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EMS firm Briton EMS and product design and development consultancy 42 Technology have joined forces to help the Aircraft Research Association (ARA) develop and launch an innovative new research tool for use within its high-speed wind tunnel in Bedford.
The two companies have developed a sophisticated control system for ARA's new gust generator, the first of its kind in the world capable of simulating gusts at transonic, or cruising, speeds typically experienced by aircraft.
The new generator will help to drive new research into improving understanding of how turbulence affects aircraft performance. It is part of an investment at ARA in new systems and services, funded to the order of £9m by the Aerospace Technology Institute.
The tool could help manufacturers to modify their aircraft designs or to develop systems to compensate for gusts, leading to smoother flights.
Briton EMS and 42 Technology – who have frequently worked together for industrial and consumer electronics clients – teamed up with ARA's in-house engineering team to design, manufacture and install the control system for the new generator.
42 Technology designed the system to link the generator's control desk with a network of 1800 solenoid valves, each of which needs to be opened and closed within 20 milliseconds to deliver the required gust profiles.
The control system is housed in four, two meter high electronics cabinets and was completed from initial design to installation in under two months.
"42 Technology and Briton EMS have been instrumental in helping to develop ARA's new gust generator and to meet the demanding delivery deadlines for this large-scale project," said Kevin Williams, chief engineer at ARA.
"Their engineers worked very well alongside our in-house team to develop and integrate the control system and to help us launch a world first for aerospace research."
"This is a great story," said Briton EMS business manager Peter Towler. "We had to work within very tight timescales to make rapid prototypes, carry out new product engineering, fully procure all materials, manufacture and test the finished items."
Following the team's success on the gust generator, 42 Technology and Briton EMS hope to work together on future ARA projects and to help ensure the organization continues to provide the global aerospace industry with access to the latest and most advanced development systems and tools.
About Aircraft Research Association
ARA is an independent research and development organisation providing a range of specialist services to the aerospace industry; including high speed wind tunnel testing, Computational Fluid Dynamics and high precision wind tunnel model design and manufacture. These three capabilities provide customers with a complete aerodynamic service from initial aerodynamic design and analysis through model design and manufacture to wind tunnel testing.
Based in Bedford, 50 miles north of London, ARA has worked on many prestigious projects for the World's major civil aircraft and defence system manufacturers. Our expanding global customer base extends from the west coast of America, across Europe, to the Far East of Asia.
For further information see www.ara.co.uk.
About Briton EMS
Briton EMS is part of OSI Systems Inc., focusing on electronics manufacturing services for professional and technical clients in a variety of market sectors including broadcast, industrial, medical, security, agricultural and transport. Its services range from PCB assembly right through to complete product build including full functional test.
Through its connection with OSI Systems, Briton EMS has become a global manufacturer of electronic products with manufacturing plants in Europe, Asia and America.
Briton EMS was formed in 1979 and acquired by OSI in 2013. Manufacturing operations are based in Bedford.
About 42 Technology
42 Technology is a product design and development consultancy that specializes in creating innovative products for consumer and business markets including medical and healthcare, industrial, packaging and dispense, consumer, food and drink, and energy.
The company's core team of industry-experienced product designers and engineers works closely with academia, selected associates and partner companies to offer a cost-effective and efficient approach to new product development. 42 Technology is the perfect partner for SMEs, as well as larger international brands, as it offers everything from assistance with technology strategy and management through to new product creation and UK-based or off-shore manufacturing.
The company was founded in 1998 and is based in St Ives, near Cambridge. For further information please visit or contact: www.42technology.com.