Aircraft Power Generation and Distribution/CorePower® Systems
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Electronic Distribution Systems
Astronics CorePower® aircraft Electrical Power Distribution Systems (EPDS) are the new generation of intelligent electronic power control and management. Compared to traditional aircraft power distribution systems, the Astronics EPDS offers many advantages and is able to easily replace conventional systems which use miles of vulnerable wire and age-old thermal-mechanical circuit breaker technology dating back to the early 1960s.
Aircraft wiring with traditional electrical systems
Aircraft wiring with solid-state electrical systems
CorePower® aircraft power distribution systems provide all the benefits of thermal circuit breakers, as well as the added advantages of electronic circuit breakers and solid state contactors. CorePower® systems also provide arc fault detection and protection capabilities as well as intelligent functionality that expands to meet aircraft specific requirements for system control and management. These technologies have been refined and perfected by Astronics, and are integrated into systems for aircraft such as the Eclipse 500 and the new Learjet 85. All this at a lower cost than traditional systems.
Over the past two decades, Astronics has developed and perfected electronic circuit breaker technologies. Electronic circuit breakers are used in Electronic Circuit Breaker Units (ECBUs), which provide an attractive alternative to traditional aircraft power distribution systems. Not only does Astronics build aircraft power generators, but also designs modern distribution systems which safely and efficiently manage the aircraft power.
Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit - Increased functionality and system control.
Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit - Basic system control and circuit protection.
CorePower® ECBUs are used in power distribution systems, with the unique capability to be conveniently located throughout the aircraft. Smaller and lighter than their conventional counterparts, ECBUs create a more evenly distributed system. This distributed system allows for less wire throughout the aircraft, as well as aids in arc fault detection and replacement of many switches, relays, controllers and contactors.
Astronics CorePower® aircraft Electric Power Distribution Systems are uniquely suited for today's sophisticated corporate jets, UAVs and advanced helicopter programs. With a history of high reliability, they are an ideal choice for aircraft power distribution.
Benefits of Electronic Circuit Breakers include:
- Flexibility - trip limits are programmable
- Reliability - certified and flying in many power systems
- Redundancy - dual redundant digital interface via RS-485 digital bus
- Data Reporting - current and voltage data automatically reported
- Inherent Arc Fault Protection - each electronic circuit breaker has both I2t protection and a fast response feature to prevent false trips
- Proven Technology - environmental qualification (RTCA/DO-160E), software qualification (RTCA/DO-178B, level B and pending level A), as well as qualified and certified on Part 23 aircraft; certification on Part 25 aircraft pending
- Weight Savings - smaller LRUs reduce wire weight and volume
Brushless Starter Generators
As a recognized leader in both aircraft power distribution and aircraft power generators, Astronics has developed a brushless starter generator unit. Rather than rely on technology developed in the mid-20th century, which has high maintenance costs and inconsistent reliability, a brushless starter generator can offer both high reliability and a 68% reduced cost of ownership through the use of industry-leading brushless technology.
Power Conversion Unit - A bi-directional converter (AC/DC and DC/AC) which controls the voltage and torque of the Starter Generator.
Starter Generator Unit - A brushless, induction starter generator subsystem.
Astronics CorePower® brushless starter generator units and stand-alone aircraft power generators are a great deal more robust than todays brushed units: unlike the 500-700 hour time window between brush failures, an Astronics brushless starter generator is capable of running an average of 4,000 hour cycle between maintenance checks. While smaller and lighter than traditional units, brushless starter generators are also 15% more efficient. The brushless technology and embedded software allow smooth, full rated power at aircraft ground-idle or full powered flight with reduced aircraft engine gear box stress. The induction starter generator system offered by Astronics eliminates brush maintenance, one of the highest maintenance and reliability items on business jets today.