The PhAEdRA (Piattaforma modulare di Attuazione Elettromeccanica per un all electRic Aircraft ) project aims to study innovative modular control systems for electromechanical actuators aimed at the  all-electric aircraft market.

The project stems from the long experience that Italsystem has gained in the last twenty years in the avionics field and from the market needs it has collected from its customers.

The PhAEdRA project  will develop a modular plratfom that can be used for the efficient production of customizable control products, according to the paradigm of model base design (MBD), with the aim of creating innovative mechatronic modular systems with high flexibility. The devices achievable with the PhAEdRA platform  must comply with aeronautical reliability standards and will be certifiable up to DAL A.

The Model Base Design approach is essential to ensure the modularity of the system and reduce the time of integration, development and certification of the final product. The HW platform will consist of the following parts, which will be integrated with each other to provide the final product (EACU):

  1. Power Drive Units (PDUs): standard modules will be developed that can be connected to each other to reach the driving powers required by the final application (see Figure 7). At the moment it is planned to design three sizes of standard PDUs (100 W, 500W and 1KW), which suitably combined allow to realize all the combinations of power drivers in the range 100W – 3kW. The modules must also be configurable to manage the various DC voltages used in aeronautical systems (28V and 270V).
  2. Digital control modules that can be configured in a standard way and connected to each other to realize the various basic avionics architectures as shown in Figure 8.
  3. Interchangeable communication modules, which allow to insert in the product during configuration the aeronautical buses requested by the customer (ARINC429, MIL1552, CAN BUS, etc.)
  4. A standard modular case that allows you to realize the different configurations provided (with particular care of the thermal design)
  5. Module for the insertion of health monitoring features based on state-of-the-art algorithms (measurement of electrical parameters, vibrational checks, etc.)

 

The PhAEdRA platform will also include a SW platform of Simulink blocks  that can be used by the customer to develop their control application with the MBD approach and that allows the automatic production of code (autocoding) compatible with the HW platform. The SW platform will consist of:

  1. Standard actuator models for the controller design phase
  2. Standard control algorithms (PID, FOC, etc.) that can be used to develop control routines,
  3. Communication libraries that implement state-of-the-art avionics standards
  4. Health Monitoring and Prognostic Routines.

At the end of the project, a PhAEdRA platform demonstrator will be built, which will be used to test some of the achievable standard configurations and verify the achievement of the defined design requirements. A dedicated test rig will then be created and designed  for the qualification of the device. The test rig will allow to verify various configurations of the PhAEdRA platform  in combination with different types of actuators and to apply a controlled load so as to be able to simulate the typical torque profiles to which an actuator is subject in the various phases of flight and for different applications (aerodynamic surface control, landing gear, etc.).

The test rig will also allow you to carry out fatigue tests to verify the reliability of the heath monitoring system.

Project progress 30%

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