Concept and Objectives:

The All-Electric Aircraft is a major target for the next generation of aircraft to lower consumption of non-propulsive power and thus fuel burn. To eliminate hydraulic circuits, pumps and reservoirs, Electro Mechanical Actuators (EMA) are mandatory but now need to meet cost, reliability and weight requirements from the airframers. ACTUATION 2015 aims to develop and validate a common set of standardised, modular and scalable EMA resources for all actuators (flight control, high lift, main landing gear, door, thrust reverser) and all types of aircraft (business/regional/commercial airplanes and helicopters). Compared to the A320, ACTUATION 2015 will reduce the overall Life Cycle Costs of actuators by 30%, improve reliability by 30% and reduce aircraft weight by 500kg. The project relies on recent advances made in EU and national projects to integrate the required technologies (solid state power distribution, power electronics, operation in harsh conditions, jam tolerant EMA) to overcome the current barriers to EMA and mature EMA technologies to TRL 5. Standardising EMA modules (motors, power drive electronics, mechanics, sensing) will be a key enabler to succeed in achieving cost objectives and developing the supply chain. Standardisation will start during the project with the support of a standardisation body (CEN). The technical approach will be to gather detailed airframes requirements, specify a set of standard modules and develop prototypes for assessment at component and actuator level through rig tests and the virtual validation of modules. In parallel, a unified EMA design process supported by standard methods and tools will also be developed.

ACTUATION 2015 will complement existing projects, notably CLEAN SKY SGO with an EMA solution, and pave the way towards the ACARE 2020 All-Electric Aircraft. ACTUATION 2015 is a 3 year integrated project comprising 53 partners representing the European stakeholders of the actuation and airframe sectors from 12 countries.

ACTUATION2015 Results in brief:

Building on the previous EC projects e.g. MOET (FP6-030861), ACTUATION 2015 will deliver:

  • Standards and modular EMA products, tools and methods ready to use with the output of CLEAN SKY SGO, making available the technology needed to develop the All-Electric Aircraft
  • New mature actuation technologies (TRL 5 modules):
    • Improved sensor technologies
    • New control and power management techniques
    • Standardised and enhanced Health and Usage Monitoring
    • Mechatronics solutions applicable to aircraft environmental conditions
  • Common standards and Shop Replaceable Units (SRU) or Line Replaceable Units (LRU):
    • Motors, sensors, Power Drive Electronics (PDE), power drive systems
  • Communality and scalability in qualification process, providing credit for certification:
    • Qualification methods
    • Data base on components technologies and processes

Three types of standard modules – PDE, Motors and Mechanics – used to build several actuator systems are jointly specified and then developed to validate:

  • The concept of modular standard component applicable to several actuator systems (primary and secondary flight control, high lift, landing gear, thrust reverser and cargo doors), scalable for application to different types of systems and aircraft (from helicopters to business and regional aircraft up to large commercial aircraft)
  • Low cost and mature actuation technology for several actuator systems starting with landing gear (the most costly system) and flight control – the core of the systems aircraft architecture
  • The overall weight, operational reliability, installation and maintenance benefit at a global level of electrical actuation solution

This will result in the creation of standardised modules hardware families, interfaces and software environment enabling the development and production of modular EMA technologies.