Aerospace Systems: EU FP7 MAAT Project – Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport

This is one of my favourite projects of all time! Chris Bingham and I were drinking fake coffee in a fake Starbucks in Shanghai when I got an email asking if I would like to join a consortium to bid in on a Framework 7 proposal. We would lead the Power Systems design. I obviously said yes, and got to work with the best group of researchers I’ve ever worked with.

MAAT is basically a huge (1km diameter) airship which can dock with smaller airships (feeders), with a unique feature of being totally self sufficient – generating hydrogen for buoyancy and propulsion onboard.

  1. Smith T., Bingham C., Stewart P., Allarton R. and Stewart J., “Energy Harvesting and Power Network Architectures for the MAAT High Altitude Cruiser-Feeder Airship Concept”, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering April 2013 vol. 227 no. 4 586-598
  2. J. C. Pascoa, A. Dumas, M. Trancossi, P. Stewart and D. Vucinic, ‘A review of thrust-vectoring in support of a V/STOL non-moving mechanical propulsion system’, Central European Journal of Engineering, 3(3), 2013, pp. 374-388.
  3. Trancossi, M., Dumas, A., Stewart, P., and Vucinic, D., (2014) “Increasing Aeronautic Electric Propulsion Performance by Cogeneration and Heat Recovery,” SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-2106, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2106.
  4. Z. Cen, T. Smith, P. Stewart and J. Stewart (2015), ‘Integrated Flight/Thrust Vectoring for Jet-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with ACHEON Propulsion’, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering vol.229, pp1057-1075, May 2015 first published online  July 29, 2014 DOI: 10.1177/0954410014544179
  5. Michele Trancossi, Mauro Madonia, Antonio Dumas, Diego Angeli, Chris Bingham, Shyam Sumanta Das, Francesco Grimaccia, Jose Pascoa Marques, Eliana Porreca, Tim Smith, Paul Stewart, Maharshi Subhash, Anna Sunol and Dean Vucinic, (2016) ‘A new aircraft architecture based on the ACHEON Coanda effect nozzle: flight model and energy evaluation’ European Transport Research Review, 8(2) · June 2016, DOI: 10.1007/s12544-016-0198-4
  6. Tim Smith, Michele Trancossi, Dean Vucinic, Chris Bingham and Paul Stewart, (2017) Primary and Albedo Solar Energy Sources for High Altitude Persistent Air Vehicle Operation, Energies 2017, 10(4), 573

The power system consisting of an upper structure constructed from photovoltaics, hydrolysis, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and enormous propulsion units was particularly challenging…..


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