Eco-Design for Systems - Technology streams

The activities logic is based on 2 main sequential steps: common architecture studies to develop and validate the a/c optimisation methodology followed by the specific aircraft trade-off studies to optimise the all electric aircraft and demonstrate benefits of the concept. 


To develop, validate and finally demonstrate the energy management architectures, a ground electrical test bench is adapted based on the airframers' specifications to study the different configurations for future aircraft, as well as a ground thermal test bench.
EDS is characterised by close interactions with several ITDs:

Common activities using the generic architecture are performed in the frame of EDS.

  • The Systems for Green Operation ITD (noted SGO ITD) develop electric and thermal technologies in the frame of the Energy Management part of the ITD. It produces hardware components, models and data to be used by EDS at aircraft architecture level, for test and analysis.
  • Trade-off and ecolonomic analysis on specific architectures for business jet, regional and rotorcraft aircraft are performed in the frame of the EDS, GRA and GRC ITDs, respectively.

Architecture optimisation and ecolonomic analysis

The vehicle systems, excluding propulsion, are systems in charge of onboard functions required for flight missions which include the following subsystems:

  • ­Flight Control System (FCS)
  • ­Environmental Control System (ECS)
  • ­Electrical generation an distribution
  • ­Ice protection
  • ­Utilities
  • ­Fuel System
  • ­Secondary Power System (SPS)
  • ­Hydraulic system (for the current concept)
  • ­Engine start system

The comparison between a current technology aircraft and an aircraft based on the oil-less power by wire concept requests iterative loops at aircraft level to take into account the so called "snowball effect". This compelling effect is due to the impact of the aircraft sizing around vehicle systems architecture. A given technology can be heavier than another but can be more efficient in terms of energy consumption. It will reduce the fuel consumption and so the mass of fuel requested for the same mission, then the size of the fuel tanks can be reduced, then the aircraft is smaller with a better aerodynamic. An iterative loop leads to a mass and power optimised aircraft. The Vehicle Systems Architecture trade-off and benefits analysis are to be performed at aircraft level through a aircraft level optimisation. 


The demonstration of the ecolonomic benefits of the All Electric Small aircraft concept includes two sequential steps:

Aircraft Optimisation Methodogy Validation

The aircraft optimisation is based on a set of numerical models and data constituting the virtual definition of the aircraft Vehicle Systems. The first step is to validate the models and data generation process. It is obtained through model correlations with electrical and thermal ground tests results on the basis of a Generic Architecture common to all small aircraft types (rotorcraft, regional and business aircraft). The purpose of this architecture is not to be representative of a real aircraft one but to include the most possible modelling problems to be encountered and solved.

Trade-off and ecolonomic analysis

For each small aircraft type a baseline Vehicle Systems architecture based on the current technologies is considered. A set of architecture candidates is defined on the basis of the All Electric Small aircraft concept. The optimized architectures are evaluated and compared through the "ecolonomic" analysis. The expected results are as follows:

  • The demonstration that the All Electric Small aircraft concept is beneficial compared with the current baseline concept.
  • Quantified evaluation of the benefits in terms of environmental impact.

Electrical test Bench

To demonstrate on a representative electrical architecture the behaviour of the different equipments and systems (generation, distribution, power consumption, electrical power quality and stability, safety...) on the electrical network for different aircraft configurations, a ground electrical test bench (COPPER Bird®) previously developed for the POA project is adapted based on the airframers' specifications to study the different configurations for future aircraft. 

The COPPER Bird® is designed to propose a highly-versatile and representative test mean where the whole ATA24 is addressed, from electrical power generation to the loads.

Thermal Test Bench

One advantage of the hydraulic systems is the fluid circulation collecting the power losses to a heat exchanger. The draining of heat is easy and the cooling is naturally centralised. On an electrical architecture the power losses (Joules effect) are not directly drained. In order to avoid temperature hot spots and overheating, it is highly necessary to elaborate new concept of the aircraft thermal management. In addition, the future intensive use of thermal insulating composites will increase the acuity of thermal management problems, especially for hot spots.
In order to demonstrate accurate modeling of the thermal environment, including the (nonlinear) effects, e.g. of active thermal control technologies, a ground thermal test bench is installed based on the use of an aircraft representative fuselage including various typical areas to cover the problems encountered for thermal modelling. 

To achieve this the ground thermal test bench is planned to consist of three fuselage mock-ups containing equipment, representing the thermal dissipation of the aircraft systems, and an ancillary thermal bench element with modular measurement and calibration capability in form of generic environmental chamber(s) - the Aircraft Calorimeter ACC.