Review of DC series arc fault testing methods and capability assessment of test platforms for more-electric aircraft

Psaras, Vasileios and Seferi, Yljon and Syed, Mazheruddin H. and Munro, Richard and Norman, Patrick and Burt, Graeme and Compton, Russell and Grover, Kevin and Collins, John (2022) Review of DC series arc fault testing methods and capability assessment of test platforms for more-electric aircraft. IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification, 8 (4). pp. 4654-4667. ISSN 2332-7782 (

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In the new era of increasingly electric aircraft, the need for reliable and safe electrical systems is more important than ever. In addition, the wide-scale adoption of dc distribution is considered a key enabling technology for more efficient aircraft operation. In this context, arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) have become a topic of interest for the aviation industry with ongoing research to characterize the impact and adequately protect against severe dc series arc faults. Although dc arc faults have been widely investigated for utility applications (such as solar photovoltaic systems), direct adoption of current practices for validating arc detection devices is not straightforward due to the distinct aircraft operating environment. This article provides a first-of-its-kind landscaping exercise of published series arc fault testing based on factors associated with aircraft applications that have the potential to influence the arc characteristics. In addition, an appraisal and associated gap analysis of published arc test platforms is undertaken in order to assess their suitability to support in-depth testing of the impact and mitigation of series arcs within future aircraft dc electrical systems and identify future testing needs, in particular, to better facilitate a comprehensive performance validation of new AFDDs.