Progress & News

Aug 17, 2020

Successful Commissioning of the ARiAS Transonic Compressor at TU Darmstadt


As part of the extensive experimental investigations within the ARiAS  project, the transonic compressor test setup was successfully commissioned at the TU Darmstadt Transonic Compressor Rig.

The compressor stage was enhanced with new rig hardware and equipped with extensive steady and unsteady instrumentation, in order to tackle the upcoming aerodynamic and aeromechanical tests. Focusing on forced response phenomena and the underlying fluid-structure-interaction due to blade and vane row interaction, a new developed wake generator module is applied upstream the rotor BLISK. One goal of the first out of two measurement campaigns is to experimentally characterize the flow features and determine the impact of wake forcing and rotor tip-clearance on blade vibration excitation and aero-damping by performing a parameter study of varying inlet wake types and counts. Ultimately, the experimental results will be used to identify and explain the physical mechanisms fundamental to these interactions and their impact on aeromechanical vibrations, necessary to enhance and validate the numerical tools of industry and academia.environment.​

July 16, 2020

Design and construction of a modular and novel static seal rig facility

Labyrinth seals are components used throughout the gas turbine to minimise air leakage between rotating and stationary components from high to low pressure regions. The rotating element of the seal is generally flexible and due to its interaction with the seal flow, flutter can occur which can cause unexpected failure of the labyrinth seal and consequently significant damage to the engine. 

Work package 3 in ARIAS aims to address limitations in the current understanding, of the physics of flutter in labyrinth seals. An experimental rig has been designed in partnership with: Imperial College London, ITP-Aero, MTU Aero-Engines, Rolls-Royce plc and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The intent of this innovative static test facility is to provide high quality data to study the physics of seal flutter and provide validation data for analytical and numerical approaches.  The test rig allows a wide range of flow and dynamic parameters to be tested , to identify and quantify the influence of different seal designs and flow conditions on the occurrence of seal flutter.  The rig experiments will be modelled analytically to enable direct comparison with measurements from both, aerodynamic and structural instrumentation, something that is extremely costly and difficult to achieve in a real engine environment.


  • Design and commission a novel seal flutter test facility.

  • Provide a consistent and complete physical account of the flutter phenomena of labyrinth seals. Assess individual influencing parameters for seal flutter and their interdependencies.

  • Generate a unique experimental data base of key results for a number of seal design configurations and operating points, under carefully controlled conditions.

  • Validate analytical methods, ranging from high-resolution aero-mechanical simulations to lower-fidelity parameter based approximations.


Key Features of the rig:

  • Non-Rotating Design:  This eliminates the inherent complexity and cost of design, instrumentation and operation in a rotating rig. The behavioural differences between rotating and static test articles are overcome through careful design of the rig, the test articles and the use of piezo-electric actuators. 

  • Modular construction : This novel design approach allows the cavity sections and the test specimens to be easily and rapidly replaced, modified and instrumented to simulate a wide range of configurations.

  • Symmetric Design : The symmetric design allows a high degree of flexibility with respect to the seal-flow configuration and the seal support arrangement.

  • Conical test section : Allows various seal-tip gap clearances to be tested.

  • Advanced Instrumentation: A wide ranging suite of instrumentation to measure steady and unsteady flows; steady deflections and dynamic behaviour of the test specimens.

  • Multifarious Test Specimens: The experimental test facility will allow the study of seal behaviour for a variety of seal geometries under conditions of flutter. The test section can accommodate seals with 1 to 4 fins.

  • Tuneable Plenum Cavities: Radial and axial modular inserts allow control of the acoustic resonance frequencies within the rig’s plenum cavities.

