In order to design and certify AeroSHARK, a biomimetic coating technology that mimics shark skin and greatly lowers fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Lufthansa Technik, one of the world’s top providers of technical aircraft services, integrated Ansys simulation systems.
Lufthansa Technik and BASF, a chemical business, created the coating film with a slight ribbed structure made up of tiny elevations known as riblets by utilizing Ansys’ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and high-performance computing (HPC) technologies.
The placoid scales on a shark’s skin, which let them smoothly cut through water by lowering drag and friction while improving buoyancy, are mimicked by the riblet effect. To be sure the riblets’ surrounding turbulent flow phenomena would provide the same effect, engineers employed Ansys’ CFD software.
Before scaling and customizing the AeroSHARK prototypes through extensive aerodynamic simulations, Lufthansa Technik built and validated smaller, more generic virtual prototypes using Ansys’ capabilities. Lufthansa Technik significantly shortened the time it took to obtain certification by being able to simulate the entire aircraft, including in-flight behavior, and verify the Riblet effect using cutting-edge turbulence modeling.
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and Lufthansa Cargo are now using AeroSHARK, which has been approved for use on two models of Boeing 777s by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the American Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). After receiving their AeroSHARK modifications, all eleven Boeing 777Fs at Lufthansa Cargo and all twelve 777-300ERs at SWISS will cut the yearly carbon footprint of the Lufthansa Group by more than 25,000 tonnes.
As a result of successful simulation-powered testing, AeroSHARK is currently able to cover 40% of the aircraft, with plans to eventually expand its coverage to other parts of the aircraft.