Safran launches Haida program

On September 27, 2012, Safran launched Haida*, a new dedicated research program aimed at boosting the pace of R&D in aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics by networking resources with external research partners. Alain Coutrot, Deputy Director, Research & Technology, explains.

What's the motivation behind this new initiative?
Issues of aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics, and their interdependence with other disciplines, play a major role in the performance of propulsion systems. Throughout the history of Safran, progress in this field has delivered improvements in propulsion efficiency, making our engines increasingly competitive. ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) has set very clear targets for propulsion systems to achieve by 2020: a 20% reduction in fuel consumption, a 50% cut in CO2 emissions, an 80% cut in NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions, and a 50% reduction in perceived external noise, compared with year 2000 values. The longer-term targets – to be met by 2050 – are even more ambitious: fuel consumption down by 50%, CO2 emissions by 75%, NOx emissions by 90%, and noise by 65%. To conceive the innovative solutions needed to meet these challenges, we need to ramp up our R&D performance via more effective networking of resources with our research partners.

How will the Haida program work?
Haida is the latest in a series of dedicated programs initiated by Safran that foster a multidisciplinary approach, following Inca (combustion), Maia (mechanical engineering), Iroqua (aircraft noise reduction) and Poca (electric power generation and distribution). The program will see Safran's specialized engineers networking with public and private research institutes and laboratories. Around one hundred people are involved in Haida, including engineers from Safran group companies Aircelle, Snecma, Techspace Aero and Turbomeca. External research partners contributing their modeling, simulation and experimentation capabilities to the Haida program include CERFACS in Toulouse; CENAERO; the Von Karman Institute in Brussels; and two CNRS (French National Scientific Research Agency) laboratories. Three working groups have been set up to organize the program, focusing respectively on aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and multidisciplinary optimization. The latter is tasked with forging links with other research disciplines, notably those that fall within the scope of other programs (acoustics, combustion, mechanical engineering, etc.).

What's the next step?
On September 27, 2012, Safran signed a four-year partnership agreement with the research labs. Between now and the end of this year, a series of practical workshops will be held in the three Haida fields, with the aim of establishing common roadmaps. The results of the workshops will be presented to the program Management Committee in early 2013. The network will then coordinate the activities carried out by the partners in line with the key objectives validated by the Management Committee, including technical definition of the research work to be carried out, and responses to calls for projects at national and European level with the aim of obtaining financial support.

*Haida: Aerodynamic and Aerothermodynamic Challenges.