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Modular Electric Propulsion Test Bed Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX14CD17C
Agency Tracking Number: 120246
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T9.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-09-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-09-11
Small Business Information
420 North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245-2822
United States
DUNS: 121331057
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Michael Kerho
 Chief Aerodynamicist
 (310) 640-8781
Business Contact
 Brian Kramer
Title: President
Phone: (310) 640-8781
Research Institution
 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
 Walter Knorr
1901 South First Street, Suite A
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

 (217) 333-2187
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

A hybrid electric aircraft simulation system and test bed is proposed to provide a dedicated development environment for the rigorous study and advancement of hybrid electric powered aircraft. The new test bed and simulation system will provide a dedicated platform and set of analysis tools to study, design, and test hybrid electric powered propulsion components and systems for use in commercial, general aviation, military, and UAV systems. The test bed will allow various hybrid electric propulsion system technologies to be tested to determine performance, reliability, safety, and cost. These include various motors, motor controllers,gas turbines, batteries, fuel cells, super capacitors, propeller, and fan technologies. Additionally, the platform could be used to investigate performance characteristics unique to hybrid electric propulsion, determine the most accurate methods for measuring energy used and remaining, and research redundancy possibilities unique to hybrid electric aircraft. Studies performed during Phase I demonstrated that pure electric aircraft are limited in range and endurance by the specific energy of current battery technology. Although there is a great deal of effort being put into advanced batteries, the most practical solution in the near term is to utilize a hybrid electric system. The proposed Phase II program builds upon the Phase I results by developing a detailed propulsion system simulator model for hybrid electric propulsion systems, with the ultimate goal of a bench test model of the propulsion system. Using a detailed multi-platform/mission trade study, a coupled parallel, uncoupled series, and split series-parallel hybrid system architecture will be compared to determine the most advantageous and efficient. The propulsion system simulator will also be used to perform a sensitivity analysis of each architecture to determine critical performance aspects for individual components.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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