Part of the Clean Sky 2 European Program
This project, jointly undertaken by Indra and Ceit-IK4 for landing gear manufacturer SAFRAN, is a step forward in the ongoing industry project of developing electric aircraft (More Electric Aircraft). Specifically, the E-TSIN project, which falls under the Clean Sky 2 European Program, will enable aircraft to perform ground maneuvers using the power supplied by electric motors housed in the landing gear instead of powering on the main engines. The operating concept is similar to that used by electric vehicles currently on the road, but at a much larger scale. A next generation power controller will use energy from the airplane's auxiliary power unit to supply the electric motors housed in the wheels during ground maneuvers such as taxiing, turning and pushback, a process which has been termed e-TAXI.
This innovation will reduce fuel consumption and thus the emission of polluting gases. Similarly, noise pollution will be reduced in the airport environment since it will no longer be necessary to power the aircraft's noisy main engines when engaged in ground maneuvers. The power converter design also recharges the aircraft's electric batteries during landing. A portion of the energy that is used to power the brakes during landing can now be redirected and used by the aircraft.
This project provides overall optimization of the system in accordance with the existing demanding aeronautical standards and with an eye on the imminent market launch of new aircraft, specifically the Airbus A320 family. Both Indra and Ceit-IK4 have ample experience in modular and bidirectional power converters and in the standards and processes that the aerospace sector demands.