Special Session – Hybrid and Electric Aircraft Technologies (25 October)


Image courtesy of Cranfield University

The Aerospace Industry is now looking at new and radical solutions for reduced emissions and improved efficiencies for future aircraft. Current technologies such as high bypass ratio gas-turbines and composite materials have given useful gains but much more is needed and these approaches can no longer keep pace with new demands and growth.

Whilst pure electric propulsion is attractive the limitations on battery performance restrict possibilities in the short and medium term.

However recent work has shown that moving to a hybrid system where gas-turbines are used to generate electrical power and this is distributed to a large number of small electrical propulsion units can give significant benefits.

The Industry is now taking this approach very seriously with extensive research in Europe and the USA. This clearly requires new and novel approaches to electrical power networks and machines with power density and efficiency becoming top priority.

These HEDP aircraft effectively unlock design constraints on future aircraft giving rise to a wide variety of possible new designs. The electrical research community needs to understand these new application areas and engage with the aerospace industry to solve these ambitious new requirements.

In this special session on 25 October 2017, speakers will describe the background to these new requirements and some options for new electrical research activities.

Programme (updated as of 23 September 2017)

Venue:  Simpor Room 4911, Level 4, Sands Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands

S/N Name of speaker Topic Organisation Time
Dr Amit Gupta Introduction of Session Rolls-Royce Singapore 4.00pm
1 Prof  Peter Malkin From More-Electric To Hybrid Electric Aircraft Newcastle University, UK 4.00 – 4.20pm
2 Prof Kaushik Rajashekara Power Generation and Distribution Architectures for More Electric and Hybrid Electric Aircraft Systems University of Houston, USA 4.20 – 4.40pm
3 Dr Min Zhang Superconducting propulsion system for electric aircraft University of Bath, UK 4.40 – 5.00pm
4 Prof Martin Henz Electric personal air vehicles National University of Singapore 5.00 – 5.20pm
5 Dr Amit Gupta How More Electric Technology is Shaping Aero Engine Design Rolls-Royce Singapore 5.20 – 5.40pm

Abstract and Biography of Special Session Speakers 

Professor Peter Malkin
Strategic Research Adviser, Newcastle University, UK

Topic:  From More-Electric To Hybrid Electric Aircraft
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Abstract: Coming soon

Biography: Coming soon

Professor Kaushik Rajashekara
Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Houston, USA
IEEE Fellow and Member, IEEE Transportation Electrification Community

Topic: Power Generation and Distribution Architectures for More Electric and Hybrid Electric Aircraft Systems

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Abstract:  In aerospace industry, in order to lower the fuel consumption, reduce emissions, reduce maintenance, and possibly lower costs, more electric and hybrid electric architectures are the emerging trends. The intent is to move as many aircraft loads as possible to electrical power, electric starting of the engine, and conversion of all the pneumatic and hydraulic units on the accessory gearbox to an electric system. This presentation examines the electric architectures presently being used in a few of the aircraft systems and proposes new architectures based on AC and DC power distribution systems. Power generation strategies using permanent and induction machines are examined. Induction generator based electrical power generation and management system architectures for both the main engine generation system and auxiliary power unit system are introduced with a brief explanation of their operating principles and control methods.

Biography:  Kaushik Rajashekara, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Houston, Texas. Prior to this, he worked at UT Dallas as a Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Chief Technologist at Rolls-Royce Corporation, and Chief Scientist at Delphi/General Motors. He has published more than 160 papers in international journals and conferences and has 44 patents. He has given over 150 invited presentations at international conferences and universities. He was elected as Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for contributions to electric power conversion systems in transportation. He was also elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the recipient of the IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann award, IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Achievement Award, and IEEE IAS Gerald Kliman award for contributions to electric power conversion systems in transportation. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of SAE International.

Dr Min Zhang
Assistant Professor, University of Bath, UK
Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Topic: Superconducting propulsion system for electric aircraft

Abstract:  To reduce carbon emission, large electric aircraft will be driven by advanced propulsion machines with extremely high power density. Therefore radical changes are required in the electrical machine technology to meet the high power density requirement. High temperature superconductors (HTS) can carry more than twenty times the current compared to copper cables. Superconducting propulsion system, which includes Superconducting machines and Superconducting network, offers a prospective of achieving both high power density and high efficiency with economic cryogenic solutions. This presentation will introduce the stage-of-art HTS propulsion systems for future electric aircraft, including superconducting propulsion machines and superconducting network. The presentation will also discuss the current HTS technology limits and future prospects for development.

Biography:  Dr Zhang received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tsinghua University and her PhD from the University of Cambridge. She then became a Junior Research Fellow of Newnham College at the University of Cambridge and joined the University of Bath in 2014. Dr Zhang is currently a lecturer (Assistant Professor) and also holds a research fellowship awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (2017-2021).

Dr Zhang’s research focuses on the application of superconductivity in energy sector. Her long-term goal is to facilitate the advantages of superconductors to tackle the challenges for a low carbon and sustainable power system.

She has extensive research experience in the design and modelling of superconducting devices.

Recent research activities include novel superconducting machines for wind generation, advanced superconducting motors for modern transportation, superconducting fault current limiters and very high field magnets.

Dr Zhang also has several years’ experience in power system stability and protection. She is particularly interested in the flexible integration of renewable generation and fault level control.

Associate Professor Martin Henz
School of Computing and Faculty of Engineering, Residential Fellow in the University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore
Topic: Electric personal air vehicles
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Abstract: Coming soon

Biography: Martin’s research spans education, combinatorial optimisation, FPGAs, programming tools and languages, and most recently electric vehicles, with publications in ICJCAI, AAAI, ICTAI, CP, Operations Research, EVS and EVER.

He teaches programming, programming languages and logic, and supervises design projects.

Together with Dr Jörg Weigl and Brian Teo, Martin initiated the FrogWorks design and prototyping studio at the Innovation & Design Centric Programme in the Faculty of Engineering at NUS. So far, more than 30 FrogWorks students have developed green vehicles that operate on land, at sea and in the air.

Together with Alan Sevugan, Martin founded the software company FriarTuck, whose software solutions, WorkforceOptimizer and SurgeryOptimizer, schedule countless employees and surgeries every day, in Singapore and the region.

Dr Amit Gupta
hief of Electrical Capability Group, Rolls-Royce Singapore

Topic:  How More Electric Technology is Shaping Aero Engine Design

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Abstract: Coming soon

Biography: Coming soon