Structural batteries challenges for emerging technologies in aviation

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Di, Mauro G.
Guida, M.
Olivares, Gerardo
Gomez, L.M.
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Airworthiness Requirements; Certification by Analysis; Multifunctional Materials; Structural Batteries
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Di Mauro, G., Guida, M., Olivares, G., Gomez, L.M. Structural batteries challenges for emerging technologies in aviation. (2023). Materials Research Proceedings, 37, pp. 399-403. DOI: 10.21741/9781644902813-88

In a global context where modern societies need to move towards greater environmental sustainability, ambitious targets to limit pollutant emissions and combat climate change have been set out. Concerning the aviation sector, research centers and industries are carrying out new aircraft designs with increased use of electrical energy onboard aircraft both for non-propulsive and propulsive purposes, leading to the concepts of More Electric Aircraft (MEA), Hybrid Electric Aircraft (HEA) and All-Electric Aircraft (AEA). Despite the expected flight emissions reduction, new potential air transportation missions, safer flights, and enhanced design flexibility, there are some drawbacks hindering the trend to HEA solutions, strictly bounded to the limited performance of traditional battery systems. The reference is to low energy and power densities, which impact on aircraft weight and flight performances. A new technology, namely structural battery, combining energy storage and load-bearing capacity in multifunctional material structures, is now under investigation since capable to mitigate or even eliminate barriers to the electrification of air transport sector. Although, the deployment of this technology raises relevant questions regarding airworthiness requirements, which need to be applied when considering such multifunctional materials. The purpose of the presented activity is to take a step towards the definition of aircraft certification requirements when dealing with structural batteries, considering them both as a structure and as a battery, to maintain unchanged or even improve the level of safety in all normal and emergency conditions.

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27th Congress of the Italian Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIDAA 2023
4 September 2023 - 7 September 2023
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