Aero Propulsion and Power Technology

Period of Performance: 06/18/2003 - 03/18/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Innovative Power Solutions, LLC
373 South Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Principal Investigator


A Rolls Royce AE3007 Engine powers the Global Hawk UAV. In order to start the engine, an Air Turbine Starter is required. Since the UAV does not have an Auxiliary Power Unit on board, this engine could only be started on the ground. This means that in case of a flame out this aircraft could be lost. Therefore, the ability to start the engine in the air would contribute significantly to the UAV survivability. Furthermore, if the starter could also start the engine on the ground, we could eliminate the ATS and save significant weight and cost. Innovative Power Solutions is proposing to develop a brushless Starter/Generator, capable of starting the AE3007 engine, as well as supplying 500 Amps at 28 VDC. This generator will replace the current 200 Amp, 28 VDC brush type generator, which requires periodic (less than 1000 hours) overhauling. A Starter/GCU will control this generator. During the start mode the start converter will control the start sequence that will be tailored to the engine requirements. The GCU will control the generator during the power generation mode. Other significant improvements are extended life due to matching torque/speed curve to start sequence and reduced maintenance requirements. The effort described in this proposal has a significant opportunity for commercialization in both the commercial and military aerospace market. Northrop Grumman has received orders to build at least 50 Global Hawk aircraft. This presents an immediate application for the technology discussed herein. Additionally, since IPS has been working to develop this and improve its starter generator technology, IPS has been searching and marketing the product. Other applications that may become available are on the Embrear aircraft, which also uses the AE3007. IPS feels that the small to midsize aircraft are in its immediate range for application of this technology. Once the technology is proven IPS feels that many potential customers will show interest in the product