Drawing inspiration from the low-drag properties of shark skin, manufacturer MicroTau has been shortlisted for an AVALON 2023 Innovation Award for its use of riblet surfaces in aviation applications.
MicroTau's riblet microstructures are periodic microscopic grooves aligned with the direction of flow of a fluid and are capable of reducing friction drag by up to 10 per cent under turbulent flow conditions. Riblets also improve the range, endurance, and payload capacity of aircraft.
It uses a proprietary method of manufacturing called Direct Contactless Microfabrication (DCM), which allows for customisable riblet designs with greater design freedom and little to no retooling costs.
The company estimates the technology can save the commercial aviation industry US$20 billion worth of fuel and prevent 92 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
MicroTau joins a number of shortlisted organisations and individuals that are in the running for the AVALON 2023 Innovation Awards which are presented under three categories including National, SME and Young Innovator.
In a statement from MicroTau, it said being shortlisted for an AVALON 2023 Innovation Award validates its mission to make an immediate and significant impact on aviation emissions and to ease the transition to low- and zero-emissions aircraft in the future.
"We are also very excited by the potential to enhance the mission capability of Australian defence aircraft through the increased ability to project power and deliver credible deterrence."
The AVALON 2023 Innovation Awards is part of the event's Innovation Program, sponsored by Synergy Group. The award ceremony will take place 1330 – 1430 on Tuesday 28 February and is open to all accredited Trade Visitors.
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