The GE Aviation research center on the University of Dayton campus is receiving the first equipment for testing a complete electrical power system for an aircraft this week, the company said Monday.
The EPISCENTER, or Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center, is nearing completion for an official opening in the fall.
“Next-generation aircraft will demand up to four times more power than today for key functions and systems,” said Vic Bonneau, president of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. The center will handle aircraft energy management, climate control, radars and sensors, silicon carbide-based power conversion and electric actuation, to name a few, he added.
GE said the center will be “the intellectual heart and soul” of its electrical power business and employ 150 to 200 researchers in the next five years, depending on research programs. The most recent equipment delivery includes drive-stands, vibe tables and a temperature altitude chamber.
“By expanding our electrical power modeling and simulation capability, this will allow us, with our customers, to predict how aircraft and hybrid vehicle electrical systems will perform and correct problems before hardware is built. This significantly decreases development time and improves on-time delivery of new aircraft,” Bonneau said.
The new $51 million center will position GE to pursue business for the next generation of planes, many unmanned aerial vehicles, the company said. GE provides electrical power and distribution for such UAVs as the Global Hawk.