Trade Studies for NASA N3-X Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion System Electrical Power System Architecture (English)

in Sae International Journal of Aerospace ; 5 , 2 ; 325-336
Sae International Journal of Aerospace

This paper outlines power system architecture trades performed on the N3-X hybrid wing body aircraft concept under NASA's Research and Technology for Aerospace Propulsion (RTAPS) study effort. The purpose of the study to enumerate, characterize, and evaluate the critical dynamic and safety issues for the propulsion electric grid of a superconducting Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) system pursuant to NASA N+3 Goals (TRL 4-6: 2025, EIS: 2030-2035). Architecture recommendations focus on solutions which promote electrical stability, electric grid safety, and aircraft safety. Candidate architectures were developed and sized by balancing redundancy and interconnectivity to provide fail safe and reliable, flight critical thrust capability. This paper outlines a process for formal contingency analysis used to identify these off-nominal requirements. Advantageous architecture configurations enabled a reduction in the NASA's assumed sizing requirements for the propulsors. However, significant weight penalties were also identified by including estimates of protection equipment sizing. Following an architecture down-selecting process, first order dynamic models were generated to assess the energy storage requirements for the TeDP system.

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