The main objective of the project is to investigate solutions for the scientific and technical challenges regarding the use of high voltage high power electric drives at high altitude conditions. Both short and long term timeframes are contemplated, so research into the implications of high voltage (HV) and altitude in the reliability and safety of actual systems and its technical solution, but also investigation into new HTS based electric drives for these conditions are proposed.

For this purpose, this main objective splits into the following technical objectives:

    • Investigation on modelling of high voltage electrical systems at high altitude for fundamental understanding of the technical issues related to inverter-fed HV insulation and arcing effects in electrical machines.
    • Research into insulation approaches and assessment of their reliability and safety at high altitude.
    • Electromagnetic, electrical, thermal and mechanical design of actual topologies of electrical machines in order to evaluate technology limits for high power and high voltage operation in A/C applications.
    • Comparison of available and foreseen HTS materials for their use in electric machines for high volumetric and mass power density.
    • Investigation on thermal management systems for cryo-cooled HTS windings for electric machines in aircraft environment.
    • Preliminary design and comparison of different HTS based electric machine topologies for aircraft applications at high voltage and high altitude in terms of power density, reliability and safety.
    • Analysis of manufacturing processes to achieve the required HTS coils geometry, provide the winding voltage to the conductor in order to avoid quenches and optimize the winding volume.
    • Full design of a MW-class HTS electric motor concept and development of a lab-scale validator, applying the most suitable techniques investigated during the project for HV and high altitude operation, including the thermal management.

Experimental tests will be carried out to validate the performance of the designed motor concept up to TRL4.

Together with the results, the following milestones have been identified:

    • Identified scientific and technical challenges of electric motors for electric aircraft propulsion.
    • Fundamental understanding and modelling of high voltage insulation at high altitude.
    • Motor Design Review (MDR).
    • Motor Manufacturing Review (MMR).
    • Validator Evaluation Review (ER).


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