It is now a realistic scenario for the coming years that urban transport will use the lower airspace, to reduce the strain on ground infrastructure, seal less land, enable a higher quality of life in cities and still meet the growing need for passenger and freight mobility. Accordingly, the supply of aircraft and drones is currently growing rapidly to serve this market.
In order to test the propulsion systems for the first flight and to compare them with the pure simulation results, a hardware-in-the-loop-capable (HiL-capable) propulsion test rig for urban air mobility applications was designed and built by KAMO partner Fraunhofer ICT. This significantly shortens the development time of the propulsion systems, and thus significantly reduces the development costs. The swivel test rig enables controlled and reproducible test conditions to be generated in a simulated environment. In the context of the Fraunhofer ALBACOPTER® project, the simulation environment OCTANE of the KAMO partner Fraunhofer IOSB was combined with this rig. On the test rig, powertrain performance can be monitored, enabling data-driven decision making.
The following test cases have already been implemented:
Thermal tests for electric engine cooling systems (oil spray cooling, water jacket, rotor cooling, others), inverter and gearbox systems, endurance tests, overload tests, cooling and lubrication tests. Tilt ranges of +/- 90° at max. angular velocities of 165°s can be created.
»Propulsion systems with speeds of up to 6,000 rpm, max. torque of 500 Nm and max. power of 300 kW can be tested in a realistic environment,« says project manager Dr. Lars-Fredrik Berg, who is Deputy Director of the New Drive Systems Department at Fraunhofer ICT.
»The construction of the HiL-capable swivel test rig is a good example of how we can pool the expertise of our KAMO partners to create new options for businesses,« says KAMO office manager Dr. Miriam Ruf. In addition to the testing rigs, the partners also have the expertise needed to support the further development of electric motors and drive systems.