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Concept for automated riblet application (robot-concept) (Riblet Robotics)
Start date: Oct 1, 2011, End date: Apr 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

By using a Riblet-coating on the airplane surface the air drag can be reduced. Through this, a fuel saving of 2% - 5% is possibly. Particularly, with middle- and long-haul aircrafts, a big saving potential exists. This had been demonstrated by tests with the A320 and the Beluga.The project encloses the conception of an application station to apply a special coating on completely mounted airplanes with variable dimensions. Therefore, the application unit must have the suitable degrees of freedom to guarantee a suitable flexibility.Furthermore a measuring-technical solution has to be developed. The position of the product has to be aligned in the coordinate system of the station. The application unit is positioned and controlled in relation to the detected position. The exact guidance of the coating applicator must occur with a local position system. For this new innovative solutions have to be found.The feasibility should be proved by the construction of a demonstrator. Suitable tests are necessary.Within this project solutions for the most different requirements have to be found.This includes:- A measuring system for positioning the applicator to the Aeroplane surface- A local measuring system for precise guiding- A flexible guiding device- A stiff base frame- A coating device that is usable for different aeroplanes and surfaces- Station control system- Weight compensation to get a constant coating pressure

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