ULTIMATE or Ultra Low emission Technology Innovations for Mid-century Aircraft Turbine Engines is a research and innovation project in the field of aeronautical engineering. The project has received a funding of 3.1 million euro from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union and was launched on 1 September 2015. It is set to run for a period of three years (36 months) and is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology.
With the ULTIMATE project, five experienced research groups and four major European engine manufacturers will develop innovative designs for the propulsion and core technologies of aero-engines gas turbines. One of the most challenging targets is the 75% reduction in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Technologies currently at TRL 3-5 (Technological Readiness Level), cannot achieve this aim. It is estimated that around a 30% reduction must come from radical innovations now being at lower TRL. Existing tools, knowledge and models will be used to perform optimization and evaluation against the SRIA targets to mature the technologies to TRL 2.
The ULTIMATE project singles out the major loss sources in a state of the art turbofan to categorize breakthrough technologies. This classification approach gives a structured way to combine and explore synergies between the technologies in the search for ultra-low carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and noise emissions. The most promising combinations of radical technologies will then be developed for a short range European and a long range intercontinental ATW (Advanced Tube and Wing aircraft). Simultaneously, ULTIMATE will help European industry to achieve its environmental, societal and economic targets by putting to practice synergetic breakthrough technologies for every part of the air transport system.
These potential benefits obviously have a positive impact on the environment and, thus, more generally to today’s societal needs. In addition, the gains are also part of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE).
The ULTIMATE consortium has a balanced representation from leading European universities and research centres as well as aero-equipment industry partners. Thanks to their various background and fully complementary expertise, the 10 partners from 5 European countries come up with a comprehensive approach and all the necessary know-how to achieve the ambitious goals of the ULTIMATE project.