New Industry Products

Aerospace Power Core with FPGA and Hybrid Power Drive

October 24, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Microsemi Corporation today announced its aerospace power core module (PCM) with an integrated field programmable gate array (FPGA) and hybrid power drive (HPD) stage. The PCM controls the electrical motors used in applications such as primary flight control actuation, landing gear systems and other systems. The device interfaces seamlessly with both aircraft power supplies and flight controllers, providing vital sensor feedback for health monitoring.

The move toward more electric aircraft (MEA) continues to drive demand for increased levels of reliability and integration in the area of power electronics. Microsemi's new intelligent power solutionsâ„¢ play an important role in supporting this objective.

Key features of Microsemi's new aerospace PCM include: Fully engineered solution with a high level of integration; Design optimized for power density, weight, cost and functionality; Excellent performance, efficiency and reliability; Customized options available, leveraging standard building blocks and reducing development time and cost; A range of power options, starting at 5kVA; Various data communication bus options available; Extensive modeling, simulation and analysis support; Documentation package with qualification and reliability data; Long-term reliability program; Partial discharge validation.

"We are building upon our design-in success on current day MEA platforms with innovative power module construction to develop a portfolio of intelligent power conversion systems. With our growing investment in system-level engineering support and design services, we serve as an extension of our customers' design teams as we develop solutions for aerospace applications that are optimized for power density, performance, cost and reliability," said Siobhan Dolan Clancy, vice president and general manager of Microsemi's Discrete Products Group. "Our aerospace PCM leverages our extensive expertise in IGBTs, SiC MOSFETs, diodes, FPGAs and power modules, bringing together the most advanced capabilities from our worldwide development team and Aviation Center of Excellence."

Microsemi's new PCM is a highly-integrated, flexible and scalable power solution for actuation and power conversion applications, including landing systems, de-icing systems, wheels and braking systems, high lift, and primary and secondary flight control actuation systems. Customization options are also available to ensure a flexible product offering for customers. The PCM developed in partnership with Airbus, for example, has been designed for harsh environments and has undergone a comprehensive application-specific qualification and reliability program.

"As an aircraft designer, Airbus is constantly concerned with improvements in safety and performance through the adoption of new technologies such as flight control surfaces with electric actuators, forward facing crew cockpits and control systems with side sticks," said Alain Sagansan, Airbus research project leader. "Research studies on future architectures show the increased integration of standard modules with resulting logistical benefits. This paves the way for the adoption of new technologies as we move toward MEA solutions."

The Airbus design by Microsemi accommodates a wide range of voltages, including the emerging 540V supply rail being introduced on the latest generation of commercial aircraft. The design process is structured on the DO-254 quality standard.

"The collaboration between Airbus and Microsemi aims to enhance the ever-important onboard electronic performance," said Michel Todeschi, Airbus senior expert. "The Microsemi team's technological mastery in semiconductors, power modules and control electronics enables us to propose these adapted and optimized solutions. The electric actuators with integrated PCMs provide solutions to increase equipment maturity and reliability while reducing the cost."

Microsemi's aerospace PCM with the embedded HPD is available for sampling. Evaluation kits will be available to order in December.