June 28, 2015 to July 2, 2015
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
Etc/GMT-7 timezone

Superconducting Turboelectric Distributed Aircraft Propulsion

Jul 1, 2015, 8:15 AM
Tucson Ballroom EF

Tucson Ballroom EF

Plenary CEC-01 - Large-Scale Refrigeration and Liquefaction M3PL - ICMC Plenary Session - sponsored by the IEEE Council on Superconductivity


Michael Armstrong (Rolls-Royce North American Technologies Inc)


Current developments in superconducting and cryogenics technologies offer the potential for dramatic impacts on the future of aviation. The prospective of a modular means for high power dense and highly efficient power transmission is an attractive enabler for decoupling the production of power from the production of thrust on an aircraft. The resulting spatial flexibility removes critical mechanical and geometric restrictions on the propulsion system and allows for greater synergies with air vehicle aerodynamic performance. Nevertheless, significant technology progression is required to prepare cryogenic and superconducting technologies for the unique operational environment of an aircraft system. Power density and efficiency currently dominate concept feasibility studies. However, the practicality of operating a fleet of aircraft driven by superconducting propulsion systems requires consideration of requirements like reliability, fail-safe operations, infrastructure compatibility, and system maintainability. In addition to individual technology developments, innovative systems architectures are required which provide novel means for balancing redundancy, reconfigurability, and fault recovery in a manner which capitalizes on the unique behaviors of cryogenics and superconducting.

Primary author

Michael Armstrong (Rolls-Royce North American Technologies Inc)

Presentation materials