Ultra-Light, inTegrated, Reliable, Aviation-class, Co-Optimized Motor & Power converter with Advanced Cooling Technology (ULTRA-COMPACT)
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Small regional aircraft operations are challenged by high fuel cost, noise restrictions associated with small regional airports, and high maintenance cost of twin gas turbines. A battery/gas turbine hybrid series small regional aircraft, enabled by ULTRA COMPACT driven propulsors, addresses these issues, and could reduce passenger mile energy consumption. The Raytheon Technologies Research Center proposes ULTRA-COMPACT to improve the electric-to-shaft power electric drive train and demonstrate feasibility of a turbo-electric distributed propulsion-based electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP) system. The ULTRA-COMPACT electric propulsion system leverages: (1) a novel high-speed permanent magnet machine, (2) a series-parallel, multi-level silicon carbide (SiC) based motor drive topology, (3) a high-power density gearbox using lightweight composite, and (4) an integrated and actively controlled thermal management system that provides coolant directly to the motor, gearbox and power converter.
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.