Anubhav Bose with Advisor Prof. Kiruba Haran

FᴜᴛPʀIɴᴛ50 is an EU funded collaborative research project set out to identify and develop technologies and configurations that will accelerate the entry-into-service of a commercial hybrid-electric aircraft in a class of up to 50 seats by 2035/40. A new type of hybrid-electric 50-seat class aircraft being more fuel and noise efficient than current regional aircrafts could contribute to opening new point-to-point connections between smaller cities at lower infrastructure costs than rail or road transportation. A key enabler for such class of electric aircraft are high-power density electric machines. Prior research efforts have demonstrated that power densities of up to 14 KW/Kg at the megawatt-level can be achieved using high frequency, high pole count, low inductance slotless permanent magnet motor topologies. However, these efforts were focused on the design of the electric machine itself. For weight and efficiency sensitive applications such as aerospace, complete integration of all the energy storage, energy processing, thermal management and even aerodynamics systems are essential. This research seeks to extend optimization algorithms used for designing the propulsion motors, by taking into account the system level factors such as the propulsion system architectures, voltage levels, thermal system capabilities, mission profiles and more. The goal is to develop a design-generating toolset that can be easily scaled to a variety of different aircraft applications, considering the unique requirements and constraints posed by each. A secondary goal is to use this algorithm to find further improvements in machine power density and efficiency using the new degrees of freedom given by the system-level awareness

Figure 1: Comparison of the 2D cross-sections of the original 14KW/Kg motor (left) and a preliminary design from the optimization (right). It can be seen that the electromagnetic region of the new machine is thinner, at the same power rating of 1MW