Cryo Thermal Management of HIGH-POWER Density Motors and Drives

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Project Term:
04/12/2021 - 10/11/2024

Critical Need:

It is estimated that flights on narrow-body aircraft are responsible for nearly half of aviation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A decarbonized, narrow-body aircraft with electrified propulsion would provide the greatest impact on GHG emissions from a single aircraft type. ARPA-E seeks to mitigate the growing environmental burden associated with commercial air travel at minimum economic cost by developing elements of an ultra-high efficient aircraft propulsion system that uses carbon neutral liquid fuels (CNLFs). It is anticipated that the developed lightweight and high-efficiency all-electric powertrains will find direct application in the emerging urban air mobility, unmanned aircraft aerial vehicle, and select regional aircraft markets. These markets are likely to be the first adopters before the technology scales to a single-aisle aircraft.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Hyper Tech Research Inc., aims to design and demonstrate a multi-MW, high-efficiency, and high-power density integrated electric propulsion motor, drive, and thermal management system that meets the performance requirements of future hybrid electric, single-aisle passenger aircraft. The proposed technology incorporates an advanced and high-performance induction electric motor and drive system with novel advanced thermal management techniques for synergistic cooling that safely uses cryogenic bio-liquified natural gas (LNG) as the energy source for power generation and a large thermal-battery cooling system to provide a highly compact, light, and efficient thermal management system capability throughout all the different flight phases of a commercial narrow-body aircraft. If successful, the system will allow for cost-effective motors capable of operating at higher power density than existing conventional non-cryogenic motors and close to the power density of cryogenic superconducting motors. The proposed propulsion system is based on a non-cryogenically cooled motor and drive with world class power density that Ohio State University developed for NASA. The team will redesign the motor to improve the takeoff power density and take advantage of the cryogenic bio-LNG for thermal management.

Potential Impact:

The ASCEND program has the potential to accelerate innovations and cause disruptive changes in the emerging electric aviation field.


The program will further enhance U.S. technology dominance in the field of high-performance electric motors for hybrid electric aviation. Electrified aircraft architectures can increase reliability by increasing redundancy.


An all-electric propulsion system operating on CNLF would have net-zero emissions and be much quieter for passengers and people in the vicinity of airports.


By targeting propulsion system efficiency and specific power improvements, CNLF-powered, zero-net emission aircraft will be capable of a longer range and reduced fuel cost, making them economically more attractive.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Peter de Bock
Project Contact:
Mr. Michael Tomsic
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Air Force Research Laboratory
Raytheon Technologies Research Center
Ohio State University

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