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A fault management oriented early-design framework for electrical propulsion aircraft

Flynn, Marie-Claire and Jones, Catherine and Norman, Patrick J. and Burt, Graeme M. (2019) A fault management oriented early-design framework for electrical propulsion aircraft. IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification. ISSN 2332-7782

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    Electrical propulsion has been identified as a key enabler of greener, quieter, more efficient aircraft. However, electrical propulsion aircraft will need to demonstrate a level of safety and reliability at least equal to current aircraft to be a viable alternative. Therefore, a robust and reliable fault management system is needed to prevent electrical faults causing loss of propulsion and critical flight functions. To date, fault management of the electrical propulsion system has not been considered in detail for future electrical propulsion aircraft, nor has it been effectively integrated into the electrical architecture design. This poses a risk that the proposed electrical architectures will be infeasible from a fault management perspective, and key fault management technologies may not be sufficiently developed. Therefore, a methodology to incorporate fault management into the early stages of design of electrical architectures is required to determine viable fault management solutions for a given electrical propulsion aircraft concept. This paper describes a novel, systems-level electrical architecture design framework for electrical propulsion aircraft which incorporates fault management from the outset. This methodology captures the significant assumptions in the design and acknowledges the novel interfaces which exist between the electrical, conceptual and fault management design of electrical propulsion aircraft.