10 September 2010
EADS is on track in expanding and promoting its innovation-related activities that keep the company at the industry’s cutting edge, meeting goals that range from developing enabling technologies to identifying experts with the competences to lead these efforts for years to come.
- EADS Innovation Works’ development activity in high-performance RF MEMS switches could lead to their use in such applications as mobile telephones. (©) EADS
EADS Innovation Works’ development activity in high-performance RF MEMS switches could lead to their use in such applications as mobile telephones.
This was the message of Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti today in his mid-year 2010 update to employees of EADS Innovation Works – the company’s worldwide network of dedicated research centres.
“We are well underway in meeting the research and technology roadmap for Vision 2020, which is EADS’ long-term development and improvement plan,” Botti said during a presentation at EADS’ technical facility in Ottobrunn, Germany. “The EADS Innovation Works staff has shown to the world that we can develop promising ‘disruptive’ technologies and establish new business initiatives – all while simplifying our research and technology structure and streamlining the line-up of our projects.”
Botti noted that EADS is maintaining its leadership in new patents, with the company now occupying the no. 1 position worldwide for the aerospace sector. “This is a real achievement, as our company has steadily moved up from the ninth position to become the global leader,” he added.
He said the company’s “nursery” projects – which cultivate new initiatives – continue to show results. One effort established in 2010 is a potentially game-changing innovation in airport baggage handling, offering the ability to significantly reduce costs and meet new security regulations. Another project is the development of high-performance RF MEMS (radio frequency micro-electromechanical system) switches, which allow higher data transmission rates and are targeted for future miniaturisation in such applications as mobile telephones.
New business initiatives that are moving forward include EADS Innovation Works’ Bio Sensor System, an automated and compact device that uses micro-machined filters and laser light to provide very fast detection of biological hazards and threats. A marketing roadmap has been established for this system, readying the outreach to potential business partners.
Another key business initiative – EADS Innovation Works’ activities in applying algae-based biofuels to the aviation sector -- also is making progress. Botti underscored his goal of working with airlines for demonstration flights to analyse whether such “green” fuels are feasible in industrial applications, as well as to validate its business model and the biofuel value chain.
During today’s mid-year review presentation, EADS Innovation Works Director Yann Barbaux outlined numerous key achievements of the company’s research centre network. These include the demonstration of a wireless architecture for reliable, high data rate communications inside airliner cabins; and the development of an off-line robot tool-path programming system for production applications such as friction stir welding and incremental sheet forming, as well as robotic machining operations and composite sewing.
He also highlighted EADS Innovation Works’ successful build-up of a Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy bi-propellant thruster for spacecraft applications, using the Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) process – in which material is deposited in incremental stages.
In other activity, Barbaux said EADS Innovation Works is pursuing cooperative efforts that bring together the resources of various organisations. As examples, he cited the investment in a new laboratory for lightning strike research at the French CEAT centre for aerodynamic and thermal studies, and the signature of a partnership that will integrate students from the French Air Force Academy in EADS Innovation Works facilities for research collaboration.