Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Design and Experimental Investigation of BLDC Motor for Aircraft Electromechanical Actuator

(*) Corresponding author

Authors' affiliations



Among the electric motors used in the aircraft industry, brushless direct-current (BLDC) ones have the highest power density and efficiency. This paper presents the BLDC motor design and electromagnetic analysis for use in direct-drive aircraft electromechanical actuator. An experimental BLDC motor prototype has been made to test the output. Finite-element analysis (FEA) has been applied to finalize and investigate the characteristics of the BLDC motor design. Then, FEA output has been compared to experimental results in order to validate the latter. The high specific torque has been attained by the 12-slot, 8-pole configuration. Segmenting the rotor magnetic pole has reduced loss to eddy currents in permanent magnets, while double-layer concentric winding has reduced loss to copper and more effective dissipated heat. The BLDC motor presented herein has short response time and high rotor rotational angle precision thanks to the high torque to rotor moment-of-inertia ratio. For evaluating BLDC motor performance assessment, experiments have been run stand-alone, i.e. with no integration in a gearless EMA. Rotational speed vs torque, as well as the holding torque vs phase current at a given BLDC motor rotor position fit well the FEA output at a maximum difference of 10%. Post-test residual magnetization readings of the permanent magnets proved the BLDC motor operable.
Copyright © 2020 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


More Electric Aircraft; Electromechanical Actuator; Finite Element Analysis; Experimental Investigation; Brushless Direct Current Motor

Full Text:



P. W. Wheeler, J. C. Clare, A. Trentin, and S. Bozhko, An overview of the more electrical aircraft, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part G J. Aerosp. Eng., vol. 227, no. 4, pp. 578–585, Apr. 2013.

J. Menu, M. Nicolai, and M. Zeller, Designing Fail-Safe Architectures for Aircraft Electrical Power Systems, in 2018 AIAA/IEEE Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium, 2018.

Alekseenkov, A., Ermakov, S., Karev, V., Konstantinov, S., Naydenov, A., Obolensky, Y., Research into Dynamic Characteristics of Dual-Mode Electrohydraulic Actuator with Combined Rate Control Under Inertial Load, (2019) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 12 (5), pp. 216-221.

C. I. Hill, S. Bozhko, Tao Yang, P. Giangrande, and C. Gerada, More Electric Aircraft Electro-Mechanical Actuator Regenerated Power Management, in 2015 IEEE 24th International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE), 2015, pp. 337–342.

T. Kurtoglu, P. Bunus, J. De Kleer, and R. Rai, Simulation-Based Design of Aircraft Electrical Power Systems, Proceedings of the 8th International Modelica Conference; March 20th-22nd; Technical Univeristy; Dresden; Germany, pp. 704–712.

Yunhua Li, Hao Lu, Shengli Tian, Zongxia Jiao, and Jian-Tao Chen, Posture Control of Electromechanical-Actuator-Based Thrust Vector System for Aircraft Engine, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 59, no. 9, pp. 3561–3571, Sep. 2012.

G. Qiao, G. Liu, Z. Shi, Y. Wang, S. Ma, and T. C. Lim, A review of electromechanical actuators for More/All Electric aircraft systems, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part C J. Mech. Eng. Sci., vol. 232, no. 22, pp. 4128–4151, Nov. 2018..

T. Röben, E. Stumpf, G. Weber, and T. Grom, An Innovative All-Active Hybrid Actuation System Demonstrator, in AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, 2017.

L. Boggero, M. Fioriti, S. Corpino, and P. D. Ciampa, On-Board Systems Preliminary Sizing in an Overall Aircraft Design Environment, in 17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, 2017.

Q. Chao, J. Zhang, B. Xu, Y. Shang, Z. Jiao, and Z. Li, Load-Sensing Pump Design to Reduce Heat Generation of Electro-Hydrostatic Actuator Systems, Energies, vol. 11, no. 9, p. 2266, Aug. 2018.

M. D. L. Dalla Vedova, A. Germanà, P. C. Berri, and P. Maggiore, Model-based fault detection and identification for prognostics of electromechanical actuators using Genetic Algorithms, Aerospace, vol. 6, no. 9, Sep. 2019.

S. R. Anas, H. Jaison, A. Gopinath, M. Namboothiripad, and M. Nandakumar, Modeling and simulation analysis of a redundant electromechanical actuator based position servo system, in 2011 International Conference on Computer, Communication and Electrical Technology (ICCCET), 2011, pp. 358–363.

C. Sciascera, P. Giangrande, C. Brunson, M. Galea and C. Gerada, Optimal design of an electro-mechanical actuator for aerospace application, in 2015 Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, pp. 1903-1908, 2015.

M. Todeschi and L. Baxerres, Health Monitoring for the Flight Control EMAs, IFAC-PapersOnLine, vol. 48, no. 21, pp. 186–193, 2015.

M. A. A. Ismail, E. Balaban, and H. Spangenberg, Fault detection and classification for flight control electromechanical actuators, in 2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2016, pp. 1–10.

Dalla Vedova, M., Berri, P., Optimization Techniques for Prognostics of On-Board Electromechanical Servomechanisms Affected by Progressive Faults, (2019) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 12 (4), pp. 160-170.

