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30 July 2014

Raytheon to provide power systems for More Electric Aircraft

Raytheon of Waltham, MA, USA has been selected to provide power systems expertise as part of several major aerospace industry consortia that are currently developing the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) of the future. This marks the firm’s formal entry into the MEA market following its significant investment in commercial aviation power solutions.

Driven by the demand to optimize aircraft performance, decrease operating and maintenance costs, increase dispatch reliability, and reduce gas emissions, the concept of the more electric aircraft (MEA) provides for the utilization of electric power for all non-propulsive systems (traditionally driven by a combination of different secondary power sources such as hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical and electrical). Recent technical advances in power electronics, fault-tolerant architecture, electro-hydrostatic actuators, flight control systems, high-density electric motors, power generation and conversion systems have ushered in the era of the MEA. This trend is accelerating, as aircraft OEMs collaborate with their suppliers to design new systems and implement new electrical-intensive architectures. Adoption of the MEA concept is seen as a critical enabler for the aircraft industry to unlock significant improvements in terms of aircraft weight, fuel consumption, total life cycle costs, maintainability and aircraft reliability.

Under the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP, a UK-based collaboration between government and industry), Raytheon’s involvement spans the full range of power architecture and product collaborative initiatives, including: Power Off-take and Power Conversion for the More Electric Engine (SILOET II, Rolls-Royce), Electric Engine Start power delivery (POMOVAL, Labinal Power Systems), Motor Drive power delivery sub-systems (LAMPS, UTC), Dedicated HiTSiC Power Modules (R-PSM, Raytheon), and the Harsh Environment Health Monitoring Devices (HEEDS, AEC).

Central to Raytheon’s strategy is leveraging its unique HiTSiC (high-temperature silicon carbide) produced at its UK foundry, which is tailored to optimal power delivery in high-density, high-temperature power supplies. Existing modules have a maximum operating temperature of around 150°C due to the limitations of silicon devices. As a result, large, heavy liquid cooling systems are required. Raytheon’s silicon carbide can operate at temperatures above 300°C, allowing more compact modules and greater efficiency, which is suitable for commercial aircraft (breaking away from the traditional tradeoffs while providing great value for money, claims Raytheon).

“Raytheon has a 25 year track record in electronic systems for harsh operating conditions where high current, power density, temperature and value are the key factors,” says Steven Doran, managing director of Power and Control at subsidiary Raytheon UK. “The SWAP-V (size, weight, power – value) goal is being achieved through greater collaboration with industry and academic experts in emerging technologies for harsh environments,” he adds.

Tags: Raytheon SiC

Visit: www.raytheon.co.uk

Visit: www.theagp.aero

Visit: www.moreelectricaircraft.com

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