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EU H2020 Project "FloCoS"

Project Name: FloCoS

Project ID: 754989

Development and Manufacturing of a Smart AFC Drive and Control System

From 2017-06-01 to 2020-06-30, finished project


The project FloCoS will focus on an integrated flow control actuator driving system taking into account the specific requirements of piezoelectrically driven Synthetic Jet Actuators. The system will be divided into two different main parts: The amplifier unit on the one hand and the control part on the other hand. For making measurement values available which will be used for closed-loop control of the actuator, a dedicated measurement circuit will be developed and optimized for this specific application. A highly integrated and miniaturized electronic module for fluidic AFC actuators will be the output of this project.

FloCoS will not only provide smart power amplifier solutions, but also efficient solutions. State-of-the-art power recovery technologies will be used to minimize the needed power for driving the piezoelectric elements. For the addressed application scenarios, e.g. the test of actuators in large scale wind tunnel test studies, there are special requirements for remote access and control for the system. For the test of the actuators as well as the aerodynamic concepts, the actuators have to be driven in WT/T environment, where control computers and power supply connectors may be far away from the point of action. FloCoS will provide remote access to all system parameters with an advanced monitoring and logging functionality.

The requested number of actuators suggests that there is a short term plan to test the actuators at a specific region in the wing, e.g. pylon-wing junction or outer wing. The integration aspects for these regions will demand special concepts for miniaturized solutions. The system itself will be encapsulated to comply with all harsh environmental requirements which are applied to the system in relevant environmental conditions. The conformity of the system with the electromagnetic compatibility requirements will be demonstrated by testing.


The objective of WP 1 is the definition of the requirements and specifications of the system and all subcomponents of the system in terms of size, weight, actuator specifications and electronics requirements. In WP1, a set of requirements was developed and defined to specify the requirements in terms of electrical, mechanical and Software specifications. The requirements tabulated in Deliverable D1.1 are adjusted by the FloCoS consortium in close cooperation with the CS 2 LPA partners and the Topic Manager of the FLoCoS project. The purpose is to develop an actuator control system for fluidic active flow control based on ZNMF actuators for Ground test and wind tunnel test demonstration. The system comprises actuators (piezoelectric), sensors, HV supply, data processing units (DPU) and wires. A control signal for the actuator is provided by a higher control level controller to the actuator control system. The actuator controller controls the transducer elements which produces a movement and thereby generate a harmonic fluidic sucking and blowing flow. The connection of the sensor system provides a signal to the actuator control system. This could be a feedback of the actual maximum transducer displacement or phase of the transducer movement.

The objective of WP2 is the definition and development of the electronic system including HV-DC supply and communication platform. In this work package the system design implementation of the power electronic modules is carried out. Based on the inputs of WP1 the following items have to be implement into system and subsystem components as integrated electronics and discrete electronics solutions. For the fluidic actuator (ZNMF) system, drive and control hardware and software system was specified in the requirements working assumption document. This includes the power and performance requirements as well as the power supply and also interfaces and space constraints. Based on these specifications, an overall system design was developed and discussed. The system comprises actuators (piezoelectric), sensors, HV supply, data processing units (DPU) and wires. Functional design is completed for the amplifier board and electronic rack backplane board. Block diagrams were made to define the structure between all the functions.

The objective of WP3 - “Design of the overall control system” is the definition and development of the overall system concept including the different parts of the system: HV-IC and PCB, U/ I-Monitoring system, I/O-System, HV-Supply system (if necessary, depending on the suitable IC solution). The overall system concept will influence the design of the several subcomponents, which are developed with the different tasks in WP2 and 3. This work package is done in parallel with the previous one. Based on the overall system definition and also based on the specific requirements for the drives and control system, a block diagram was made to define the overall signals routing between the electronics boards of the rack. The Backplane board is the backbone of the system. All other boards are connected to it, in order to link every signals and power supplies. This board integrates main functions common to all actuator channels. The amplifier board is connected to the backplane board. Due to much more versatility and since the load is not yet known precisely, also that it won’t be available for test and the electronic would be in a rack enclosure, a linear amplifier is the preferred solution for the amplification module.

In WP 5, System Test of the actuators provided by the CS2 partners are performed. This includes test and analysis of the specifications of the fluidic AFC actuators provided by the CS2 partners in order to update and validate the requirements for the actuator control box and verification of Ground-Based Demonstrator hardware with respect to the formulated requirements, using the verification and validation plan. In a first step, Measurement were conducted by Fraunhofer and analysed by TriSiTec.

The objective of the management work package (WP6) is the overall Project Management, dissemination actions and exploitation. This includes the management of the overall project, the management of the interactions between the different WPs in the project, the coordination of the project task including the documentation of activities and outputs, the time management over the whole-time frame of the project, as well as to facilitate and monitor the dissemination and exploitation activities. The project Management is running permanently. All activities of this project are managed and documented by the coordinating person. Regular status meetings for progress tracking and control of deliverables was established and are performed. In addition, the implementation of formal review meetings at milestones (such as RR, PDR, CDR, VR) was considered. This will also be performed in close cooperation with the Clean Sky partners. In the beginning of the project, all relevant contracts were prepared, revised, signed and delivered. The outcome of this activity were deliverables Del.6.1 and Del.6.2. In Addition, the dissemination and exploitation actions where conduced. A Project Homepage and a project Leaflet were designed and published.

Next Steps

The Project was finalized in July 2020. Exploitation activities are ongoing :

  • TriSiTec and CTEC are open for new project poropsals in flow control 
  • The System will be updated to be used in large scale WT/T or even in F/T

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Clean Sky 2, under grant agreement No 754989