A United States Government Research Agency is conducting analytical research, experimentation and hardware in the loop testing to influence the design of future aircraft architectures compatible with high electrical power loads. Tests are planned to investigate robust generator control strategies, improved electrical power system power density, reliable arc fault detection and high-speed protection, robust power management and power quality and stability. To accomplish this within budgetary constraints, the customer envisioned that some of the tests would be conducted in an existing Government owned Building and Systems Integration Facility (SIF). The customer required an independent expert assessment to evaluate the SIF Building’s ability to support prospective tests. Kaney was contracted by the agency to perform this assessment. Additionally, Kaney was requested to evaluate the agency’s proposed approach for electrical power and thermal research activities.
The Kaney team determined that the SIL Building as it existed and considering anticipated high electrical power and thermal management test plans, was suited to supporting the planned experiments; and that program goals and objectives were in alignment with the advancement of designs for future multi-megawatt aircraft. Although detailed experiment information was not fully developed Kaney was able to complete a detailed electrical power and thermal management assessment, nonetheless. The assessment culminated in a recommendation of simplified component-level experiments to be conducted first with off-the-shelf equipment to support rigorous model validation before spiraling up in complexity. Kaney’s suggestions were deemed the most effective in ultimately advancing the capabilities of next generation aircraft thermal and electrical architectures over the long term.
Kaney provided an experienced team of five Subject Matter Experts to complete the assessment in three primary focus areas, Electrical Power System (EPS), Fuel Thermal Management System, Vapor Cycle System (VCS).
Within each of these focus areas, the SIL Building was analyzed to determine its capability to support the planned experiments. Once the facility’s capability was determined, focus shifted to the experiments. After each experiment was analyzed, comments, recommendations, and suggestions were developed. Kaney also generated an analytical tool during the effort to automate the evaluation of the electrical and thermal loads. The tool can be configured by the customer to represent one, multiple, or combinations of experiments.