For the first time, Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse, Liebherr’s center of excellence for environmental control and thermal management systems, and ISAE-SUPAERO (Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace) join forces to create an industrial chair. This initiative, co- financed by the French National Research Agency (ANR), aims to stimulate cooperation between public and private research stakeholders.
The CASTOR Chair for Radial Turbomachinery Aerodynamics started on January 1, 2024, and will run for 4 years. It will result in 3 theses, 2 post-doctorates and the creation of a research engineer position. The total amount of 1.250 M€ (50 % from Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse and 50 % from ANR, the French National Research Agency) will be used to finance equipment and subcontracted work.
The aim is to make progress on the design of radial turbomachinery stages, which are at the heart of Liebherr-Aerospace's air systems, and in which ISAE-SUPAERO has cutting-edge skills and research infrastructures. This collaboration will enable Liebherr to continue proposing key technologies for the decarbonization of aviation, with more efficient air systems that consume as little energy as possible for future aircraft.
Contributing to the development of low-emission aircraft of the future
The radial turbomachine is a key component of the air-conditioning system manufactured by Liebherr- Aerospace Toulouse. In the turbine of the compressor, the shape of the blades must be finely optimized to provide the best energy efficiency and expansion or compression ratios – independently from the flight phases of the aircraft.
This design phase is vital for offering aircraft manufacturers less energy-intensive air-conditioning systems for future low-emission aircraft. Several lines of work will be explored: Unconventional radial turbine configurations will be calculated and tested to improve efficiency and operating ranges. Furthermore, efforts will be devoted to advancing numerical and experimental methods.
A win-win partnership
For Liebherr-Aerospace, this project is an excellent way of accelerating its research and development activities. It enables the company to mobilize and finance over the long term the cutting-edge skills in ISAE-SUPAERO’s research laboratories, which also serves Liebherr’s future products.
From ISAE-SUPAERO's point of view, this chair symbolizes recognition of the relevance and applicability of its work by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. What’s more, the resulting substantial funding will enable the Institute to expand its experimental and digital capabilities.
Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse and ISAE-SUPAERO have been partners for 25 years. This chair represents an opportunity for both entities to intensify their collaboration and structure a joint research program.