We developed a sophisticated aerospace control system in less than two months.

42 Technology partnered with electronics manufacturer Briton EMS 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. We 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 that are typically experienced by aircraft.

Wind tunnel

The new generator will help drive new research into improving understanding of how turbulence affects aircraft performance and 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 aerospace manufacturers to modify their aircraft designs or to develop systems to compensate for gusts, leading to smoother flights.

42 Technology has been instrumental in helping us meet the demanding delivery deadlines for this large-scale project. 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.

Kevin Williams, Chief Engineer, The Aircraft Research Association

42 Technology and Briton EMS — 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-metre high electronics cabinets and was completed from initial design to installation in under two months.