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
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.