Feb 1, 2020

Collaborative student projects within frame of ARIAS project


One of the goals of the ARIAS project is to bring the current research in aeromechanics closer to the education. To achieve that several collaborative educational activities will be carried out among the academic partners in the project. One example of such  initiative is a student project course that started off in January this year and which is carried out by the students from KTH and TU Darmstadt, The course focuses on an aeroelasticity study in aero engines using interdisciplinary tools to investigate structural and aerodynamic effects. It includes  introductory lectures on the aeromechanical phenomenon investigated, tool specific tutorials as well as guest lectures by the specialists involved in the ARIAS project, but also from outside of the consortium . The students work via web-based communication in multi-national teams conducting various simulations to determine distinct influences on forced response phenomena at the TU Darmstadt transonic compressor test facility. It will be really interesting to see at the end how well the numerical results obtained by the student teams compare to the experimental result which will come out of the measurement campaigns in WP1 of the ARIAS project!

October 1-3, 2019

3rd ARIAS consortium meeting at Ecole Centrale de Lyon

group picture.jpg

The third consortium meeting took place at ECL  on 1-3 of October 2019. During this  three-day meeting the partners had opportunity to  discuss details of the ongoing work and planned measurement campaigns. The design work related to the several test rigs in the project is approaching it's final phase and the procurement and manufacturing of the different rig parts and test objects has been initialized.  An External Advisory Board (EAB) consisting of three renowned experts in the field  of aeromechanics was also invited to participate in the meeting with the main task of reviewing the experimental plans for the work packages. The EAB members were in general pleased with the progress of the project and they provided a valuable input to the partners that will carry out the experiments.  The meeting was wrapped up with a guided tour of LTDS - Laboratory of Tribology and Systems Dynamics and LMFA - Laboratory of Fluid Transfer and Acoustics at Ecole Centrale. Very impressive facilities indeed!

June 3-4, 2019

Blade Tip Timing Workshop at TU Darmstad


Hosted by the Institute of Gas Turbines and Aerospace Propulsion at TU Darmstadt, the European tip timing community within ARiAS met for a “Blade Tip Timing Workshop”. Tip timing experts of Rolls Royce, Siemens AG, MTU Aero Engines, SAFRAN Aircraft Engines/ Helicopter Engines/ Aero Booster and GKN Aerospace as well as testing and measurement experts of TU Darmstadt and University of Stuttgart joined the meeting on 3rd and 4th of June 2019. Several presentations and discussions enabled the exchange and a common understanding of the different tip timing systems as well as the corresponding capabilities and differences. Furthermore, the ARiAS test facilities and related tip timing measurements have been presented, including a visit of the compressor and turbine test rigs at TU Darmstadt, in order to provide an overview of the upcoming test campaigns and challenges. The attending partners agreed on an ARiAS standard format for tip timing data exchange, enabling a collaborative data acquisition at the various test facilities and analysis with the different systems and tools. For benchmarking of the current state of analysis tools and methods, a set of test cases will be introduced

October 25 , 2018

WP3 Static seal flutter rig design workshop


On Thursday the 25th October the industrial partners of WP3 (RR, MTU, ITP) met at Imperial College London in order to define the requirements for the ARIAS static seal flutter rig. The workshop was facilitated by a design requirements-capture specialist and enabled the partners to define and document the desired functional and physical attributes of the rig. A well-defined set of requirements is a key first step in the design process, ensuring that the end product will deliver the novel and highly valuable experimental measurements and behaviour observations that will advance our understanding of seal aeroelasticity.

March 12-13, 2019

2nd ARIAS consortium meeting at Safran Aircraft Engines


The second consortium meeting took place at SAFRAN Aircraft Engines site in Villaroche France on 12 & 13 of March 2019. A two-day meeting was a great opportunity to meet and discuss the ongoing design work for the several of the large measurement campaigns that we will soon start within the project. The meeting was wrapped up with a guided tour of impressive assembly lines for the LEAP engine!

September 15 , 2018

ARIAS project was  successfully launched by a consortium meeting held at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm on 13th & 14th of September 2018. Over 35 participants, all eager to begin with the project work, met together to set up a solid foundation for an outstanding project. The meeting was also attended by H2020 project officer Hugues Felix from the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) , who shed a light on European Commission's latest rules and procedures concerning H2020 projects.

ARIAS Project Kick-off

gkn logo.jpg