News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Aircraft Electrical Core", for Approval

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors GUERING, Bernard (MONTRABE, FR); DURAND, Yves (AUSSONNE, FR), filed on March 27, 2014, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Airbus Operations S.a.s.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "An electrical core is a cupboard which manages and distributes the electrical energy aboard the aircraft which originates mainly from the generators present on the engines, from an auxiliary power generator or from other sources via generating cables.

"As illustrated in FIG. 1, an electrical core 10 comprises components 12 such as contactors, relays, circuit breakers, or others as well as electronic boards 14. These numerous components are inter-linked electrically and are grouped together by function.

"To simplify the explanations, in FIG. 2, two generating components 16.1 and 16.2 have been represented, each comprising an input linked to a generating cable 18 and several power distribution components 20.1 to 20.4 whose outputs are linked via power cables 22 to loads (not represented) distributed in the aircraft. The inputs of the power distribution components 20.1 and 20.2 are linked to the output of the generating component 16.1 by way of cables 24 or of rigid bars whilst the inputs of the power distribution components 20.3 and 20.4 are linked to the output of the generating component 16.2 by way of cables 24 or of rigid bars. These various components are disposed at the level of a vertical plane which constitutes a pane integrated into the cupboard.

"The components are grouped together by modules, in particular of parallelepipedal shape, which rest on shelves. Each shelf takes the form of a hollow well whose cross-section is closed, ensuring in particular the take-up of forces and the circulation of air provided for cooling the electronics.

"The electrical core of an aircraft is subjected to ever more constraining dimensional constraints, in particular for small aircraft.

"Indeed, having regard to the arrangement of the components at a vertical pane parallel to the front face of the cupboard forming the electrical core and of the disposition of the front face of the cupboard parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft for accessibility reasons, the electrical core occupies significant space which becomes ever more so on account of the growing electrical energy needs of new aircraft. Now, the electrical core or more precisely the electrical cores 10 of an aircraft are disposed in the nose cone 26 of the aircraft and must share the space with other systems 28 such as for example flight computers, as is illustrated in FIG. 3.

"In aeronautics, there is in the avionics sector a standard 'Arinc 600' which provides for connectors 30 comprising two parts, a first part 32 secured to a housing 34, such as for example a computer, and a second part 36 secured to the support 38 of the housing, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The connectors provided for the computers are of 'rackable' type, namely they ensure automatic guidance and insertion of the male elements of one part of the connector into the female elements of the other part.

"This type of connector disposed at the rear face of the housing comprises all the electrical cables handled by the housing, namely the cables entering and exiting, and makes it possible to assemble a large number of cables of small cross-section. This type of connector is all the more suitable as the housings take the form of electronic boards and do not comprise any cable in the housing. Consequently, the simple transposition of the connectors used for the computers according to the 'Arinc 600' standard is not conceivable as things stand to an electrical core in so far as the latter comprises fewer cables with cross-sections, for some more significant, which generate more significant heating, the heating and the segregation of the cables running counter to the compactness sought in the connectors intended for computers.

"Moreover, the presence of a single connector comprising the electrical inputs and outputs at the level of one of the faces of the module compels the presence of cables to ensure the electrical return to the connector, this not making it possible to optimize the density of the components over the height of the module.

"According to another constraint, it is necessary to provide sufficient space at the rear of the electrical core to be able to link the generating cables 18.1 to 18.3 by way of lugs 20, as is illustrated in FIG. 5. These cables which extend from the motorizations to the electrical core have significant cross-sections having regard to the electrical powers transferred, these cross-sections being all the more significant as they are made of aluminium alloy for a weight saving. Because of their significant cross-sections and their stiffnesses, these cables need a significant radius of curvature and have difficulty running in a restricted volume.

"As illustrated in FIG. 6, the generating cables 18.1 to 18.3 comprise for each phase at least two conductors, thereby tending to increase their stiffnesses.

"Having regard to the stiffnesses of the cables and the lack of precision of their positionings, the segregation distance L (also called guard) between the cables is significant, thereby going counter to a run in a restricted volume.

"According to another issue of concern, the floor at the rear of the electrical core 10 is not flat and follows the profile of the fuselage, thereby rendering the connection of the generating cables more difficult.

"In addition, other objects, desirable features and characteristics will become apparent from the subsequent summary and detailed description, and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Accordingly, the present disclosure is aimed at alleviating the drawbacks of the prior art by proposing an aircraft electrical core with a novel architecture making it possible to increase the density of the components per unit volume and to obtain better compactness.

"For this purpose, the various teachings of the present disclosure provide an electrical core of an aircraft comprising at least one shelf on which is disposed at least one module containing components and comprising at least one input able to be linked to at least one power supply cable and at least one output able to be linked to at least one output cable, characterized in that for a module, the output cable or cables travel under or in the shelf disposed under the module.

"According to one embodiment, the electrical core comprises an extension which simplifies the connection of the generating cables.

"A person skilled in the art can gather other characteristics and advantages of the disclosure from the following description of exemplary embodiments that refers to the attached drawings, wherein the described exemplary embodiments should not be interpreted in a restrictive sense.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The various embodiments will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements, and wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating in a schematic manner an aircraft electrical core according to the prior art;

"FIG. 2 is a transverse cut illustrating in a schematic manner components of an electrical core according to the prior art;

"FIG. 3 is a view from above of the nose cone of an aircraft illustrating the location of the electrical cores;

"FIG. 4 is a lateral view illustrating in a schematic manner a connection used to link components of avionics systems according to the prior art;

"FIG. 5 is a view of a part of the rear of an electrical core according to the prior art illustrating the connection of the generating cables;

"FIG. 6 is a cut illustrating the generating cables and their spacing;

"FIG. 7 is a view of the rear of an electrical core according to the various teachings of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 8 is a cut of a module and of a shelf of an electrical core according to the various teachings of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating an extension of an electrical core according to the various teachings of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 10 is a perspective view illustrating in a schematic manner an extension of an electrical core according to the various teachings of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 11 is a transverse cut of an extension of an electrical core,

"FIG. 12 is a transverse cut illustrating details of an extension of an electrical core; and

"FIG. 13 is a schematic representation of an example of integration of an electrical core according to the various teachings of the present disclosure and of electrical and/or electronic cabinets in a cockpit of an aircraft."

For additional information on this patent application, see: GUERING, Bernard; DURAND, Yves. Aircraft Electrical Core. Filed March 27, 2014 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5930&p=119&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Airbus Operations S.a.s.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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