Challenging Power Density Requirements for Future Fighter APUs
Future fighters will require more compact, lighter weight, small gas turbine auxiliary power units (APUs) capable of faster starting, and operation, up to altitudes of 50,000 ft. The US Air Force is currently supporting an Advanced Components Auxiliary Power Unit (ACAPU) research program to demonstrate the technologies that will be required to accomplish projected secondary power requirements for these advanced fighters. The requirements of the ACAPU Program represent a challenging task requiring significant technical advancements over the current state-of-the-art, prominent among which are: Small high heat release high altitude airbreathing combustors. High temperature monolithic ceramic and metallic small turbines. Capability to operate, and transition from non-airbreathing to airbreathing modes. This paper discusses these challenging requirements and establishes technology paths to match and exceed the required goals.