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Overview of Electric Motor Technologies Used for More Electric Aircraft (MEA)

Article  in  IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics · September 2012

DOI: 10.1109/TIE.2011.2165453 · Source: IEEE Xplore

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5 authors, including:

Wenping Cao B.C. Mecrow

Aston University Newcastle University


Glynn J Atkinson
Newcastle University


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Overview of Electric Motor Technologies Used for

More Electric Aircraft (MEA)
Wenping Cao, Senior Member, IEEE, Barrie C. Mecrow, Member, IEEE, Glynn J. Atkinson, Member, IEEE,
John W. Bennett, and David J. Atkinson

Abstract—This paper presents an overview of motor drive ble of converting electrical power to drive actuators, pumps,
technologies used for safety-critical aerospace applications, with compressors, and other subsystems at variable speeds. Used in
a particular focus placed on the choice of candidate machines conjunction with advanced power electronics and control strate-
and their drive topologies. Aircraft applications demand high
reliability, high availability, and high power density while aiming gies [2], electric drives can offer gains in overall efficiency,
to reduce weight, complexity, fuel consumption, operational costs, weight saving, and cost effectiveness, while meeting reliability
and environmental impact. New electric driven systems can meet requirements. On this basis, the ultimate goal for the aircraft
these requirements and also provide significant technical and industry is to achieve the “all electric aircraft” (AEA), migrat-
economic improvements over conventional mechanical, hydraulic, ing all power systems to electrical power. It is estimated that an
or pneumatic systems. Fault-tolerant motor drives can be achieved
by partitioning and redundancy through the use of multichannel AEA can reduce aircraft weight by 10% and fuel consumption
three-phase systems or multiple single-phase modules. Analytical by 9% [3]. Therefore, the Airbus A380 and next-generation
methods are adopted to compare caged induction, reluctance, and Boeing 787 airplanes feature electrically powered actuators
PM motor technologies and their relative merits. The analysis [4]: the Airbus A380 has new variable frequency 115 V
suggests that the dual (or triple) three-phase PMAC motor drive alternating current (ac) power supplies, whereas the Boeing 787
may be a favored choice for general aerospace applications, strik-
ing a balance between necessary redundancy and undue complex- has ±270 V direct current (dc) power distribution buses.
ity, while maintaining a balanced operation following a failure. Safety-critical aircraft applications are understandably con-
The modular single-phase approach offers a good compromise servative in implementing new ideas and technologies. For
between size and complexity but suffers from high total harmonic some time, there has been a trend in the aerospace industry to
distortion of the supply and high torque ripple when faulted. increase the proliferation of electric control and drives in air-
For each specific aircraft application, a parametrical optimization
of the suitable motor configuration is needed through a coupled craft in an incremental fashion. Mechanically driven actuators
electromagnetic and thermal analysis, and should be verified by have been gradually replaced by hydraulic actuators with elec-
finite-element analysis. tronic servo valve control—“electro hydraulic actuation.” In the
Index Terms—Actuators, aerospace industry, brushless PM mo- A380, electro-hydrostatic actuators provide hydraulic actuation
tors, fault tolerance, more electric aircraft, multiphase machines, from a localized pump and reservoir, allowing operation from
reliability, safety-critical drives, variable speed drives. an electrical power supply. This “more electric” progression
has allowed a reduction in mechanical linkages and latterly
I. I NTRODUCTION hydraulic power supply networks, simplifying maintenance and
reducing weight. For example, electric engine fuel pumps, in
A IR PASSENGER traffic has increased at an annual rate of
9% since the 1960s [1] and has brought the world closer
to a global village. However, today’s civil air transport remains
place of hydraulic, have been recognized to provide benefits
in system efficiency, weight and size, and flexibility in speed
control [5]. These stepwise goals are presently termed the
costly and accounts for 2% of the man-made CO2 emissions
“more electric aircraft” (MEA).
[1]. As a result, both the aircraft operators and the aerospace
industry are expected to offer continuous improvements in
safety, capability, and availability while reducing costs, noise, II. H ISTORY OF E LECTRIC A IRCRAFT
and CO2 emissions. To meet these expectations, aerospace sys-
The concept of electric actuation in aircraft is far from new.
tems are undergoing a long-term transition from using mechan-
In 1916, electrical actuation of aircraft was first proposed in
ical, hydraulic, and pneumatic power systems toward globally
[6]. During the Second World War, the British “V” bombers
optimized electrical systems. Electric motor drives are capa-
used electrical power for primary flight control and other ac-
tuation functions [7]. Nevertheless, as mechanical, hydraulic,
Manuscript received October 30, 2010; revised May 9, 2011; accepted
July 21, 2011. Date of publication August 18, 2011; date of current version
and pneumatic drives reached technical maturity and received
April 13, 2012. wide acceptance, the standard drives for the secondary power
The authors are with the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer became [7]:
Engineering, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU Newcastle upon Type,
U.K. (e-mail:; barrie.mecrow@newcastle. • Hydraulics: for most actuation functions (e.g., landing;;; dave.atkinson@ gear, braking, and flight control systems). • Pneumatics: for pressurization, de-icing, and air-
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at conditioning.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIE.2011.2165453 • Electrical power: for avionics and utility functions.
0278-0046/$26.00 © 2011 IEEE


