Power converters update legacy avionics

April 03, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Power converters update legacy avionics
Astronics AES has launched a line of power converters to modernise commercial aircraft, business jets, and rotorcraft applications.

Although there have been significant improvements in engines, avionics, and structural materials to improve aircraft performance, in many cases aircraft electrical power conversion is outdated. The CorePower converters are available off-the-shelf and certified to provide an easy path for modernizing aircraft power systems, reducing weight and size in such applications. 

“Because of the long aerospace product lifecycles and qualification barriers, we see many power conversion products based on 20+ year old technology.  Advances in electronic components, as well as power conversion topologies, have created an opportunity for step change improvement in performance.  Astronics is serving this need with a new range of advanced power conversion products, based on customer input, that bring substantial advantages for aircraft power systems,” said Kellsey Justus, Vice President of Airborne Power and Control at Astronics.

Astronics recently qualified and is delivering 150A and 250A Regulated Power Conversion Units (RPCU) that performsthe function of a traditional transformer rectifier unit (TRU), but has the additional advantages of a regulated output voltage, increased power conversion efficiency, and a 30% weight reduction, compared to a traditional TRU.

A Dual Frequency Converter Unit (DFCU) provides the majority of a complete business jet cabin power system in a single box.  This converts aircraft AC power to well regulated, constant frequency power for the aircraft cabin equipment.  This approach greatly simplifies aircraft installation by including power distribution, power conversion, and wire protection functions integrated into a single unit.

To support the increased usage of variable frequency AC power in modern aircraft, the Astronics Frequency Converter Unit (FCU) provides frequency conversion for the electrical loads that require fixed frequency power.  The FCU tightly regulates output power to protect sensitive load electronics from unregulated frequency, variations in voltage and power surges.

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