Turbo-Electric Distributed Propulsion
An Armstrong team is developing a static test stand for single-engine electric aircrafts. Researchers will use this technology to identify ways to measure motor and battery efficiencies; evaluate multidisciplinary dependencies; and provide insights into propeller, motor, and electronics designs specific to electric aircraft propulsion. The ultimate goal of the project is to determine a standardized way to measure electric engine efficiencies.
Work to date: In 2013, the team began constructing the test stand and researching electric propulsion test motors. Small-scale versions of the stand were also designed and built to demonstrate the effectiveness of test sensor installation techniques and measurement technology required for the full-scale design.
Looking ahead: The group will complete construction and static testing and mount the stand on a truck for dynamic testing. A ground testbed for performance and control characteristics will be used to evaluate
new electric propulsion technologies that could be applied to vehicle integration. This research has already spawned interest in a follow-on proposal from NASA's Hybrid Electric Integrated System Testbed (HEIST) project, which is investigating power management and distribution for hybrid electric propulsion systems.
Improves measurement: Standardizes measurement of electric engine efficiencies
Novel: Implements sensors in a unique way to enable testing configurations
Electric aircraft engines, generators, controllers, and batteries
Research for novel types of energy storage systems
Efficient Aerospace Vehicle Technologies
Increasing efficiency in aerospace systems is a key goal across the spectrum of NASA operations.
Armstrong researchers are constantly striving to build efficiency into all phases of flight projects, through development, fabrication, and operations processes.
From a new wing design that could exponentially increase total aircraft efficiency to a novel test stand for single-engine electric aircraft, our researchers are finding unique solutions that increase efficiency.