In the late 1970s, single-phase electric power began to Fig. 1. Aircraft flight control surfaces.
emerge as a secondary power but did not gain ground at
the time. In the 1980s, the US initiated several programs to
develop electrical actuation technologies for civil and military
aircraft applications. This utilized technical advances made in
permanent magnets (PMs), power semiconductor materials, and
control strategies, enabling electric drives to show superiority in
safety-critical operation. Despite the long history of discussion,
the terms “all-electric airplane” and “all-electric aircraft” were
formally coined in [8]–[11], which were aimed to replace all
secondary alternative drives by electrical counterparts. How-
ever, this represented too radical-a-change to the aircraft in-
dustry, so the US Air Force embarked on an initiative called
“MEA” in the 1990s [12], promoting electric drives in small
steps. Examples of MEA motor drive applications are given in
Table I [12]. Fig. 2. Prototype flap actuator on the test rig.
In recent times, a great deal of effort has been directed toward
electric drive approaches [1], [4], [7], [12], [13], and the con- specific application required. e.g., for fault-tolerant actuators,
cept of the MEA has been gaining in popularity. Nonetheless, emphasis is placed on how to achieve the full torque at all speed
market penetration is slow as new systems have to attain system and angles (i.e., torque ripple issues) while, for fuel pumps, it is
reliability requirements and prove airworthiness. on the mean pump drag torque which determines the required
torque/speed profile.
The key areas for consideration of safety-critical drives in A. Flight Surface Control Actuation
aircraft are engine generators, flight surface actuators, engine The flap and slat surfaces on the wings of the aircraft (Fig. 1)
fuel pumps, and landing gear nose wheel steering systems. In are required to be controlled for lift purposes when taking off
the case of generators, the concept of “more electric engines” is and landing. Existing commercial aircraft generally use two
suggested to integrate the electric generators into the gas turbine hydraulic motors, mechanically summed via a shaft running
engine. This paper focuses only on the actuators, engine pumps the length of the wing span. The relative position of all flaps
and landing gear which involve electric motor technologies. is monitored since their symmetry across both wings is critical
In general, electrical systems comprise sensors, electric mo- to flight controllability. If a flap asymmetry occurs or a fuel
tors, and power electronics. As a whole, they should provide the pump fails, all the flaps are locked in position to prevent further
required capability for an aircraft application, which are based instability.
on the following factors [14]: Replacing these hydro-mechanical systems with electrical
• reliability; drives in the form of individual actuators at each flap surface
• weight; can provide greater functionality [15] and eliminate the need
• power density; for centralized hydraulic pumps [16], shafting, pipework, and
• efficiency; other ancillaries, potentially improving system reliability, main-
• control features and complexity; tainability, and mass.
• complexity of design and fabrication; A full scale flap actuator has been built and demonstrated
• thermal robustness; on a test rig (Fig. 2). It is designed to deliver 3.4 Nm at
• size; 10 krpm into 11800:1 gearing, while synchronizing the flaps
• cost. to an accuracy of greater than 0.25% of their full travel during
When optimizing an electric system, these criteria are often retraction and 0.5% at all other times. The electric drive motor
in conflict so that a tradeoff is always in need to match the is a three-phase permanent magnet ac (PMAC) motor with an

Fig. 3. Example of the aircraft power system.

