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NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR EVOLVING AEROSPACE INDUSTRY

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NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND MATERIALS FOR AN EVOLVING AEROSPACE INDUSTRY

As the aerospace industry continues to move away from traditional, centralized hydraulic systems and toward electrification to power its fleets, the importance of magnetics technologies is increasing. This article will discuss design considerations and challenges, including some specific materials that can help increase efficiency.

Electromagnetic components are used in electric motors and generators found throughout aircraft, in systems such as cabin air compressors (CACs), ram air turbines (RATs), integrated starter alternators/generators (ISAs/ISGs) and auxiliary power units (APUs). In order to minimize losses in these motoring and generating components, one must select the right topology and materials to optimize efficiency.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE INDUSTRY?

Electric generators are already in use, converting mechanical energy produced by jet turbines into electrical energy useable by any aircraft system that needs power. Those generators rely upon the interaction between permanent magnets on a rotor system and stator components made from stacked lamination material and copper windings.

The longer-term vision eliminates the jet turbines altogether. That vision would either use battery power or a much larger APU (generator) situated in the rear of an aircraft could be used to power multiple electric motors on the airfoil, propelling it forward. Most electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads today are powered by motors utilizing permanent magnets. However, challenges remain before fully electric commercial aviation can truly take off, including but not limited to the efficiency and longevity of operating systems.

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