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Review on signal-by-wire and power-by-wire actuation for more electric aircraft

Abstract : The huge and rapid progress in electric drives offers new opportunities to improve the performances of aircraft at all levels: fuel burn, environmental footprint, safety, integration and production, serviceability, and maintainability. Actuation for safety-critical applications like flight-controls, landing gears, and even engines is one of the major consumers of non-propulsive power. Conventional actuation with centralized hydraulic power generation and distribution and control of power by throttling has been well established for decades, but offers a limited potential of evolution. In this context, electric drives become more and more attractive to remove the natural drawbacks of conventional actuation and to offer new opportunities for improving performance. This paper takes the stock, at both the signal and power levels, of the evolution of actuation for safety-critical applications in aerospace. It focuses on the recent advances and the remaining challenges to be taken toward full electrical actuation for commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, and launchers. It logically starts by emphasizing the specificity of safety-critical actuation for aerospace. The following section addresses in details the evolution of aerospace actuation from mechanically-signaled and hydraulically-supplied to all electric, with special emphasis on research and development programs and on solutions entered into service. Finally, the last section reviews the challenges to be taken to generalize the use of all-electric actuators for future aircraft programs.
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Contributor : Pierre Naegelen <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 9:15:15 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 4:18:55 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01950755, version 1


Jean-Charles Maré, Jian Fu. Review on signal-by-wire and power-by-wire actuation for more electric aircraft. Chinese Journal of Aeronautics, Elsevier, 2017, 30 (3), pp.857--870. ⟨hal-01950755⟩



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