AEMTA is a large R&T project led by Safran Power UK, working with an extensive supply chain and academic researchers, addressing high performance and environmentally robust electrical products.
The project responds to a strong strategic market need that will establish the UK as a key future supply of advanced high added-value products for the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) concept. This has the potential to enable significantly reduced aircraft fuel consumption (of the order 3-6%), by removing weight from hydraulic and pneumatic transmissions systems and further optimising motor and engine performance, whilst improving reliability and reducing maintenance and operating costs.
Safran Electrical & Power
The AEMTA project has produced a number of important economical outputs. For members of the supply chain, it has represented an invaluable opportunity to work with a tier one customer.
Phil McGoldrick, Technology Manager at Safran Power UK, stated that it “gave the companies an opportunity to work and learn alongside a customer, to not only harness the technology, but also offer a strategic vision to the UK supply chain. These opportunities would not be available without ATI funding”. Further to this the success has also allowed the UK arm of Safran to bid for more work internal to that corporate group.
The success of the project is establishing the UK as the Centre of Excellence in electric machines. As a result, the UK is now in a position to become a leading base for expertise in this this area and together with the AEMTA partners a key UK technology group in the Supply Chain and Academia has been established.
Finally, the project has secured the jobs of R&T engineers with unique skills and expertise who would not have been part of the product development phase without ATI funding. Mr McGoldrick emphasised that such ATI investment is delivering invaluable technology outputs and engineering know-how, not only for the company, but also for the team, who have gained expertise vital to their career development.
AEMTA targets a doubling in performance for electro-mechanical systems operating in harsh environments, using advanced coatings, and for greater periods of time, which is necessary due to the need to move electrical motors and machines closer to the engine core.
Currently, the systems can continuously operate reliably to temperatures around of 110oC – 130oC, whereas the project aims to boost this to temperatures of 250oC – 280oC. The project will also boost the short-term temperature rating of these components, enabling the systems to potentially survive and reliably operate in very harsh environments, significantly boosting aircraft safety.
AEMTA also looks to increase operational capability in other environments and locations of the aircraft – future systems will need to be robust against the effects of vibration. The electromechanical systems will provide performance benefits, including enabling reductions in component weight and volume. A further benefit of AEMTA is the demonstration of an improved product development turnaround time in a cost effective and efficient manner using the latest technologies, design tools and manufacturing methods. Such was the success of this project, the team have managed to dramatically reduce the product development cycle. Previously it took six to eight months to take an electric machine from the conceptualisation phase to producing a customised testable product, but this has been reduced to just six weeks.
Mukesh Patel, Safran Power Centre of Excellence Manager for Machines stated “Being able to deliver the six-week motor – developing a prototype motor and the optimised product within such a short turnaround time for development activities is critical. AEMTA has demonstrated the ability to significantly accelerate this process, de-risk the product and win new orders for the business”.
Electrical Machines Test Bench with an Installation of 2 Flexible Motor Drives & Dynamometer
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