Electro-Mechanical Actuators for Safety-Critical Aerospace Applications (2nd Edition)

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 5825

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Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile ed Industriale, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: aerospace mechatronics; flight control systems; modelling and simulation; control design; diagnostic and prognostic condition-monitoring; experimental testing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aircraft electrification is one of the most important and strategic initiatives currently supporting the innovation of the aviation industry. This manifests in the well-known more-electric aircraft concept (with the ultimate aim of achieving the all-electric long-term target), which aims at the gradual replacement of onboard systems based on mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic power sources with electrically powered ones in order to reduce the weight and the costs, to optimize the energy, and to increase the eco-compatibility and the reliability of future aircraft.

A key technological enabler for pursuing these challenging objectives is the electro-mechanical actuation. The applicability of electro-mechanical actuators (EMAs) in aerospace has been proven in terms of dynamic performances; however, it still entails several concerns in terms of reliability/safety as well of operation in harsh environments. In civil aircraft, EMAs are often avoided for safety-critical functions (flight controls, brakes, landing gears, nose wheel steering), essentially because the statistical database on components fault modes is poor.

Following the relevant success achieved by a previous volume with the same title (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/aerospace/special_issues/Electro_mechanical_actuators), this Special Issue is focused on advancements and innovations in the design, the architectural definition, the reliability/safety analysis, the control design, the condition-monitoring and the experimental testing of EMAs for safety-critical aerospace applications.

We encourage the submission of research papers on the above topics, as we are strongly interested in works that could speed up the progress toward more-electric flights.

Dr. Gianpietro Di Rito
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • high-fidelity modelling
  • digital twin
  • physics-of-failure
  • fault-tolerant systems
  • jamming-tolerant EMAs
  • analytical redundancy
  • diagnostics and prognostics
  • failure transient analysis
  • reliability/safety analysis
  • experimental validation
  • innovative designs

