Microsemi joins European funded program to further electrify next-generation aircraft

February 15, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Microsemi Corporation is to participate in a multi-disciplinary consortium funded by the European Union (Seventh Framework Programme, FP7) tasked with developing standardized Electro Mechanical Actuators (EMA) for aerospace applications to eliminate hydraulic circuits, pumps and reservoirs.

The aim of the project is to improve the overall actuator lifecycle cost including higher reliability, lower cost and reduced aircraft weight. The integrated project spans three years and comprises more than 50 partners representing the European stakeholders of the actuation and airframe industry from 12 countries.

The project, referred to as Actuation 2015, aims to develop and validate a common set of standardized, modular and scalable EMA resources for all actuators (flight control, high lift, main landing gear, door and thrust reverser) in all types of aircraft (business/regional/commercial airplanes and helicopters) and relies on advances made in the European Union and national projects to integrate the required technologies (power electronics, operation in harsh conditions and jam-tolerant EMA) to overcome the current barriers of existing technologies.

Microsemi’s contribution to the program includes participating in the development of a specification and subsequent design, manufacture and test of a standardized power module which comprehends important trade-offs associated with the choice of semiconductors, materials, component configurations, circuit topologies and mass production manufacturing technologies. Microsemi has been providing solutions for aerospace applications for more than 40 years. The work for this project will be performed in Microsemi’s facility near Bordeaux, France, which has been designing and manufacturing power modules for the aerospace industry for more than 15 years.

The all-electric aircraft (AEA) is a major target for next-generation aircraft to reduce consumption of non-propulsive power and thus fuel burn. EMAs are mandatory, but technical improvements are necessary to meet the requirements established by ACARE (Advisory Council of Aeronautics Research in Europe) and airframers.

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