Thanks to the European Union's Research Framework Programmes (FP5 and FP6), the technologies for power and data transmissions over a unique path wires are now strongly developed. The OPERA project made feasible the High Speed/High Voltage transmissions for Power Line Communication. The U-Broad project demonstrated that Fast Ethernet (100 Mb/s) can be provided over existing telephone network cabling.
The TAUPE project was an extension of the application of these technologies within aircraft environment. Indeed this extension requires innovating solutions to address aeronautic-specific severe constraints (weight, space allocations, routes segregation, electro-magnetic compatibility, more complex electrical architecture, airworthiness, ruggedized network, dispatch and safety).
From POA and MOET results, the All Electric Aircraft is replacing conventional systems (hydraulic and pneumatic) with electric systems. But it is currently facing a drastic issue: the increase of the number of wires (each electric system needs a power supply and communication networks) with impacts on systems weight and space allocation. An elegant solution to save weight and space, is to use a unique path wire to transmit power and data. But even though the related technologies are now mature, each technology has its own specifications and dedicated chipset/wires architecture and is not compliant with the aeronautical environment. The aeronautic sector now needs innovative solutions to merge the architectures into one full avionics-shared electrical and communication network.
To support the All Electric Aircraft, TAUPE defined a fully optimised avionic architecture for power and data transmission on unique path wires (mixing the aircraft (A/C) power and communication networks). From this fully optimised architecture, the related specifications were provided (harness wiring and network equipments) and requirements for systems qualification were delivered.
The TAUPE results addressed the ACARE SRA and the Work Programme (Cost Efficient Air Transport) thanks to:
- Targeting minimum system weight
- Easy and cost effective installation and retrofit
- Cost effective maintenance
LABINAL coordinated the project, which was divided into eight Workpackages (WPs):
- 5 Research Technology Development (RTD) WPs
- 1 Management WP
- 2 other WPs
During the project, two specific reference applications were considered and were tested for feasibility on two different benches. Another Laboratory test bench was designed for validation purposes.
The project partners actively participated in conferences and workshops relevant for TAUPE purposes. Such network activities avoid duplication of research activities and raise awareness about technological evolution.
TAUPE studied the reduction of length and mass of aircraft cabling. This has resulted in a fully-optimised avionic architecture on specific systems, mixing the aircraft power networks and communication networks. This translates into weight reduction of aircraft cabling, easy and cost-effective installation, retrofit and maintenance.
The project has integrated the PLC (powerline communication) and POD (power over data) subsystem and applications equipment. Both technologies essentially aim to supply power and data over the same cable. The project has delivered:
- specifications for harness wiring and network equipment;
- requirements for systems qualification.
Integrating PLC (powerline communication) and POD (power over data), thus saving cabling weight and cost.
This TAUPE project has been conducted in line with ACARE-SRA2 (High level target concept 'The Highly Cost Efficient Air Transport System') and in particular in line with activities regarding green operations.
TAUPE enables 'cost effective' aircraft by providing solutions such as reduction of on-board wiring to save weight and cost. The project allows for significant reduction of a large number of connections and for reduction of tests in the final assembly line of future aircraft, due to the simplification of system design architectures and smart maintenance. This has a positive impact on safety, cost and time issues.
TAUPE has provided benefits to citizens, society and climate, considering the potential weight reduction on aircraft. Furthermore, the results show a measurable potential reduction of fuel consumption, as well as CO2 and NOx emissions. The results will also impact on aircraft life cycle and operating costs.
Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour):
- a European Transport Research and Innovation Policy
- promoting more sustainable development