This paper discusses the multi physics modeling of an electric aircraft with distributed electric propulsion. Mathematical models for the aircraft body, propellers, propulsive motors, power electronics inverters, and batteries are developed. Two types of models are proposed for the power electronics inverters and electric machines, namely, average models which allow study of the aircraft performance under a specified mission profile, and detailed switching models used for transient examination. A new simulation framework was developed to allow communication between these two types of models so that losses and thermal stresses in the power electronics converters can be estimated especially during takeoff, landing, and other extreme conditions. Case studies are presented for an example aircraft based on the ratings and configuration of X-57 Maxwell, NASA's first all-electric distributed electric propulsion electric aircraft, which em.ploys fourteen propellers driven by synchronous electric motors.

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Conference Proceeding

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in 2019 IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo (ITEC).

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The document available for download is the authors’ manuscript version that is accepted for publication. The final published version is copyrighted by IEEE and is available as: D. Lawhorn, V. Rallabandi, and D. M. Ionel, “Electric Aircraft System Co-simulation Including Body, Propeller, Propulsion, and Energy Storage Models,” ITEC, 2019, 5p.

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Funding Information

The research described in this paper is based upon work supported by NASA Kentucky under NASA award No: KYGF-19-051.