Air Force seeks to develop solid-state power distribution for modern electric aircraft

Posted by John Keller

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 19 Jan. 2010. Aircraft power-distribution experts at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory are asking industry to develop a solid-state electrical distribution unit able to handle large power loads and shut down power quickly in case of short circuits or arc faults.

Today's aircraft power-distribution systems typically use electromechanical contactors to control large circuits -- particularly for flight-critical power loads -- because electromechanical technology can switch large amounts of current with low power drop.

The problem with electromechanicals, however, is their tendency to let through too much power when faults occur. Instead, Air Force researchers want to develop solid-state power control for large aircraft loads because solid state reacts much more quickly to close circuits when faults happen.

To develop this kind of power-distribution technology, the Energy/Power/Thermal Division of the Air Force Research Lab's Propulsion Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is issuing a broad agency announcement (BAA-10-01-PKP) entitled Solid State Electrical Distribution Unit.

Time is short on this solicitation, as interested companies must respond by 27 Jan. -- just eight days away.

Air Force researchers want to develop solid-state electrical distribution units for modern aircraft called "more electric aircraft," in which electric motors take the place of hydraulics in large aircraft systems like control surfaces.

The electrical distribution unit powers and protects flight-critical aircraft systems. When electrical faults occur, these units switch capacitive loads to prevent further damage.

Air Force researchers say they believe that semiconductor technology -- such as increases in density, reduced substrate defects, and improved die-attachment techniques -- has advanced sufficiently to lend itself to high-power solid-state aircraft electrical distribution systems.

The Air Force wants to develop a device with a minimum of three input channels: main line, bus tie, and battery. Each channel must be able to handle maximum power of 120 amps continuous, and 400 amps peak. Also of interest is a solid-state bus tie with improved switching functions.

Response times to faults should be less than one millisecond, and the unit should have sufficient current sensing to allow for differential protection with all available input sources. The Air Force wants this unit to be cooled by conventional conduction or convection cooling with no forced air.

For technical questions or concerns, contact Brett Jordan at the Air Force Research Lab by e-mail at brett.jordan@wpafb.af.mil. For contracting questions contact Douglas Harris by e-mail at douglas.harris@wpafb.af.mil, or by phone at 937-656-9065.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/AFRLWRS/BAA-10-01-PKP/listing.html.


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPedite7501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled XMC Module

The XPedite7501 is a high-performance, low-power, XMC module based on the 5th generation Intel® C...

XCalibur4500 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4500 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7530 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U CompactPCI Module

The XPedite7530 is a high-performance 3U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugge...

XCalibur4501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4501 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7570 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7570 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XCalibur4540 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4540 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, multiprocessing, single board computer that ...

XPedite7572 | 5th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module with SecureCOTS™

The XPedite7572 is a secure and high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

Medusa VPX3424

The AcQ Inducom “Medusa”VPX3424 is a 3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer (SBC) featuring the T4240 ...

XChange3100 | 6U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with Optional Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing Management Support

The XChange3100 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 6U OpenVPX™ 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. Th...

XCalibur4401 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Single Board Computer

The XCalibur4401 is a high-performance, 6U CompactPCI, multiprocessing, single board computer tha...

Related Companies

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Martin, Froeschner & Associates

The ultimate in velocity measurement, the Mark IV-3000 all-Fiber Doppler Velocity Interferometer (VISAR) never needs ...

Reynard Corp

Manufactures custom precision optical components and thin-film coatings 0.2–50 µm (UV to far-IR) to demanding specifi...

Active Silicon Inc

Designs and manufactures frame grabbers and embedded vision systems in PCI express, PCI/104-express, PMC, cPCI and C...

Electro-Mech Components Inc

Designs and manufactures push button illuminated switches, indicator lights, and multi-switch interlocking assemblies...

Streamline Circuits Corp

Streamline Circuits is a leading provider of high quality printed circuit boards. Streamline Circuits is committed to...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

North Atlantic Industries Inc

The top 10 defense companies worldwide rely  on NAI Solutions NAI is a leading independent provider of specializ...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

Latest from the Paris Air Show

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE