Electrical fault management orientated design of future electrical propulsion aircraft

  • Marie-Claire Flynn

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Electrical propulsion aircraft (EPA) have been cited as the future of aviation, enabling greener, quieter, more efficient aircraft. However, due to the stringent requirements surrounding aircraft certification, these novel EPA concepts will need to demonstrate high levels of safety and reliability if electrified flight is ever to become a mainstream mode of passenger transportation. Therefore, robust electrical fault management (FM) is necessary to maintain critical levels of aircraft thrust and to enable high confidence in the reliability and safety of future EPA designs. To date, electrical FM for EPA has been done at a first-pass, minimal level or not at all. For electrical FM to be effective, it must be integrated into the aircraft design from an early stage. This dictates that a novel approach to the design of electrical architectures for EPA is required which addresses the current uncertainty in the availability of suitable FM technologies for future EPA electrical architectures. Therefore, a first-of-kind FM strategy map is presented which identifies projections on the progression of key areas of future EPA-specific FM technology development and acts as a pre-cursor to future FM technology roadmaps. Furthermore, the FM orientated early-stage electrical architecture design methodology presented in this thesis derives feasible, FM-capable electrical architectures for a given EPA concept and captures significant assumptions which impact the down selection process. Since any novel EPA electrical architecture will require some form of testing in hardware, a novel framework for strategic FM demonstrator development is then proposed and the FM test goals for different levels of demonstrator are identified. This strategic development of critical aspects of FM and early integration of FM requires a portfolio of FM demonstrators and test beds for EPA and is crucial if unproven, future EPA electrical architectures are to reach high confidence.
Date of Award31 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde & EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorPatrick Norman (Supervisor) & Catherine Jones (Supervisor)

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