Digital Hydraulic Actuators: An Alternative for Aircraft Control Surfaces
Keywords:Digital hydraulics, Digital hydraulic pump, Efficiency, Variable speed, Dynamic simulation
In the last decades, digital hydraulics has emerged as a new alternative for the development of more efficient hydraulic systems, where the effects of throttling losses and internal leakages are minimized through the use of conventional hydraulic components associated in parallel or through switching hydraulics. In the aviation industry, hydraulic systems are commonly applied to control highly relevant systems, such as landing gear and flight control surfaces. In this context, digital hydraulics can be used as an alternative solution to improve the energy efficiency of aircraft hydraulic systems. Based on that, this paper aims to present three new hydraulic actuators for application on aircraft flight control surfaces using digital hydraulics. The actuators are being studied by the Laboratory of Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems - LASHIP of the Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC and are called Digital Hydraulic Actuator - DHA, Digital Electro Hydrostatic Actuator - DEHA and Variable Speed Digital Electro Hydrostatic Actuator - VSDEHA. The simulation results show that the actuators developed can be 23 times more efficient than conventional servo-hydraulic actuators, with equivalent dynamic characteristics, demonstrating the potential for application of these new actuators in aeronautical systems.
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