Robust Aircraft Electrical Power System Architectures

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PC Krause and Associates, Inc.
3000 Kent Avenue, Suite C1-100, West Lafayette, IN, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Jason Wells
 Director, Engineering Ser
 (765) 464-8997
Business Contact
 Eric Walters
Title: President
Phone: (765) 464-8997
Research Institution
The move to more-electric architectures during the past decade in military and commercial airborne systems continues to increase the complexity of designing and specifying the electric power system (EPS). The addition of numerous high-power electric loads has drastically altered the dynamics of power flow on the electrical bus. Many of these loads often exhibit peak-to-average power ratios in excess of 5-to-1 for brief periods of time (50-5000 ms). In addition to this high peak-power, some of the loads can produce regenerative power flow equal to their peak power draw for brief periods of time (typically 20-200 ms). In addition to the ever increasing dynamics of electrical loads in the modern fighter, the move to electrify more systems has increased the criticality of the EPS leading to increased need for redundant and configurable systems. In the modern fighter, the resulting reliability requirements have led to EPS architectures wherein multiple sources exist within the aircraft that are dynamically taken in or out of the EPS based upon the failure status of a variety of components. Such reconfiguration is practical in large part due to the aircraft capability to adjust power requirements in response to source limitations by adjusting the performance capabilities of the platform. As the reconfigurability of the EPS, the number of available sources, and the number, complexity, and criticality of system loads continue to increase, several interesting questions arise regarding the design and validation of the EPS including: 1) Will the proposed EPS architecture be stable under all possible configurations of system loads? 2) Does the architecture optimally utilize the variety of source capabilities that exist throughout the aircraft? 3) How does one analyze and design such complex integrated EPS architectures to ensure the desired outcome? In the Phase I effort, PCKA developed an analysis approach capable of answering these questions in the context of MEA EPSs. Further, PCKA developed and demonstrated a coordinated source control algorithms capable of enabling optimal source utilization within the EPS at any given time. Finally, PCKA developed metrics capable of providing estimation of large-displacement stability margin similar to the gain and phase margin traditionally utilized in small-signal analysis. In this Phase II proposal, PCKA outlines a strategy to continue the development of the analysis techniques and tools developed in the Phase I effort, validate these tools through appropriate testing with detailed simulation and hardware testing, and further refine the technology through application to current NAVAIR programs and platforms.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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