ACTUATION 2015: Modular Electro Mechanical Actuators (EMA) for ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research) 2020 Aircraft and Helicopters.
Abstract: Actuation 2015 is a European project with partners across Europe; the main objective being progress towards a More Electric Aircraft (MEA) which will replace the current hydraulic actuation system dependent aircraft. The aim is to develop a set of standardized modular EMA which could replace the current actuation systems efficiently and reliably for all aircraft, by 2015.
Detailed Description: Compared to the A320, ACTUATION 2015 will reduce the overall Life Cycle Costs of actuators by 30%, improve reliability by 30% and reduce aircraft weight by 500kg. The project relies on recent advances made in EU and national projects to integrate the required technologies to overcome the current barriers to EMA and mature EMA technologies. Standardising EMA modules (motors, power drive electronics, mechanics, sensing) will be a key enabler in achieving cost objectives and developing the supply chain.
The technical approach will be to gather detailed airframes’ requirements, specify a set of standard modules and develop prototypes for assessment at component and actuator level through rig tests and the virtual validation of modules. In parallel, a unified EMA design process supported by standard methods and tools will also be developed.
One of DLR’s domain of involvement is the Control and Monitoring sub module of the project that includes work packages of ‘’Prognostics and Health Monitoring’’ and ‘’Advanced Control and Monitoring’’.
Issues to be considered when developing advanced control and monitoring solutions are ones linked to the electric motor itself such as failure sources, life time, electric jams, damping issues, isolation of faults, external loads and disturbances etc in pulsed, transient and permanent EMA applications. Also an important area of concentration is the different architecture concepts that could be used such as redundant actuation using two EMAS or an EMA and Hydraulic actuator or Electro Hydraulic actuator (EHA) in an Active\Active, Active\Standby or Active\No Load configuration.
Current Status and Future work: A basic EMA Model is available along with some work on force fight compensation between two EMA actuators. The Model will be developed further to address the sufficient characteristics of an EMA and control and monitoring schemes developed for different architectures of the configuration.