Novel Approach to Test Parallel Hybrid Propulsion Architecture for Aeronautical Applications

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Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Turin developed a design of a test bench simulator to test a parallel hybrid propulsion architecture for UAVs

A team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Turin developed a virtual test bench for a hybrid propulsion system. The system contains an internal combustion engine, an electrical machine, a gearbox, a propeller, and a battery and can be used in UAVs. The novel method explained the architectural definition and the design of a virtual test bench for an aeronautical hybrid propulsion system. The virtual test bench contains three electric servomotors and the approach supported the test bench design.

The team focused on the transmission of torque between the components and proposed the simulation of the take-off flight phase to obtain results. Moreover, the validation of the approach generated additional synthetic data. The team used the results to validate the parallel time histories that are expected in the real architecture and compared the results of the scaling procedure with those generated from a high-fidelity simulation of the propulsion system.

The team found that scaled-down steady-state conditions can be replicated by scaling the inertial parameters of the different moving parts. It also helps to closely resemble the projected dynamic behavior of the propulsion system. The team set the parameters of the scale factor, which enabled to prototype virtual test benches. This also aided in testing the behavior virtual test benches. The test relied on the circumstantial need for the facility where the real test bench is installed. This, in turn, offered a supple method to design the real test bench. The team is now focused on automating the scaling process and enhancing the scale factor in further research. The research was published in the journal MDPI Aerospace on July 2, 2019.

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