The main goal of the EURRICA project is the synergetic evaluation of disruptive technologies on a novel Blended-Wing-Body medium-sized, fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform. The BWB layout is selected as the base platform, due to reasons related primarily to its great aerodynamic efficiency and large internal volume.
The research activities will focus on three main categories, i.e. the supporting configuration layout (e.g. winglets, morphing configurations), the flow control (active and passive) and the hybrid-electric propulsion (parallel or serial) technologies. Since the majority of technologies have not been examined for UAV applications, the analysis will be kept at low Technology Readiness Level (TRL1-2).
Configuration layout technologies Active flow control technologiesPassive flow control technologies
Parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system
Serial hybrid-electric propulsion system
As a start, the reference requirements and design regulations will be set, followed by the base BWB UAV platform definition. A technology screening will then be conducted, and the various technologies will be individually investigated, emphasizing on their aerodynamic efficiency and performance enhancement potential. The optimal ones will be selected for integration and synergetic evaluation on the BWB UAV platform, where the technologies selection will be refined using trade factors. A scaled-down model will be manufactured and flight tested, to support the calculations for the final assessment.
The plethora of technologies will initially be filtered using the information available in the literature and by employing rapid, low-fidelity 0D and 1D in-house analysis tools. High-fidelity computational tools will be incorporated to increase the results precision, but only as the project progresses and the number of considered technologies is reduced, to cut-down the time and resources for the EURRICA project.
The scientific results of the EURRICA project will help mature the examined technologies for UAV applications, leading to significantly more efficient and reliable aerial vehicles that can be used to protect human lives and infrastructure.