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Center Innovation Fund: AFRC CIF

Turbo-Electric Distributed Propulsion Test Stand

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Test stand schematic
An Armstrong team is developing a static test stand for single-engine electric aircrafts. Researchers will use this technology to identify ways to measure motor and battery efficiencies; evaluate multidisciplinary dependencies; and provide insights into propeller, motor, and electronics designs specific to electric aircraft propulsion. The ultimate goal of the project is to determine a standardized way to measure electric engine efficiencies. An Armstrong team is developing a static test stand for single-engine electric aircrafts. Researchers will use this technology to identify ways to measure motor and battery efficiencies; evaluate multidisciplinary dependencies; and provide insights into propeller, motor, and electronics designs specific to electric aircraft propulsion. The ultimate goal of the project is to determine a standardized way to measure electric engine efficiencies. Work to date: In 2013, the team began constructing the test stand and researching electric propulsion test motors. Small-scale versions of the stand were also designed and built to demonstrate the effectiveness of test sensor installation techniques and measurement technology required for the full-scale design. Looking ahead: The group will complete construction and static testing and mount the stand on a truck for dynamic testing. A ground testbed for performance and control characteristics will be used to evaluate new electric propulsion technologies that could be applied to vehicle integration. This research has already spawned interest in a follow-on proposal from NASA's Hybrid Electric Integrated System Testbed (HEIST) project, which is investigating power management and distribution for hybrid electric propulsion systems. Benefits Improves measurement: Standardizes measurement of electric engine efficiencies Novel: Implements sensors in a unique way to enable testing configurations Applications Electric aircraft engines, generators, controllers, and batteries Research for novel types of energy storage systems More »

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