Fig. 4. A 100 kW fault-tolerant fuel pump motor.

Fig. 5. Schematic of a nose wheel steering topology.

overrating factor of 50% to enable continued operation when
faulted. C. Landing Gear Nose Wheel Steering System
Currently, commercial aircraft landing gear is hydraulically
driven. A minimum turn-around time is required to allow the
B. Engine Fuel Pump hydraulic fluid to cool down, due to its proximity to the brakes.
In civil aircraft, mechanical power is extracted from the A project demonstrating an electrical system in place of the
propulsion engine shaft and is then transmitted to the fuel pump hydraulic system to improve the safety of the aircraft [17] is
via an engine gearbox. This is shown in Fig. 3 [12] in detail. En- shown in Fig. 5. Fault tolerance is implemented through the
gine fuel pumps consist of low-pressure transfer pumps (below use of a dual three-phase PM motor within a single casing,
5000 psi) and high-pressure fuel pumps (5000 psi or above). fed with a standard ±270 V dc supply with a rated load of
Traditionally, the former are electrically driven and the latter 12 Nm at a speed of 1000 rpm. The nose wheel steering is
are mechanically (geared) and hydraulically driven. It is the only used during taxiing, and thus its safety requirements are
latter that are in need of electrification to save space, increase less strict. The two drive systems operate simultaneously in an
efficiency, and reduce maintenance requirements. Importantly, “active-active” configuration under the healthy condition while
as opposed to the engine-speed-related mechanical approach, enabling a power-off clutch to “free to castor” during landing
electrically driven fuel pumps provide variable-speed solutions and taking off; and in an “active-standby” configuration when
and can dynamically control the fuel flow rate to match the faulted.
actual demand, reducing the fuel consumption, operational, and
maintenance costs.
A fault-tolerant fuel pump motor drive has been prototyped
(Fig. 4). This is a four-phase, 30 krpm, 100 kW surface- Electrical motors are a key component in any electrical drive
mounted PMAC motor with an overrating factor of 1/3. It is system where aerospace applications place specific stringent
capable of handling a single electrical fault occurrence. requirements (from standards, regulations, and a set of codes)

around the airgap, similar to that of induction motors, which

produces strong mutual coupling between phases and limits its
application in aircraft due to poor fault tolerance.
On the contrary, the switched reluctance (SR) motor has been
popular [27], [30]–[32], [34] in direct drive applications and is
now making inroads into aerospace prototypes [28], [29], [38],
[40], [41] because of its natural fault tolerance capability. The
SR motor has salient poles on both the stator and rotor, and
inherently independent phase windings. Since unipolar exci-
tation currents are used, a separate simple converter topology
Fig. 6. Machine options for the MEA drive system. (two switches per phase) is commonly adopted, giving further
independence between phases. If a short circuit occurs on one
for reliability and power density on the electrical machine phase, the SR motor can still function with a proportionally
employed. In view of machine design for safety-critical appli- reduced mean torque capability. An additional benefit of the
cations, the following criteria should also be satisfied [1], [18]: SR motor lies in the series connection of the converter phase-
• electrical, mechanical, magnetic, and thermal isolation leg switches with the motor phase winding, which eliminates
between lanes; shoot-through faults caused by the converter switches.
• high torque/weight ratio and high torque/ampere ratio; In the literature, a four-phase 8/6 SR topology is particularly
• high value of the phase inductance (for PM motors); favored for aerospace applications [40], [41] and commonly
• high efficiency throughout the full speed range. regarded as a good compromise between fault tolerance and
electrical machines with brushes or commutators are not con- complexity. However, with one of the four phases faulted, it
sidered because of their high maintenance requirements, low will not be possible to develop full torque at all rotor positions,
torque density, and lack of reliability. Accordingly, the feasible which causes problems for many actuation applications.
candidate machines are limited to induction, reluctance, and Because both magnetizing current and torque-producing cur-
PM motors, as shown in Fig. 6. rent must be supplied by the stator windings, SR motors are
approximately 50% larger than an equivalent PM motor [29].
There is some debate as to whether SR motors can be made
A. Induction Motors [19]–[26]
smaller than induction motors of similar capability. SR motors
Squirrel-cage induction motors are renowned for their sim- certainly have much smaller end windings, less coupling be-
plicity, ruggedness, cheapness, and reliability so that they are tween phases, and lower rotor loss, which has generally resulted
used extensively in industry. However, mutual coupling be- in them being regarded as preferential to induction machines for
tween all phases and the rotor makes it virtually impossible to fault-tolerant aerospace applications.
split the motor into magnetically isolated modules.
In the literature, several multiphase induction motor drives
[22], [23], [26] have been developed in a modular configuration,
C. Permanent Magnet Motors [17], [18], [42]–[62]
which reduces the interphase electrical and magnetic couplings
and improves their fault tolerance to some extent. However, Broadly, PMAC motors can be used as a collective name to
the penalty is the necessity for more complicated control tech- cover all brushless ac synchronous PM motors, including brush-
niques which may be difficult to implement and synchronize, less dc and brushless ac fed with rectangular (or trapezoidal)
owing to the safety requirement of separate control electronics and sinusoidal currents, respectively. They are characterized
and processing for each phase. Electric motors have been shown with high power density and efficiency, high torque/inertia
to be capable of continued operation following an open-circuit and torque/volume ratios, and improved reliability. In essence,
failure, but there does not yet appear to be designs capable of brushless dc and brushless ac motors are identical in hardware
operating with a sustained short-circuit. configuration but fed with different waveforms of supply which
can be achieved by modifying control strategy in software.
Thereby, there is no further need to differentiate the two in the
B. Reluctance Motors [27]–[41]
The reluctance motor has a robust rotor structure which uses PM motors can be utilized in several ways with respect to
neither windings nor PMs and which is capable of withstanding the rotor PM arrangements. Generally, surface-mounted PM
large thermal or mechanical stresses. Therefore, it becomes an motors yield a small rotor diameter with low inertia (thus good
ideal machine for low-cost applications. dynamic performance), whereas interior permanent magnet
With the synchronous reluctance motor, rotor saliency is motors provide higher per unit inductances and thus field weak-
introduced either by salient poles or by adding internal flux bar- ening capability [43]. Designs for fault tolerance have generally
riers which guide the magnetic flux along the direct axis. Once combined deep PMs and a single-layer concentrated winding
the rotor operates at synchronous speed, there is no electromo- topology [18], [49], [50] to minimize mutual inductance. For
tive force (emf) induced in the rotor so that the motor can be example, modular wound motors in [38], [48] can achieve
more efficient than induction motors owing to the elimination physical, electrical, magnetic, and thermal isolation between
of rotor joule loss. Stator windings are sinusoidally distributed phase windings.



