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Developing products as sustainable alternatives supporting environmental protection.

Some of our products are used in energy- and emissions-intensive applications. Others are used in more sustainable alternatives such as wind turbines and solar-powered aircraft. It is important that we design our products to have reduced environmental impacts during use, and also develop new products that reduce the environmental impact of the equipment and activities they are used in.



We have developed several products that provide reduced environmental impacts compared to existing products and processes. For example, we design and manufacture electrical slip rings for wind turbines; low profile high gain antennas for commercial aircraft which reduce fuel burn; air to air refuelling equipment that allows military aviation more fuel efficient operations; and our wireless products provide generic scalable solutions allowing equipment re-use for a variety applications. 


Cobham has developed a 'Cold Gas Cartridge' as a replacement for the less environmentally friendly pyrotechnic cartridge.  The Cold Gas Cartridge offers a clean solution to power the Carrier Bomb Light Stores' (CBLS) training aid which ejects practice stores from high speed aircraft. Cold Gas offers a clean solution; following the release of gas, the cartridge is left uncontaminated and can be immediately re-pressurised after use.  Unlike the Pyrotechnic cartridges that were previously used for the CBLS, acidic debris does not accumulate and there is no burning and erosion of components or exotic materials, so no post firing cleaning is required.  The use of cold gas also avoids the environmental hazards associated with storing and transporting pyrotechnic cartridges.


Some more examples:

Developing new technologies by improving our manufacturing process: We worked with Beacon Power to create the largest composite flywheel ever produced for commercial application. The flywheel stores energy generated by wind turbines and releases it on demand, making wind energy production more reliable. 

Designing sustainable technologies: Our speedy electromagnetic design tool has been used by Siemens Wind Power to help them improve the design of their generators. They use our Opera tool to make design decisions by running thousands of 2D and 3D simulations. As well as supporting the development of renewable technologies, this process also cuts down on waste by reducing the need to develop prototypes. 

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