Fioriti, M., Innovative Concepts of Electric System Architectures and Hybrid Propulsion System for Regional Turboprop Aircraft, (2018) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 11 (3), pp. 104-111.

Belmonte, D., Dalla Vedova, M., Maggiore, P., Prognostics of Onboard Electromechanical Actuators: a New Approach Based on Spectral Analysis Techniques, (2018) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 11 (3), pp. 96-103.

V. Prabhala, B. Baddipadiga, P. Fajri, and M. Ferdowsi, An Overview of Direct Current Distribution System Architectures & Benefits, Energies, vol. 11, no. 9, p. 2463, Sep. 2018.

V. Madonna, P. Giangrande, and M. Galea, Electrical Power Generation in Aircraft: Review, Challenges, and Opportunities, IEEE Trans. Transp. Electrif., vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 646–659, Sep. 2018.

G. Qiao, G. Liu, Z. Shi, Y. Wang, S. Ma, and T. C. Lim, A review of electromechanical actuators for More/All Electric aircraft systems, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, vol. 232, no. 22. SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 4128–4151, 01-Nov-2018.

P. G. Hamel, In-flight simulators and fly-by-wire/light demonstrators: A historical account of international aeronautical research. Springer International Publishing, 2017.

J. Fu, J.-C. Maré, and Y. Fu, Modelling and simulation of flight control electromechanical actuators with special focus on model architecting, multidisciplinary effects and power flows, Chinese J. Aeronaut., vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 47–65, Feb. 2017.

J. Li, Z. Yu, Y. Huang, and Z. Li, A review of electromechanical actuation system for more electric aircraft, in 2016 IEEE International Conference on Aircraft Utility Systems (AUS), 2016, pp. 490–497.

L. Bilyaletdinova and A. Steblinkin, Simulation of Direct Drive Electromechanical Actuator with Ballscrew, Procedia Eng., vol. 176, pp. 85–95, 2017.

V. Madonna, P. Giangrande, C. Gerada, and M. Galea, Thermal analysis of fault-tolerant electrical machines for more electric aircraft applications, J. Eng., vol. 2018, no. 13, pp. 461–467, Jan. 2018.

H. Guo, J. Xu, and X. Kuang, A novel fault tolerant permanent magnet synchronous motor with improved optimal torque control for aerospace application, Chinese J. Aeronaut., vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 535–544, Apr. 2015.

W. Cao, B. C. Mecrow, G. J. Atkinson, J. W. Bennett, and D. J. Atkinson, Overview of Electric Motor Technologies Used for More Electric Aircraft (MEA), IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 59, no. 9, pp. 3523–3531, Sep. 2012..

A. R. Matyas, K. A. Biro, and D. Fodorean, Multi-Phase Synchronous Motor Solution for Steering Applications, Prog. Electromagn. Res., vol. 131, pp. 63–80, 2012.

X. Huang, C. Gerada, A. Goodman, K. Bradley, He Zhang, and Youtong Fang, A Brushless DC motor design for an aircraft electro-hydraulic actuation system, in 2011 IEEE International Electric Machines & Drives Conference (IEMDC), 2011, pp. 1153–1158.

F. R. Ismagilov, V. E. Vavilov, and I. F. Sayakhov, Mathematical model of an aircraft electromechanical actuator with flex coupling, in 11th International IEEE Scientific and Technical Conference Dynamics of Systems, Mechanisms and Machines, Dynamics 2017 - Proceedings, 2017, vol. 2017-November, pp. 1–5.

P. Zhang, G. Y. Sizov, J. He, D. M. Ionel, and N. A. O. Demerdash, Calculation of Magnet Losses in Concentrated-Winding Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Machines Using a Computationally Efficient Finite-Element Method, IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 2524–2532, Nov. 2013.

H. Ohguchi, M. Shuto, T. Sakiyama, and A. Toba, A Study of Cogging Torque of 8-Pole 12-Slot PM Motor Based on Analysis and Experiment, IEEJ Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. 129, no. 7, pp. 667–673, 2009.

S. Spas, G. Dajaku, and D. Gerling, Eddy Current Loss Reduction in PM Traction Machines Using Two-Tooth Winding, in 2015 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference, VPPC 2015 - Proceedings, 2015, pp. 1–6.

V. Bilyi, D. Gerling, Design of high-efficiency interior permanent magnet synchronous machine with stator flux barriers and single-layer concentrated windings, in 2015 IEEE International Electric Machines & Drives Conference (IEMDC), 2015, pp. 1177–1183.

K. Atallah, J. Rens, S. Mezani, D. Howe, A novel “pseudo” directdrive brushless permanent magnet machine, IEEE Trans. Magn., vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 4349–4352, Nov. 2008.

W. Gu, X. Zhu, L. Quan, Y. Du Design and Optimization of Permanent Magnet Brushless Machines for Electric Vehicle Applications, Energies 2015, 8, p.p. 13996-14008.

C.H.T. Lee, C. Liu, K.T. Chau A Magnetless Axial-Flux Machine for Range-Extended Electric Vehicles. Energies 2014, 7, p.p.1483-1499.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2023 Praise Worthy Prize