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 8599 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Multiaxial Fatigue Life of Electro-Mechanical Actuator for Aircraft Blade Pitch Control Based on Certification Standards
by Young-Cheol Kim, Dong-Hyeop Kim and Sang-Woo Kim
Aerospace 2024, 11(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace11010091 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
To achieve the commercialization of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts, which have recently garnered attention as the next-generation means of transportation, objective certification based on rigorous procedures is essential. With the advancement of structural analysis technology, aircraft airworthiness standards recommend a [...] Read more.
To achieve the commercialization of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts, which have recently garnered attention as the next-generation means of transportation, objective certification based on rigorous procedures is essential. With the advancement of structural analysis technology, aircraft airworthiness standards recommend a combination of testing and analytical methods to demonstrate structural integrity. In this study, we propose analytical techniques for demonstrating the structural integrity of components for eVTOL aircrafts in accordance with airworthiness standards. We evaluated the static structural integrity and fatigue safety of an electro-mechanical actuator. Multibody dynamics analysis was performed to calculate the loads for application in finite element analysis. Subsequently, static analysis and fatigue analysis based on finite element analysis were conducted to calculate the safety margin and fatigue life of all key components. Therefore, we have confirmed the feasibility of utilizing analytical methods for the structural integrity assessment of aircraft components. We propose the utilization of the technique introduced in this study as one of the approaches for demonstrating compliance with airworthiness standards for eVTOL aircrafts through the application of analytical methods. Full article
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15 pages, 4801 KiB  
Article
An Intelligent Control and a Model Predictive Control for a Single Landing Gear Equipped with a Magnetorheological Damper
by Quang-Ngoc Le, Hyeong-Mo Park, Yeongjin Kim, Huy-Hoang Pham, Jai-Hyuk Hwang and Quoc-Viet Luong
Aerospace 2023, 10(11), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10110951 - 11 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Aircraft landing gear equipped with a magnetorheological (MR) damper is a semi-active system that contains nonlinear behavior, disturbances, uncertainties, and delay times that can have a huge impact on the landing’s performance. To solve this problem, this paper adopts two types of controllers, [...] Read more.
Aircraft landing gear equipped with a magnetorheological (MR) damper is a semi-active system that contains nonlinear behavior, disturbances, uncertainties, and delay times that can have a huge impact on the landing’s performance. To solve this problem, this paper adopts two types of controllers, which are an intelligent controller and a model predictive controller, for a landing gear equipped with an MR damper to improve the landing gear performance considering response time in different landing cases. A model predictive controller is built based on the mathematical model of the landing gear system. An intelligent controller based on a neural network is designed and trained using a greedy bandit algorithm to improve the shock absorber efficiency at different aircraft masses and sink speeds. In this MR damper, the response time is assumed to be constant at 20 ms, which is similar to the response time of the commercial MR damper. To verify the efficiency of the proposed controllers, numerical simulations compared with a passive damper and a skyhook controller in different landing cases are executed. The major finding indicates that the suggested controller performs better in various landing scenarios than other controllers in terms of shock absorber effectiveness and adaptability. Full article
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13 pages, 4014 KiB  
Article
Parametric Analysis of the Toothed Electromagnetic Spring Based on the Finite Element Model
by Xiaoyuan Zheng, Cheng Zhang, Yifang Lou, Guangming Xue and Hongbai Bai
Aerospace 2023, 10(9), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10090750 - 25 Aug 2023
Viewed by 914
Abstract
Active vibration control shows excellent performance in vibration isolation. In this work, the finite element model of a toothed electromagnetic spring (TES) is established using ANSYS Maxwell software. Subsequently, a static characteristic experiment of the TES is carried out, and the validity of [...] Read more.
Active vibration control shows excellent performance in vibration isolation. In this work, the finite element model of a toothed electromagnetic spring (TES) is established using ANSYS Maxwell software. Subsequently, a static characteristic experiment of the TES is carried out, and the validity of the model is verified. Based on the established finite element model, the influence of key structural parameters on the static characteristics of the electromagnetic spring is analyzed. The results show that the parameters of the magnetic teeth have a significant impact on the performance of the electromagnetic spring. As the number of teeth increases, the electromagnetic force first increases and then decreases. With the increase in the tooth height or width, the maximum electromagnetic force gradually increases to the maximum value and then stabilizes. It should be noted that the tooth width simultaneously affects the maximum electromagnetic force, stiffness characteristics, and effective working range of the TES. This work provides a basis for further exploring the application of electromagnetic springs within the field of active vibration control. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 6771 KiB  
Review
Progress in Redundant Electromechanical Actuators for Aerospace Applications
by Fawaz Yahya Annaz and Malaka Miyuranga Kaluarachchi
Aerospace 2023, 10(9), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10090787 - 7 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2146
Abstract
The power to move aircraft control surfaces has advanced from being manually generated (by the pilot and transmitted via rods and links) to electrically transmitted (via wires) to operate control surface actuators. Various hydraulic, electromagnetic, and electromechanical architectures have been developed to provide [...] Read more.
The power to move aircraft control surfaces has advanced from being manually generated (by the pilot and transmitted via rods and links) to electrically transmitted (via wires) to operate control surface actuators. Various hydraulic, electromagnetic, and electromechanical architectures have been developed to provide the necessary power and to maintain the expected redundancy. Numerous aircraft actuator system designs have been proposed in the past decades, but a comprehensive review has yet to be undertaken. This review paper aims to fill this gap by providing a critical review of the actuation system designs developed for a variety of aircraft. The review focuses on aircraft actuator system designs, namely: electrohydraulic actuator systems, electromechanical actuator systems, and the force-fighting effect in redundant actuation systems. The significance and operational principle of each actuator system are critically analysed and discussed in the review. The paper also evaluates the solution proposed to address force-fight equalization (or force-fight cancelation) in force or torqued-summed architectures. Future trends in redundant actuation system development with reduced force-fighting effect in aircraft actuator systems are also addressed. Full article
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