involved in more than 45 different spacecraft projects and has contributed to the successful design, integration, test and operation of more than 75 different payloads and subsystems. The company’s space activities include the design and development of novel on-board processing and communication subsystems for the commercial space and smallsat markets. It also heads the development of an FMCW mini-SAR for use on microsat platforms.
Roles of SSBV in PARAPLANE
The role of SSBV in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in GPS based on-board electronics and avionics for guidance systems. In addition, ground to air communication systems, equipment design and integration will be part of the background SSBV will contribute with.
Partner 3: AIRLIGHT LTD
Airlight Ltd. is a company focused on developing lightweight pneumatic structures. They specialize in the development and exploitation of inflatable structure technology via the tensairity approach. Airlight increase the efficiency, sustainability and aesthetics of wide span roof structures, bridges and deployable structures by research, development and marketing of the tensairity related technology. Satisfied customers are the basis of our economic independence. Sensational buildings and innovative solutions give us a world-wide reputation for creativity and quality. Airlight is the original inventor of the Tensairity technology that will be used as foreground knowledge for the development in the TENSAIR project.
Roles of Airlight in PARAPLANE
The role of Airlight in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in lightweight structures and materials, to be applied mainly in the parachute design but also in the whole PARAPLANE system.
Mauro Pedretti is the General Manager of AirLight Research. He is expert in lightweight structures, bridges and pneumatic structures. He has 20 years of professional experience in design and construction of bridges and large span structures.
Partner 4: Zero2Infinity (Z2I)
Founded in 2009, Z2I is an SME company located in Barcelona, devoted to the development of sustainable aerospace solutions. Their maiden project, bloon has been conceived to provide the private space traveller with the most life-enriching and meaningful experience of space: the view of our curved planet, from above the atmosphere into the infinite blackness of space.
The investment of 3 business angels, La Caixa Capital Risc, Spain’s 3 rd largest financial institution and Ultramagic S.A., the 2 nd world largest hot-air balloon manufacturer enables Z2I to further develop their current technology from the 1/10 th unmanned prototype flown in 2010 to the first human test flight to come in 2012. This technology demonstrator will settle the foundations for developing the final vehicle, bloon, to commercially operate before 2015.
Roles of Z2I in PARAPLANE
The roles of Z2I in the PARAPLANE project are to provide its expertise and capabilities in space systems engineering, from defining space requirements to providing near-space testing platforms. In addition, Z2I offers an end-user point of view to have a better customer-oriented product.
Partner 5: QUANTECH ATZ (QUANTECH)
Founded in 1996, Quantech is a SME software company located in Barcelona, Spain, specialises in the customisation and exploitation of finite element simulation software for a range of engineering applications related different industrial applications.
Quantech has produced and markets the code STAMPACK for sheet metal forming simulations and VULCAN for the casting sector (clients include automotive, aeronautics and naval industries).
The company focuses in supplying high quality simulation and engineering solutions to SME companies (some of these via internet). Additional services such as simulation consultancy, training and industrial research are also supplied depending upon client’s requirements.
To maintain itself at the forefront of technology Quantech takes part, and often co-ordinates, R&D projects funded by the EU within the Growth, IST and CRAFT programmes and related to metal forming, casting and mechanical engineering.
Examples of previous EC projects with participation of Quantech include the following:
- FLEXFORM - Development of a flexible manufacturing process for the low series production of metal parts for custom and special vehicles. FP6-2004-SME-COLL. 01/09/2006 - 30/11/2009.
- METALWEB - Adaptation and trial of an ASP platform for web computing in the metal forming sector. FP5 – IST. 01/11/2002 - 11/11/2004.
- DECAST - Enhanced desing environment for industrial casting processes on parallel computing platforms. FP4 - ESPRIT. 01/10/1998– 31/03/2001.
- FAT-LIFE - Optimisation of the service life of production tools in hot forging die casting and glass forming by minimising the risks related to thermal fatigue. FP4 - BRITE/EURAM. 01/05/1997 - 30/04/2001.
- FORCAST - Validation of a foundryman´s design system for the simulation of casting processes FP4 - INNOVATION. 08/09/1997– 31/03/1998.
- Development of an User-Oriented CAE System for simulating the casting of ductile iron parts. BRITE. 01/04/1991 - 30/04/1994.
Roles of QUANTECH in PARAPLANE
The roles of QUANTECH in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in the engineering simulation tools, from the point of view of a vendor and a professional services provider. As well as, to provide the engineering design experience of its team.
QUANTECH will take a direct benefit from the development of the simulation tools. Both the parachute simulation tool as well as of the parachute flight simulator are of interest of the company by themselves and due to the related technology of PFLOW.
Partner 6: International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)
The International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) is a research organization in Barcelona, Spain. CIMNE was created in 1987 as a Consortium between the Catalan government and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).
CIMNE employs some 180 scientists and engineers from different technical fields and nationalities in the development and of numerical methods (basically the finite element method) to a wide class of engineering problems. The research activities of CIMNE cover non linear analysis and safety studies of structures, shape optimisation in structural and fluid dynamic problems, computational fluid dynamics studies for both external and internal flow problems and numerical simulation of material deformation and forming processes for the casting and sheet stamping manufacturing industry, mesh generation and visualization interfaces, stochastic optimisation as well as computing techniques.
In the last twenty two years CIMNE has taken part in over 450 RTD projects with over 200 companies and organisations. Some 150 of these projects have received EC support through FP3-7 programmes. CIMNE has been the coordinator of some 45 EC funded projects. The outcome of the research is recorded in over 1000 scientific publications, technical reports and educational software codes published by CIMNE. CIMNE also publishes books and monographs on subjects related to computational mechanics. CIMNE has also successfully organised some 200 courses and seminars and 80 international conferences.
