Right on time for the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the international trade fair for innovations and trends in the field of aircraft interiors, the ZAL has presented three current research projects that will shape the aircraft cabin of tomorrow. In the world's leading location for cabin innovations, the Cabin & Systems Team at ZAL GmbH pursues visionary cabin concepts.


“Vibration Mitigation" – The search for comfort in economy class seats

Seat vibration prevents comfortable traveling and increases health issues. Accordingly, a binding EU vibration directive setting minimum standards for the control of vibration risks has been put in place across Europe. Two trends could lead to an increase in aircraft cabin vibration levels: ever more powerful geared turbofan engines, and the use of ever lighter materials are expected to increase passenger vibration levels. Furthermore, narrower and lighter seats lead to a decrease in the vibration-insulating effect of aircraft seats. As part of the research project, impartial testing procedures will be developed, which will then be made standard. This technology project is being driven forward in collaboration with AIRBUS, SAFRAN / ZODIAC, DLR and the University of Oldenburg.


Will autonomous flying cars soon become reality? - Edge Computing in the Clouds

Autonomous flying is changing rapidly of the future of urban mobility. Until this becomes reality, there are still a few challenges to overcome, challenges, which can also be found in the aircraft cabins of tomorrow. In order to bring future mobility concepts to fruition, it is necessary to develop data-transfer systems that allow higher data rates, have low latency (e.g. TSN) and set industry standards (ARINC 653). At the same time, aspects such as decentralization, auto-configuration, hardware-software decoupling, cyber security and aviation licensing need to be addressed.

This is precisely the technology project DELIA aims to achieve - the development of a modular distributed data communication and processor platform. Under the coordination of ZAL GmbH, AED Engineering GmbH, Solectrix GmbH, the Universities of Stuttgart and Hamburg are working on the DELIA platform for the aircraft cabin of the future.

Acoustic Metamaterials - Quiet travel in the aircraft cabin

In order to protect the passengers from aircraft noise and at the same time keep the machine weight low, efficient thermal-acoustic insulation is used between the interior trim and the fuselage. However, these conventional insulation materials, consisting of foam and glass wool, reach their limits in the low- frequency range.
The German-Canadian project NAIMMTA aims to develop and validate new thermal-acoustic insulation for the aircraft cabin. The essential components are innovative acoustic metamaterials which can be integrated into thermal-acoustic insulation. These metamaterials result in a sound insulation capacity that goes beyond conventional materials, without affecting the overall heat insulation or increasing weight.

More information can be found at http://www.acousticmetamaterial.com/.



Dr.-Ing. Kay Kochan
Center of Competence Cabin & Systems
Tel.: 040 248 595 122, E-Mail: kay.kochan(at)zal.aero