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Robust Power Conversion/Conditioning Technologies for High Power Aircraft Applications


OBJECTIVE: Development of innovative high density, high efficiency power conversion and conditioning technologies supporting high power, low duty cycle applications. DESCRIPTION: The intent of this topic is to focus innovative research on solving the technical challenges associated with developing and demonstrating a high density, high efficiency power conversion and conditioning device for high power, low duty cycle, rotary wing aircraft-based applications. Proposals shall demonstrate the ability to receive input voltages that shall consist of standard military aircraft ac and dc voltages; to include 115 volt ac (vac), 400 hz, 3-phase; 28 volt dc (vdc); and/or 270 vdc sourced from an aircraft power generation system, unregulated aircraft-qualified transformer rectifier, battery, and/or capacitor module. The technology solution shall provide a high vdc output (estimated between 270 and 500 vdc), at an estimated power level of 100 to 150 kwe for a minimum duration of 30 seconds. the estimated duty cycle shall vary between 10 to 25% over a period of one-hour, but will be assessed dependent on the technology solution(s) provided within the proposal. Voltage tolerances of +/- 1 to 5% during the duty cycle, independent of the change in input voltage when utilizing battery or capacitor technologies, shall be required. The technology solution shall be designed to minimize output voltage ripple amplitude throughout operation, with a maximum allowance of 6.0 volts. The technology solution may include a dedicated thermal management system (tms) to support operation, or can include requirements for interface to existing/planned aircraft tms. The ability for the technology solution to be scalable and support paralleled operation to allow for increased system level power (>150 kwe) is valid and of significant interest under this topic. The use of multiple lower power level technology solutions in parallel to support the stated power level goal of 100 to 150 kwe may also be valid, provided benefits of doing so are clearly shown. Proposals shall focus on the innovative use of technologies that support dc to dc and/or ac to dc conversion; which may include wide temperature power electronics/components, optimized thermal management design methodologies, and/or advanced material use; to ensure the technology solution is within reasonable size, weight, and power (swap) for use onboard a rotary wing platform. Additional system level design requirements shall be provided to support the selected design approach during a Phase I requirements review. Technical challenges include, but are not limited to, 1) producing components of sufficient reliability under estimated high power conditions, 2) producing components of sufficient power densities for aviation applications, 3) producing components that can withstand high operating temperatures and 4) developing components that can withstand the harsh navy aircraft operational, electrical, and environmental requirements (e.g. temperature, altitude, shock, vibration, emi). PHASE I: Define a technical approach and implementation plan for developing an aircraft electrical power conversion and conditioning technology for high power, short duty cycle applications. Validate the approach analytically or provide test data or bench top hardware that would validate the approach. Test data can include initial characterization of breadboard components or samples for electrical power and thermal limits per commercial or military standards. PHASE II: Design, develop, and demonstrate prototype, aircraft electrical power conversion and conditioning technology for high power, short duty cycle applications based on Phase I efforts. Development should include electrical, thermal, and mechanical characterization of equipment per commercial or military standards. Demonstration can include a high-fidelity laboratory environment and/or aircraft ground demonstration. PHASE III: Complete packaging and integration of the prototype, aircraft electrical power conversion and conditioning technology for high power, short duty cycle applications for use in a Navy aircraft platform, complete safety of flight certification, and perform a flight demonstration. Transition to NAVAIR Program Offices for final system integration, flight evaluations, and procurement. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The results of this work can be commercialized to provide high density, high efficiency aircraft electrical power conversion and conditioning technology for space, sea, air, and land vehicles. This technology will result in improved safety and reliability, reduced maintenance costs, and reduced procurement costs by extending the service life of the equipment. Private sectors that face similar reliability concerns include aerospace, power utilities, and automotive industries. Commercial airlines are specifically interested in high density and high efficiency components and conversion equipment.
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