Project HaSU

HaSU is a development project founded within Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, the largest ever European aeronautics research programme. The scope of the HaSU project is to develop a hydrophobic coating for the Next Generation Tilt Rotor (NGCTR).
Aircraft windshields must keep pilots’ visibility at excellent levels under several operating conditions, particularly under heavy rain occurring during flight. To this purpose, the majority of modern commercial aircrafts use wipers to shed water from the windshields. Use of wipers is no longer foreseen in some future civil aircrafts such as the Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor (NGCTR). A durable, surface coating on the windshield to shed water would be an ideal solution to maintain visibility without using wipers and will be of fundamental importance to limit the formation of rain-induced ice on windscreen. Today’s commercially available rain repellent treatments have poor durability and weather resistance, and they cannot be applied to polymeric transparent substrates, such as aircraft canopies. In fact, liquid treatments rubbed onto the surface of the windshield must be applied periodically or as needed as their performance degrades rapidly over time. The HaSU project, funded by the European Commission under the CleanSky2 platform, is about the development and industrialization of a rain repellent substrate capable of forming highly durable hydrophobic coatings for windshields based on a particulate inorganic homogenously distributed throughout a polymeric matrix with the aim to provide a permanent treatment that will last the life of the windshield.
More in details, the HaSU project provided:
  1. Design and development of specimens of the NGCTR windscreen substrate having the requested hydrophobic functionalities and performance throughout the whole flight envelope.
  2. Manufacturing of hydrophobic windscreen specimens.
  3. Testing and qualification of proposed hydrophobic specimens according to RTCA DO-160 (Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment of proposed hydrophobic specimens).
The proposed technological solution started at a TRL4 level (technology validated in lab) and reached TRL6 (technology demonstrated in relevant environment) at the end of the project.

Test results have shown that the hydrophobic coating is able to satisfy all requirements even after environmental testing.

The coating is highly transparent, it does not affect at all the light transmission of the windshield neither the optics of the windshield, it is hydrophobic with a water contact angle in the range 105-115° and it has been proven to be highly durable to aerospace environmental testing protocols.
Photo of a hydrophobic windscreen specimens
Water contact angle over the hydrophobic coating
Inspection of hydrophobic coating thickness
Measurement of water contact angle on a hydrophobic windscreen specimen
This project has received funding from the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
For more information, contact
Via Alessandro Volta 14
35042 Este (PD) - Italy