Airbus has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus UpNext has partnered with CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.
Together they are launching a project to discover how superconductivity can contribute to the decarbonization of future aircraft systems.
The Super-Conductor for Aviation with Low Emissions (SCALE) demonstrator aims to promote the adaptation and adoption of superconducting technologies in airborne electrical distribution systems.
The SCALE demonstrator combines CERN’s experience in superconducting technologies with Airbus UpNext’s capabilities in aircraft design and manufacturing.
Raphael Bello, CERN’s Director of Finance and Human Resources, said: “Our technologies have the potential to be adapted to the needs of future clean transportation and mobility solutions, as demonstrated by this agreement with Airbus. This partnership is only a first step in our journey with the European leader in aviation, and shows how much we value the excellence of our Member States’ industry.”
Sandra Bour-Schaeffer, CEO of Airbus UpNext, said: “Partnering with a leading research institute such as CERN, which brought the world some of the most important findings in fundamental physics, will help push the boundaries of research in clean aerospace as we work to make sustainable aviation a reality.
“We are already developing a superconductivity demonstrator called ASCEND (Advanced superconducting and Cryogenic Experimental powertraiN Demonstrator) to study the feasibility of this technology for electric and hybrid aircraft. Combining knowledge obtained from our demonstrator and CERN’s unique capabilities in the field of superconductors makes for a natural partnership.”
The first results from the partnership are expect by the end of 2023. The initiative seeks to develop and test in laboratory conditions an optimised generic superconductor cryogenic (~500kW) powertrain by the end of 2025.