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Lightweight Small-Scale Turbine Generator, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The proposed innovation is a propulsion technology that will help achieve NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program (FAP) goals of reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency for high speed flight. NASA's objective to achieve increase the specific power of high efficiency electric components to make a 10 mega-watt onboard power generation and/or utilization feasible for propulsion requires the development of sub-scale technologies to support the development and validation of newer turbo-electric aircraft and embedded boundary layer electric propulsion systems. Compact and lightweight generators scaling from the kW to MW class are needed to transition high speed aircraft to hybrid electric propulsion systems. Metis Design Corp is developing a lightweight, small-scale, gas turbine generator that draws on recent innovations in the fields of permanent magnet generators and turbomachinery, which has a target power density over twice the state-of-the-art and the potential to scale to 100's of kW. The proposed turbine engine uses a lightweight, two-spool configuration that eliminates the need for the heavy reduction gearbox required by state-of-the-art systems. Phase I of this SBIR will develop a preliminary design of the turbine generator sub-system and develop a detailed design, fabricate and test the innovative generator hardware. A follow-on phase II effort will develop a detailed design, fabricate and test the complete turbine generator sub-system. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas