All Systems Go for General Atomics’ New Motor

June 28, 2022

During the development of its latest aerospace motor, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (General Atomics) had to overcome common issues while developing a prototype motor, one of which is electromagnetic noise on signals. During their validation, General Atomics utilized a specialist data acquisition tool to gather accurate electrical and mechanical data, which helped the engineering team to develop validate and optimize their motor and models.

Measurements on a new aerospace motor can present significant challenges; at these power, voltage, and current levels, one of the biggest challenges is measurement noise while the motor is operating. General Atomics’ lead electrical engineer, Matthew Zolot explains: “We aim to minimize the noise coupling into the measurement signals or else we’ll have to clean the signals up while we are acquiring them or afterwards.”

To achieve this, General Atomics’ engineering team used several products supplied by measurement specialist Hottinger Brüel & Kjær (HBK) in their work on the new aerospace motor, including an eDrive system based on the Genesis GEN4tB HighSpeed data acquisition mainframe, which can transfer data to an external PC at rates of 400 MB/s using 10 Gbit Ethernet.

The eDrive can display data and store massive amounts of raw data in real-time for extended periods, which not only enables users to quickly measure efficiency - and generate efficiency maps - but also helps them understand how to improve efficiency.