Bash, M., Pekarek, S., and Zumberge, J., "The Utility of Wide-Bandwidth Emulation to Evaluate Aircraft Power System Performance," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 9(1):14-22, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1982.
The cost and complexity of aircraft power systems limit the number of integrated system evaluations that can be performed in hardware. As a result, evaluations are often performed using emulators to mimic components or subsystems. As an example, aircraft generation systems are often tested using an emulator that consists of a bank of resistors that are switched to represent the power draw of one or more actuators. In this research, consideration is given to modern wide bandwidth emulators (WBEs) that use power electronics and digital controls to obtain wide bandwidth control of power, current, or voltage. Specifically, this paper first looks at how well a WBE can emulate the impedance of a load when coupled to a real-time model. Capturing the impedance of loads and sources is important for accurately assessing the small-signal stability of a system. Secondly, this paper demonstrates the merits of a WBE for characterizing aircraft sources and loads to identify key performance parameters. The parameters can then be plugged into a simplified model that is used in simulation to identify stability problems and worst case loading conditions for power quality.