Thermal management of electromechanical actuation system for aircraft primary flight control surfaces

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Renewable and Clean Energy


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Graduate Renewable and Clean Energy Program


Advisor: Quinn Leland


Electromechanical Actuation Systems (EMAS) are a key component in the More Electric Aircraft (MEA). EMAS operate on a power on demand" basis reducing energy consumption typically required by hydraulic systems to maintain hydraulic pressure. Additionally, EMAS reduce system weight; lessening system maintenance and operating costs. EMAS convert electrical energy to mechanical energy via an electric rotary machine combined with a rotary to linear or rotary to rotary conversion mechanism. Electrical energy required to complete useful mechanical output depends on the efficiency of the system. Therefore, it is important to characterize electrical and thermal loads associated with an EMAS for primary flight control surfaces, such as an aileron. Electric power draw and thermal management are among the most important parameters of research in electromehcanical actuation for a primary flight control (PFC) surface. The aim of this thesis was to build an experimental EMAS system and methodology to analyze EMAS performance against realistic duty cycles and mission environments. Thermal energy in addition to the rate of change of temperature and temperature difference for temperature sensitive components was used to determine the most thermally malignant profiles and potential thermal design points. It was found that transient missions of an EMAS presented the greatest electric demand of the aircraft electric power supply system, and holding presented the greatest thermal stress of the EMAS, where the EMAS operated at 0% efficiency and all electric power was converted to heat."


Electromechanical devices Energy consumption, Electromechanical devices Thermal properties, Airplanes Control systems Energy consumption, Actuators Energy consumption, Engineering, electromechanical actuator, thermal management, EMA test apparatus, servo drive, environmental chamber, hydraulic press

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2014, author