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Development of Electromechanical Actuators and Electronic control Units for Flight Control Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - EMA4FLIGHT (Development of Electromechanical Actuators and Electronic control Units for Flight Control Systems)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-09-30

EMA4FLIGHT Project aims to design, develop, manufacture and validate optimized and reliable innovative Electro-Mechanical Actuators (EMAs), and their dedicated Electronic Control Units (ECUs) for Aileron/Spoiler (A/S) flight control surfaces actuation and for winglet/flap-tab surfaces actuation. These Motor, ballscrew and mechanical parts/ECU subsystems will be, in the future, boarded onto FTB2 Regional Aircraft IADP for their in-flight validation. The development of electromechanical actuation systems for aircrafts will help to achieve the objectives set by ACARE for the aeronautics industry as they will reduce the weight of the aircrafts enabling a consumption reduction. The designed sub-systems will be improved by electric motor and ballscrew innovative architecture, advanced control strategies and smart safety, diagnostic and maintenance functions.
As conclusions, 8 Flap-tab ECU units that have been delivered the Topic Manager (TM) for later supply and integration on Airbus DS Regional Ground Demonstrator. Besides, and 4 qualifications units have also been manufactured out of the scope of EMA4FLIGHT project and Acceptance tests have been done.
In the A/S flight control surfaces actuation subsystem, 12 units of A/S motors, ballscrews and mechanical parts have been delivered to the TM. The A/S ECU hardware development has failed and will not achieve the expected results within the time and efforts needed to support FTB#2 step 2. So, A/S ECU HW and SW integration has not been finished. The knowledge acquired in advanced control strategies and ECU HW and SW development for primary control surfaces actuation is planned to be exploited in other related projects with similarities
The objective of EMA4FLIGHT project is to design, develop, manufacture and validate optimized and reliable innovative Electro-Mechanical Actuators (Motor, Ballscrews and mechanical parts), and their dedicated Electronic Control Units (ECUs) for 2 subsystems:
-Aileron/spoiler (A/S) flight control surfaces actuation
-Flap-tab surfaces actuation
An overview of the most relevant results of the developments performed for the two subsystems are described as follows.
In the A/S subsystem, the main results achieved are the delivery to the Topic Manager (TM) of 12 units of A/S motors, ballscrews and mechanical parts. A/S ECU hardware development has failed and will not achieve the expected results within the time and efforts needed to support FTB#2 step 2. So, A/S ECU HW and SW integration has not been finished. TM proposed to develop an alternative A/S ECU, as mitigating action included in TM GAM, after having been agreed by JU and Airbus DS to support FTB#2 step 2.
Main results in the A/S subsystem have required the completion of several partial results: A/S subsystem specifications, HW ECU, Motor and Ballscrew ATP, Motor and Ballscrew QTP, A/S subsystem PDR, Critical Motor, Ballscrew and mechanical parts design review, A/S ECU CDR functional prototype versions, First version of ECU SW High Level Requirements specifications, architectural and detailed design and detailed external interfaces, Coding of the ECU SW (First version of the ECU SW delivered to the TM), SW ECU design status review including industrialization information and ATP performed on all A/S motors and ballscrews manufactured and related documentation prepared and industrialisation of the manufacturing process of 27 different mechanical components for A/S according to Technical Drawings and TM's quality standard
Also, SHA Aileron units and Feel Units have been delivered to the TM

In the Flap tab subsystem all project objectives have been achieved. 8 Flap-tab ECU units have been delivered the TM for later supply and integration on Airbus DS Regional Ground Demonstrator
Main results have required the completion of several partial results: Winglet/flap-tab subsystem specifications, Winglet/flap-tab subsystem PDR, Winglet/flap-tab subsystem critical design review, ECU plans and standards for RTCA-DO254, EMA/ ECU integration, EMA/ ECU Functional Tests execution and Flap tab subsystem redesign to comply with the new requirements (schematics re-design)
Also, 4 Flap-tab ECU qualifications units have been manufactured out of the scope of EMA4FLIGHT project. Acceptance tests have been done. Qualification units have been delivered

Dissemination & communication activities performed from the beginning of the project are:
UMBRA paper about electrical motor designed for EMA4flight and VALEMA projects. Conference IECON 2019, Lisbon, Portugal, October 14-17, 2019
TECNALIA participation in R3ASC’18. May 30- June 1,2018, Toulouse. TECNALIA presented one Poster
SKYLIFE has created a web page
GMV website
GMV has generated 3 articles in internal magazine, GMV NEWS: Apr 2017, Dec 2017 and Nov 2019.
Article in TECNALIA web page. April 3,2020

Some dissemination & communication actions are planned after the end of EMA4FLIGHT project:
GMV has prepared an article for AerospacheTechReview.com. This article is expected to be issued in mid-December 2021.
GMV has included a mention to the EMA4FLIGHT project in its 2020 yearly report.

The results to be achieved are expected to be mature enough for implementation by the TM in a flight demonstrator via its own development programme. This exploitation plans will be also much conditioned by VALEMA project outcome.
For the flap tab ECU, the expected exploitable result will be probably a new HW revision of the ECU with minor or major changes function of the results of the ground and flight tests being conducted by the TM and the CS2JU Member (Airbus DS). Shall this exploitation opportunity occur, a dedicated agreement in written shall be signed between both parties.
Limited possibilities to exploit results for A/S ECU HW or SW once the ECU will not be produced. Anyhow GMV plans to use SW with similarities to the one developed here in other related projects. TECNALIA also plans to use HW with similarities to the one developed in EMA4FLIGHT in other related projects. TECNALIA is in contact with companies interested in this kind of developments.
The experience acquired in this project reinforces and consolidates RAMEM's knowledge in mechanical manufacturing and improves RAMEM's positioning to win future contracts for the manufacture of this type of components.
The new actuation systems will help the reduction of emissions of the aircrafts due to the reduction on the overall weight of the aircraft, therefore, contributing to reach the goals set by ACARE for the aeronautic industry in 2050. The developed ECU, motor and ballscrews for aileron spoiler subsystems and the flap tab ECU will contribute to weight savings and therefore, to a greener aviation.
New actuation systems or generated knowledge in advanced control strategies and smart safety, diagnostic and maintenance functions enables an increase of the competitiveness of all companies of the EMA4FLIGHT consortium and the TM in the Electric Aircraft sector.
For the flap tab ECU, the expected exploitable result will be probably a new HW revision of the ECU with minor or major changes function of the results of the ground and flight tests being conducted by the TM and the CS2JU Member (Airbus DS).
Aircraft flight control surfaces