Supporting technological innovation in aerospace

March 24, 2015

By Anne Kershaw

Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Ontario Aerospace Council have worked together in supporting collaborative R&D in the province’s aerospace industry, through a $2.5 million program supporting the development of technology of strategic importance to Ontario’s aerospace sector. 

This has resulted in industry-academic collaborations being funded by OCE and NSERC in areas such as converting to more reliable and greener aircraft, and making plane travel more comfortable through improvements to seating, lighting, airflow, and vibration.

Improving accuracy of greenhouse gas tracking

Canada continues to seek new technologies to help reduce GHG and produce new energy efficiencies. Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory are collaborating with Sinclair Interplanetary, a Toronto-based supplier of hardware, software, training and expertise to the spacecraft community to develop commercially viable miniature satellites for space-based monitoring that allows for accurate and precise target tracking of greenhouse gas emitters. Once enabled, these nanosatellites would make it financially feasible and commercially viable to provide these GHG monitoring services internationally.

Converting to more reliable and greener aircrafts

The design of aircraft electrical systems is key to issues of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, public safety and environmental impact. Researchers in the Dept. of Electrical and Computing Engineering at Ryerson University have teamed up with Honeywell Aerospace to address thermal management issues associated with electrical power conversion. Their next generation of aerospace power converters will lead to a reduction in aircraft equipment weight, improved equipment reliability and a greener, more efficient and safer aircraft.

Bringing greater comfort to plane travel

The temporary discomfort of cramped seating and lack of personal space is accepted by most air travellers is just part of the cost of getting there. But new technologies that can help provide more individualized comfort to passengers in business and commercial aircraft are the way of the future. Researchers in aerospace engineering at Ryerson are working with Bombardier Aerospace in Toronto to develop a responsive-based design and prototype of a modular reconfigurable aircraft cabin interior that can enhance passenger comfort when it comes to seating, lighting, airflow, noise and vibration.