Dynamic Aircraft Energy Management Optimization Tools

Period of Performance: 07/25/2014 - 10/24/2016

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CU Aerospace
301 North Neil St. Array
Champaign, IL 61820
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: CU Aerospace (CUA) and team partner the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) propose to perform research, development and demonstration of energy management optimization tools based upon existing UIUC and CUA expertise to expand the operational envelope of military and commercial vehicles (aircraft and automobiles). Such a subsystem control methodology will optimize aircraft power generation, distribution, utilization, and associated thermal management based upon potential tactical vehicle operational power requirements and environmental conditions. Current approaches are not capable of dynamically allocating resources in a model-based approach. Additionally, there is a gap in the ability to rapidly reconfigure an energy/power allocation strategy based on a specified objective function whilst satisfying hard constraints on the system state. To fill this technology gap, this proposal introduces innovations that will produce the industry standard for aircraft energy management software. Phase I demonstrated the viability of the CUA-UIUC control approach, and this Phase II SBIR effort will lead to design improvements that will provide a validated enhanced aircraft subsystem and control suite by the end of this program. These enhancements will have major implications for the expansion of aircraft mission envelopes, and our goal is to jointly develop with UIUC the aircraft energy management software tools of choice for the industry. BENEFIT: The Phase I results laid the foundation to develop a prototype control suite for comprehensive development and testing in the Phase II program. Incorporating the Phase I algorithms and software tools along with Air Force guidance for most desired features, the optimization control suite will be enhanced and tested extensively in Phase II as a product demonstration unit. Applications of the developed control approach include next generation tactical fighter, advanced mobility, or related platforms. Commercial applications include more electric aircraft, construction and mining vehicles, and hybrid-electric automobiles. The Phase II goal will initially be to expand the approach of Phase I, optimize the software, and design features for Air Force specifications, followed by optimization for more commercial programs.