14. November 2022 | Press releases:

NFL awards researcher prize and two junior researcher prizes Research Day of the Aeronautics Research Centre Niedersachsen

New approaches in the field of icing detection of helicopters, modelling of vibro-acoustic phenomena as well as the design of battery-electric regional aircraft – three research projects contribute to these topics in different fields of aviation research. They were awarded the Hermann-Blenk-Researcher Prize, as well as the Karl-Doetsch-Young Scientist Prize and the VDI Aerospace Prize. The prizes were awarded during the Research Day of the Aeronautics Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFL) on 9 November 2022.

Hermann-Blenk-Researcher Prize for Dr.-Ing. Stanislav Karpuk and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ali Elham

Dr.-Ing. Stanislav Karpuk and Prof. Dr. Ali Elham investigated the effects of new technologies on the feasibility of an all-electric regional aircraft at the Institute of Aircraft Design and Lightweight Structures at TU Braunschweig. In particular, technologies such as active flow control, active load reduction and novel material and structural concepts were examined in more detail.

The results showed that an all-electric aircraft could be designed with new airframe technologies with a maximum take-off weight increase of 50 per cent (assuming a battery pack energy density of 700 Wh/kg) and the total emission value can be reduced by 81 per cent with novel technologies. On the other hand, however, the new technologies do not contribute to the reduction of direct operating costs. Moreover, the novel aircraft has high energy consumption, which affects its energy efficiency. Nevertheless, the study has impressively demonstrated what a “game changer” novel technologies can be in the field of electric aviation. Furthermore, the technical article by Dr.-Ing. Stanislav Karpuk and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ali Elham meets the highest scientific standards and shows a clear potential for reducing emissions in daily flight operations. Therefore, the researchers’ work was awarded this year’s Hermann-Blenk-Researcher Prize, which is endowed with 5,000 euros.

Karl-Doetsch-Young Scientist Prizes for Lucas Hermann

Lucas Hermann made a contribution to better modelling of vibroacoustic phenomena in his Master’s thesis at the Institute for Acoustics at TU Braunschweig. Due to the increasing availability of sensor data, data-driven simulation has become an important field of research. In this context, data fusion is a highly topical issue, especially in the field of aviation. The description of data is often done with methods of probability theory, which raises specific research questions in the context of finite element simulation. In an effort to develop a simple and general statistical finite element method, Mr. Hermann has taken up a recently published approach that operates on the basis of Gaussian process regression. In this framework, the finite element solution is conditioned on locally distributed data and at the same time a quantification of uncertainties is made possible. Mr. Hermann successfully transferred this approach to vibroacoustics and was able to describe, implement and apply this statistical finite element method for vibroacoustic models for the first time. For this, Lucas Hermann received the Karl-Doetsch-Young Scientist Prize, endowed with 1,000 euros. Mr. Hermann graduated in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from TU Braunschweig.

VDI Aerospace Prize for Julia Feder

In her Master’s thesis, Julia Feder dealt with the precise determination of ice layers on surfaces flowing around them and the identification of the ice types “clear ice” and “rough ice” by impedance spectroscopy. The formation of an ice layer on a structure has an influence on its mass, stiffness and damping and thus also on its impedance. This effect can be measured with the help of a structure-integrated piezo element. In contrast to previous methods, this new approach allows the characterisation of ice layers on flight systems in addition to detection. Furthermore, it also allows concrete monitoring of individual systems such as the tail rotor of a helicopter. Thus, the method developed allows a considerable increase in the operational safety of helicopters. For this reason, Ms. Feder’s work has also been awarded the VDI Aerospace Prize of 1,000 euros this year. The work was carried out as part of a cooperation between the DLR Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems and the Institute for Mechanics and Adaptronics at TU Braunschweig and the proposed method of the work is currently in the patent application process. Julia Feder also completed her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at TU Braunschweig in 2021.