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Rotary Electromechanical Actuator for Next-Generation Thin-Wing Aircraft Flight Control


OBJECTIVE: Develop a reliable rotary electromechanical actuator for next-generation thin-wing military aircraft flight control and validate its installation on thin wings. DESCRIPTION: As smaller wing profiles become more prevalent in advanced tactical and fighter aircraft, the smaller wing size puts an increased burden on the actuation system for flight control surfaces. Current hydraulic-based actuation systems for flight control surfaces require space that makes it challenging to fit thin wing applications. In addition, hydraulic systems are always on, using power when not needed, resulting in lower efficiency and posing thermal management challenges for the aircraft power and thermal management system (PTMS). Rotary actuation that is located directly on the hinge line has the potential to provide compact installation and significant efficiency gains. This topic seeks advanced technologies of rotary electromagnetic actuation (EMA) systems that will meet thin wing installation requirements. Some reference rotary EMA design requirements include: 1625 ft-lb minimum static hinge moment, minimum surface rate of 54 degrees per second against 710 ft-lb of rotational resistance, greater than 100 radians/s of actuation system open loop gain, minimum static stiffness of 1,000,000 lbf/in, minimum dynamic stiffness of 500,000 lbf/in, and operate in three modes (active, damped, and blocked/damped) while transitioning from one mode to the next within 100 milliseconds. The proposed innovative rotary EMA must fit in an installation envelope of approximately 83"x 14.5"x 5". Other performance characteristics such as jam tolerance, weight, efficiency, and thermal management should also be considered. Working with an airframer and/or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is encouraged to increase commercialization probability. PHASE I: Demonstrate the technical and installation feasibility of the proposed innovation through analysis, design, and small scale experiment. PHASE II: Fully develop, test, and demonstrate an operable prototype device that meets the requirements for a fighter-class military aircraft thin wing flight control surface in a laboratory environment. Emphasize the installation ability or the ability to integrate with the thin wing structure. Address system requirements, fault tolerance, structure integrity, and reliability issues. PHASE III: Electromechanical actuators will have both military and commercial aircraft applications as more electric aircraft are developed and wing profiles become smaller. REFERENCES: 1. Sven P. Schoensleben, 2006, Integrated Trailing Edge Flap Track Mechanism for Commercial Aircraft, Master Thesis, Reference Number: IMES-ST-05-198, ETH, Eidgenssische Technische Hochschule Zrich, Center of Structure Technologies. 2. Integrated Vehicle Energy Technology BAA at: & mode=form & id=c3a61f77d94ca51f0fdc9687036362f4 & tab=core & _cview=1.
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