Electric Lift Fan for VTOL Air Vehicle
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
The need exists for safe, high power density electric lift fans, especially for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air vehicle applications. The unique approach proposed here uses electric power to drive a brushless ring motor and fan inside a duct. The ring motor is scalable and requires no gearing, linkages, or hot-gas plumbing. The low disk loading compared to turbojets and turbofans minimizes the amount of debris kicked up during operation, yet all rotating blades are enclosed inside a duct eliminating the safety hazard of exposed blades. With the advancements being made in specific power and efficiencies both in power electronics and electric motors, these powerplants have become a viable heavy lift option for VTOL applications. This research focuses specifically on the development of a low inductance brushless DC ring motor coupled with high switching frequency power electronics to be used to drive a light weight lift fan.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA 20110
Number of Employees: