Power solution simplifies aviation’s transition to more electric aircraft

26-04-2024 | Microchip Technology | Power

To provide the aviation industry with a comprehensive electric actuation solution, Microchip Technology has announced a new integrated actuation power solution that combines companion gate driver boards with an expansive Hybrid Power Drive (HPD) modules in SiC or Is technology with a power range of 5kVA to 20kVA.

The new integrated actuation power solution keeps the same footprint regardless of the power output. The companion gate driver boards are created to be integrated with the company's HPD modules to supply an all-in-one motor drive solution for the electrification of systems such as flight controls, braking and landing gear. Its power solutions are designed to scale based on the requirements of the end application, from smaller actuation systems for drones to high-power actuation systems for eVTOL aircraft, MEA and all-electric aircraft.

“We developed the companion gate driver boards to be used with our existing HPD modules to bring to market a plug-and-play power solution for MEA,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete product group. “With this solution, customers no longer need to design and develop their own drive circuitry, which can reduce design time, resources and cost.”

These high-reliability devices are tested to conditions outlined in DO-160, “Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment.” There are multiple protection features including shoot-through detection, short circuit protection, desaturation protection, UVLO and active miller clamping.

The gate driver boards are developed to be driven with external PWM signals based on Low Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS) compliant with TIA/EIA-644 for low EMI and good noise immunity. The gate driver board provides differential outputs for telemetry signals like DC bus current, phase current and solenoid current by taking feedback from shunts present in the HPD module and DC bus voltage. It also delivers direct output of two PT1000 temperature sensors available in the HPD power module.

The companion gate driver boards are low-weight, low-profile and compact solutions to optimise size and power efficiency of actuation systems. The gate drivers are created to operate throughout the temperature range of −55C to +110C, which is critical for aviation applications that are often exposed to harsh environments.

The isolated companion gate driver boards only need a single 15VDC input for the control and drive circuit; extra voltages needed are generated on the card. This greatly lowers the number of system components and simplifies system cabling.


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.