An Optimisation Based Design Approach for Aircraft Electrical Power Systems 2014-01-2121
The More Electric Aircraft (MEA) concept coupled with recent advances in power electronics has seen an increasing number of on-board tasks being facilitated by electrical power, as opposed to more conventional hydraulic, mechanical and pneumatic power systems. The migration to a predominantly electrical power system is expected to bring significant cost and performance benefits; however, the devices used to facilitate this change have led to an increasingly complicated electrical power system with heightened levels of system sophistication and interdependence. These developments have the potential to drastically alter the solution space of all feasible aircraft Electrical Power System (EPS) designs. The technological advancements facilitating the MEA progression have allowed for a broader range of design solutions to exist that increase the size of the solution space. Meanwhile increasing system sophistication has led to an increasingly non-linear and complex solution space. Optimal solutions in this setting are unlikely to be formed by simply modifying legacy designs. Therefore this paper proposes adopting an optimisation based design approach; one capable of effectively searching the optimisation landscape. This approach utilizes two distinct capabilities; firstly, an automated assessment framework capable of evaluating the performance of a design solution across a range of several design objectives and secondly a heuristic based optimisation procedure. A case study is then introduced in order to highlight the benefit of the proposed design approach.