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Ohio State a Lead Partner on NASA ULI Project

The Ohio State University, along with Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T State University, University of Maryland and University of Wisconsin was selected to participate in the $10M, five year, NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) “Electric Propulsion: Challenges and Opportunities” Project. The project addresses the “Transition to Low-Carbon Propulsion” strategic thrust, specifically the introduction of hybrid-electric propulsion in the commercial aircraft fleet. A team of experts tackles the significant technical challenges related to this goal, including development of ultra-high power density electric machines and high-voltage power electronics; design and integration of electrochemical energy storage; advanced control of onboard electrical power systems; system integration; and electric aircraft research infrastructure.

CAR’s role is to lead the design and demonstration of a high performance battery energy storage system integrated within the aircraft, which embeds redundancy and fault-tolerant functionalities, including software and hardware solutions that will provide flexibility, modularity, self-diagnosis and self-reconfiguration capabilities to the system.

“With more than 20 years of experience in the understanding of hybrid-electric and battery-electric vehicles, CAR was chosen to share our expertise and to partner with NASA on this project,” said CAR’s Director, Giorgio Rizzoni.

“The design and system integration of battery packs in commercial aviation presents very unique challenges compared to ground vehicles,” said Marcello Canova, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “We are grateful to NASA for the opportunity to contribute to this program and we look forward to exploring novel solutions that will significantly improve the safety and reliability of lithium ion batteries.”

NASA ULI System ArchitectureNASA ULI System ArchitectureNASA launched its ULI program in 2016, seeking proposals from diverse, multi-disciplinary teams that provide transformative solutions to system-level aeronautics problems. The ULI program, led by Ohio State, is coordinated by Professor Meyer Benzakein and includes participation from the Ohio State Center for High Performance Power Electronics, the Departments of Electrical and Computer and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and CAR, represented by Assistant Professor Marcello Canova, Professor Giorgio Rizzoni, and Senior Research Associate, Matilde D’Arpino.

With contributions from College of Engineering