CIMNE is the developer of a number of finite element based simulation codes, as well as the pre-processing software GiD to be used in the PARAPLANE project. GiD has received a number of Awards at international level (such as the IST Award of EC in 2002).
Examples of previous EC projects with participation of CIMNE include the following:
Relevant Projects in the Aeronautical field:
Prospecting and promoting scientific cooperation between Europe and China in the field of Multi-physics modelling, simulation, experimentation and design methods in aeronautics. (AEROCHINA 2).Coordinator: CIMNE.FP7 project.European Commission ref. CSA 213 599. January 2010 – December 2010
Roles of CIMNE in PARAPLANE
The roles of CIMNE in the PARAPLANE project include the development and validation of the PARAPLANE system, through the development of two simulation tools for the numerical simulation of the fluid dynamics and structural behaviour of a flying parachute, and a flight simulator of parachutes. CIMNE will also support the dissemination and demonstration activities.
The roles of CIMNE in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in the development of numerical simulation tools to be applied to the specific case of parachute design (canopy design and flight simulator capabilities).
CIMNE will benefit by the development of PFLOW technology, which can be applied to several engineering fields like parachute CFD simulation to harbour design or naval applications. PFLOW is an strategic research line within CIMNE, so the project will provide the resources to reinforce the research.
Partner 7: NATIONAL LUCHT- EN RUIMTEVAARTLABORATORIUM (NLR)
The foundation National Aerospace Laboratory is the central institute for aerospace research in the Netherlands. Its principal mission is to render scientific support and technical assistance on a non-profit basis to Dutch and foreign aerospace industries and organisations, civil and military aircraft operators, and governmental agencies concerned with aviation and space flight. NLR is a customer oriented research and development organisation, deriving its income for 70 percent from research contracts and 30 percent from Dutch Government for basic research programs. Projects are carried out by multidisciplinary project teams which are composed by a selection from the 650, mostly high educated employees of NLR. More information on the organisation can be found on the website: www.nlr.nl .
Roles of NLR in PARAPLANE
The roles of NLR in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in development of guidance systems, and software for the identification of the landing area. NLR has large experience in the development of AGU (Autonomous Guidance Units), as part of the avionics on-board equipment.
Partner 8: DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FÜR LUFT- UND RAUMFAHRT e.V., DLR
The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is the national German research establishment, responsible for research activities in aeronautics, astronautics, energy technology and traffic, as well as the national space agency. DLR operates 30 institutes, test and operational facilities, with the majority located at eight main research centres in Köln-Porz (seat of the board of directors), Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Lampoldshausen, Oberpfaffenhofen and Stuttgart, as well as offices in Paris, Washington and Brussels, with a total number of about 6.500 employees. All research activities in the fields of flight mechanics, guidance and control, fluid mechanics, materials and structures, energetics, communication technologies and remote sensing serve the scientific, economic and social purposes. Numerous results of DLR research and development work go into industrial production processes. Thus the scientific and technological expertise gained at DLR institutes provides a substantial contribution to securing the competitive edge for the German industry.
The DLR Institute of Flight Systems (DLR-FT) aims at optimizing the flight vehicle development cycle taking into account the economic aspects, reduced environmental impacts and ever-increasing public requirements for increased flight safety. Specifically, the problems associated with the integration and evaluation of multidisciplinary advanced technologies for improved flying and also with autonomous flight vehicle in extended operational regimes are confronted by the institute. This broad definition allows a wide scope for diversified research and systems engineering activities of atmospheric flight vehicles. Modeling and simulation, flight control and flying qualities, pilot-vehicle interface, flight research and evaluation are the main thrust areas.
DLR-FT has accumulated over the years considerable experience in parachute and recovery systems, flight simulation, flight testing and data analysis. DLR-FT participated in the ESA PTD-Program from 1995 to 1997 being responsible for flight mechanical modeling and system identification. Since 1996 DLR-FT has developed and flight tested two scaled and extensively instrumented vehicles for gliding parachutes (ALEX-I and –II) in order to identify the dynamic behavior of a parafoil-load system and to investigate GNC-concepts for the autonomous landing. Over the years 2002 until 2005 and 2006 until 2010 DLR-FT also participated in the EU projects FASTWing and FASTWing CL.
Roles of DLR in PARAPLANE
The roles of DLR in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in the definition and performing test campaign, required test equipment, and its large experience in the aeronautical field.
Partner 9: FLIGHT DESIGN
For more than 25 years Flight Design has been developing new products and services for sport aviation.Beginning with hang gliders in the early 1980s, and progressing to light-sport aircraft, Flight Design has approached air sports and the manufacture of its aircraft as professionals. Flight Design employs a team of 30 engineers to design and refine its product line. A team of 600-plus workers in Germany and Ukraine contribute to the high-tech design.
Technical innovations and continuously improved safety characteristics are responsible for Flight Design’s growth. Since production of the high-technology, carbon-fiber CT was launched in 1997, more than 1,400 airplanes have been delivered to customers throughout the world.
Flight Design is committed to bring modern materials, progressive design concepts and safety improvements to the pilot community.
Flight Design has two main roles within the project; the first one is the technical role as aircraft manufacturer, and the second one is a potential end user.
Roles of Flight Design in PARAPLANE
The roles of Flight Design in the PARAPLANE project is to provide its expertise in aircraft design. Not only from the point of view of the manufacturing, but also from the point of view of the emergency scenarios and safety requirements. Flight Design will act as advisor, without specific involvement in the technical work.