Electro‐mechanical actuators for general aviation fly‐by‐wire aircraft
A long‐term goal for general aviation aircraft is to reduce or eliminate the use of fluid power systems such as hydraulics from the aircraft. Power‐By‐Wire (PBW) technology seems to be the next major step in the development of aircraft control. In this solution, control power comes directly from the aircraft electrical system to the Electro‐Mechanical Actuator (EMA), which includes the electric motor, controller and gearbox. EMAs have the potential to be more efficient, less complicated, less expensive, and more faults tolerant than actuators based on hydraulic systems. The construction of a single EMA and set of cooperating electro-mechanical servos actuating airplane control surfaces is presented in this work. The mechanical unit, microcontroller of the EMA, and general information on control algorithms are discussed in this work. Testing methods and laboratory results are also described. Then the in-flight testing results of the complete set of servos installed as a part of a SPS-1 system on board an airplane are presented. SPS-1 is an experimental Fly-By-Wire (FBW) control system for general aviation aircraft designed as a project financed by the Polish State Committee for Scientific Research (2004-2005).
First Published Online: 14 Oct 2010
Keyword : electro-mechanical actuator, EMA, controller, fly-by-wire, power-by-wire, flight tests
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