Current research and development is focusing on propulsive energy components for hybrid aircraft. This will open the path to an all-electrical aircraft. Power levels are predicted to be between 2 and 4MVA for hybrid systems and up to 40MVA for all electrical systems. This will require the transmission of electrical power across the airframe at previously unseen scales. This will not be possible without the development of power dense and safe cabling systems that operate at higher levels of voltage and current. To this end, the objective of HIVACS is to bring together a coherent suite of experimentally validated simulation models to permit the design exploration and optimisation of future aerospace cable systems to allow the aeronautical industry to meet the high-power design requirements of future aircraft programs.
The project will also provide recommendations for future standardisation to the relevant standard committees and identify key axis for further development. After performing a state-of-the art review, a requirements and Failure Mode Effect and Analysis (FMEA) will be performed on the design and manufacturing processes on a selection of designs. A range of existing models will be used to assess the performance of these designs with these being adapted to the aerospace environment.
The models will be validated by comparison to experimental test bench activities undertaken on existing cables. Once the models are qualified and accepted by NEXANS as being appropriate for adoption in an industrial setting, they will be used in a design optimisation process to determine optimal geometry and sizing of the candidate cables and predict their expected performance. With an optimum cable design, two cable types will be produced using different manufacturing techniques. Both will be tested and qualified. The project will draw upon existing test bench facilities and also develop a specific thermal test bench for thermal cycling ageing.