Superconducting Motor and Cryo-Cooled Inverter Engine: SOARING
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Raytheon Technologies Research Center, with the University of Tennessee, Hyper Tech Research Inc., the Ohio State University, and Pacific Northwest National Labs will develop a novel 2.5 MW, 5000 rpm Superconducting mOtor And cRyo-cooled Inverter eNGine (SOARING) for aircraft electric propulsion that can achieve greater than 93% efficiency and 12.5 kW/kg power. State-of-the-art cryocoolers are inefficient and heavy, making them impractical to carry on the plane. The proposed complete system consists of a cryogenically cooled aerospace-grade, fully superconducting synchronous motor, a novel wide bandgap semiconductor device-based power converter, and an advanced magnetocaloric adaptive cryocooler. The cryogenic cooling capability is enabled by the aircraft’s carbon-neutral liquid fuel which acts as a heat sink for the electric powertrain. This synergetic approach offers extreme high-power densities and optimizes overall system performance.
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.