Bavaria’s contribution to innovation is recognised at the opening of EADS’ Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory

10 September 2010

 

The increasingly important role that Germany’s Bavaria region plays in the EADS “spirit of innovation” was highlighted at today’s formal opening of the Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory, which is located at the company’s Ottobrunn campus near Munich.

This showroom features displays and exhibits that demonstrate innovative technologies pursued by EADS Innovation Works – the company’s global network of dedicated research centres – in the areas of environment, security, mobility and maintenance.

 

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EADS Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti (at left) briefs State Minister Siegfried Schneider on key technologies featured in the Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory.© EADS

EADS Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti (at left) briefs State Minister Siegfried Schneider on key technologies featured in the Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory.

Today’s opening was presided by EADS Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti and State Minister Siegfried Schneider, who is the head of the Bavarian State Chancellery.

“The on-going success of our Ottobrunn-based research and technology activities are in part thanks to the successful and faithful cooperation between the Bavarian government and EADS,” Botti explained. “This partnership goes back many years, and the Bavarian government’s support has contributed to EADS’ continued standing as a global leader in aerospace and defence. What we see here today represents some of our scientific pursuits that illustrate what I describe as the EADS spirit of innovation.”

Botti said these research and technology efforts have provided the inspiration for such EADS products as the Eurofighter combat aircraft, the Airbus product line of commercial jetliners, the NH-90 multi-role helicopter and satellites from EADS Astrium.

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Matthew Beaumont, EADS Innovation Works’ Head of Operations - Composite Technologies briefs State Minister Siegfried Schneider during the Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory’s official opening. Joining the group at left is Detlef Müller-Wiesner, the EADS Chief Operating Officer – Innovation. © EADS

Matthew Beaumont, EADS Innovation Works’ Head of Operations - Composite Technologies briefs State Minister Siegfried Schneider during the Innovation@Work demonstration laboratory’s official opening. Joining the group at left is Detlef Müller-Wiesner, the EADS Chief Operating Officer – Innovation.

“Without Bavaria’s support, the strengthening of our research activities here at Ottobrunn would not be possible,” he said. “It is my hope that this partnership will continue for a long time – and EADS is committed to expanding its research and technology engagement in Bavaria.”

Technologies spotlighted at today’s Innovation@Work showroom opening covered a wide range of EADS’ leading-edge research work, from ground-based sensors that detect explosives and bio hazardous substances to composite structures for use on jetliners and in satellite propulsion systems.

In the materials sector, a landing gear component on display demonstrates how EADS Innovation Works is developing ultra-thick composite laminates for airframe structures – especially for those subjected to heavy loads. This component is a side-stay fitting designed to replace the aluminium forgings normally used for this lateral brace on main landing gears of large jetliners.


The new side-stay fitting was produced with EADS Innovation Work’s patented Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®), which enables high-quality composite structures to be made without the use of traditional large, expensive autoclaves – thereby reducing tooling and manufacturing costs, as well as lowering the cost of the final product. The test specimen displayed in the Innovation@Work showroom weighs 19 percent less than a comparable aluminium side-stay in use on airliners today, with a 10-percent saving in manufacturing costs.

Also exhibited in the showroom is an example of how ceramic matrix composites can be used for extremely high-temperature applications. The displayed component is a nozzle for a satellite thruster, developed by EADS Innovation Works for EADS Astrium. Efforts are now focused on expanding the use of ceramic matrix composites into other areas – including the satellite thruster’s combustion chamber.

One of the more down-to-Earth technologies featured in the Innovation@Work showroom is a Bio Sensor System that applies advanced optical sensor technology to provide very fast detection of biological hazards and threats. Equipped with micro-machined filters produced using silicon technology, the system can be “tuned” to identify a full range of hazards and threats – with processing times of an hour or less, compared to several hours or days with other methods. The system’s applications include the detection of biological hazards or threats in water reservoirs for cities; in water supplies on ships, trains and buses; in the production of pharmaceutical products, and even in dentists’ offices.

Another system highlighted in the Innovation@Work showroom is the Laser Ion Mobility Spectroscopy (LIMS) sensor, which detects chemical and explosive threats, as well as drugs. An ultraviolet laser beam selectively ionizes gas substances, with the resulting molecules analyzed in a specialized sensor. This provides high selectivity and sensitivity in the detection process. Development work with LIMS has shown its ability to detect some 14 different explosives, representing the majority of such materials available around the world.

LIMS is being readied to enter production, with potential uses ranging from the screening of passengers and luggage at airports by utilising a medium-sized system, to palm-sized versions that can be deployed by the military, civilian agencies and law enforcement personnel.