June 17, 2013
$51M R & D Center will focus on advanced power starter/generation, conversion, and distribution technologies for civil and military applications.
Le Bourget, France – GE Aviation's Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center (EPISCENTER) is receiving the test equipment this week that will enable the testing of the complete electrical power system in an actual copper-bird aircraft.
The center is nearing completion for the official opening this fall of the 138,000-square-foot facility, which includes a four-story 50,000-square-foot office building connected to an 88,000-square-foot world-class electrical power laboratory.
"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. "This center will yield system-level advantages so that our customers can more rapidly benefit from this trend in energy management, climate control, radars and sensors, silicon carbide-based power conversion and electric actuation, to name a few."
The EPISCENTER will be "the intellectual heart and soul" of GE's electrical power business with potentially 150 to 200 researchers in the next five years depending on future research programs. The center is located on eight acres on River Park Drive on the University of Dayton campus in Dayton, Ohio.
The most recent equipment delivery includes drive-stands, vibe tables and a temperature altitude chamber. The drive stands include dynamic engine simulation. One drive stand pair is configurable for up to 3,000 horsepower testing of very large generation equipment.
Bonneau continued, "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."
The new $51 million research & development center will position GE to pursue business for the next generation of planes, many of which will be unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). GE is a big player in this emerging market, providing electrical power and distribution for such UAVs as the Global Hawk.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.