While it is well accepted that PMAC motors provide higher

torque density than reluctance and induction motors, they are
less intrinsically fault tolerant. In conventional PM machine buses) three-phase lanes for fan-type loads of PM machines will
topologies, currents can flow in a failed lane, even when the provide the best option.
lane is disconnected from the electrical supply, because of the The principal electromagnetic faults within the machine are
continuing presence of the magnet-induced back emf. However, winding open-circuits, winding short-circuits within a phase or
with careful parameter selection, they can survive such a fault at the terminals. In aircraft environments, the typical electrical
[17]–[19], and are generally the preferred choice. failure is a power switch fault, resulting in a partial short-circuit.
Faults in the power converter can lead to an effective short- This has a similar failure rate to that of a digital signal processor
circuit at the terminals of the machine. Through appropriate or a control signal.
choice of the PM motor inductance the resulting current can Aerospace regulations stipulate that electrical faults should
be limited to no more than rated current. Nonetheless, at low not result in an in-flight shut-down or a loss of thrust control.
speed, this results in significant drag torque. The remaining That is, a single failure should not cause any reduction in rated
healthy phases must be overrated to produce both the load torque or power output in critical components (thus overrating
torque and this drag torque. is needed). Neither must the fault propagate and disable a power
In short, improved PMAC motors can offer the smallest supply bus. The fault-tolerant motor drive must be able to detect
solution to actuation requirements but the management of faults a power device or machine winding fault and respond to it
is more complex than in SR machines. rapidly by open circuiting the faulted phase upon an open-
A performance comparison of the three motor technologies circuit fault or short circuiting the faulted phase upon an short-
for aerospace applications is given in Table II. circuit winding fault.
Because of the dominance of PM machines in recent
aerospace research and development, the following section will
consider PMAC motors only. B. Choice of the Electrical Power Source
Historically, 400 Hz, fixed frequency 115/200 V ac power has
V. M OTOR D RIVE C ONSIDERATIONS been utilized in aerospace applications; however, this is attained
The reliability of a motor drive is of paramount importance by a constant speed drive (CSD), a mechanical device providing
for MEA. It is usually measured by a mean time between failure a constant speed generator input from a variable engine speed.
in units of “flight hours” and can be enhanced by optimizing This has drawbacks in terms of reliability, weight [64], and cost.
supply power and motor drives. Aircraft electric power system architectures are continuing to
evolve. In a US program named “totally integrated more electric
systems” [13], the proposed electric powers were dc (270 V),
A. Failure Probabilities
fixed-frequency ac (115 V), or variable-frequency ac (115 V or
Failure rates gathered from three-phase electric motors are 230 V). 270 V dc electric power has been primarily adopted
tabulated in Table III. It can be seen that electronic faults in military aircraft and has proven advantages. However, the
are more likely to occur than electrical faults and that power simplest form of generation is to connect the generator directly
converters and power supplies are among the highest failure to the engine, eliminating the CSD and resulting in ac power
possibilities. Again, it is favorable to have multiple lanes of of varying frequency, typically in the range 350–800 Hz. In
power with each supplied from a separate power bus and con- principle, the use of 230 V ac is better than 115 V ac in
trolled by a separate processor. Because a multiple single-phase terms of reduced power losses and cable mass, however it may
drive calls for more processors (and filters) than an equivalent increase the likelihood of corona discharge [13], which poses
three-phase system, it is thus less appealing. Moreover, while some challenges to the power system design.
single-phase lanes cannot meet total harmonic distortion (THD) The number of power supplies available is of most impor-
requirements (≤ 14%) [63] following a lane failure, the use of tance to actuator and pump motor drive architectures and will
multiple (double or triple depending on the availability of power be considered in the following discussion.

C. Modular Single-Phase Approach

When designing any fault-tolerant aerospace drive, the cost
and maintenance penalties of overly complex systems must be
considered. With each lane of a fault-tolerant drive requiring
a separate power supply it must be noted that there are only
a finite number of power buses and control channels available
on a commercial aircraft. For instance, the A380 is fitted with
three ac supply buses for the wing actuation systems so that
fitting an electromechanical actuator with a fault-tolerant drive
of four or more lanes would result in significant penalties for the
additional supply generation, cabling and also for the control
computer complexity.
To improve fault tolerance, it would be ideal to have a
multiple of independent single-phase drives [19], [44], [47],
[52] or a multiple of independent three-phase drives [50], [62].
In the former case, each phase should have its own position and
current sensors for control purposes.
Where multiple single-phase lanes are chosen, PM motor
drives are designed to have multiple, isolated, single-phase
windings, each driven by independent H-bridge power convert-
ers [18], [53], as shown in Fig. 7(a).
In theory, a high number of single-phase lanes may be
desired in terms of providing a high level of redundancy for
fault tolerance. However, for integrated systems in modular
configurations, the cost and complexity also increase in propor-
tion with phase count. Three-phase [24], [50], [54], four-phase
[18], [47], five-phase [52], [55], [56], and six-phase [38], [52],
[57], [58] PM motor drives, utilizing the modular single phase
approach, have all been previously reported for safety-critical
applications. A system of more than five phases is generally
considered undesirable because it becomes overly complex and
expensive, actually increasing the risk of a single lane failure.
Two-phase options are also precluded because, in the event of
one phase lane failing, the other phase lane cannot produce
torque at all rotor positions. As a result, the reasonable choice
of phase numbers is 3, 4, or 5. Motors with odd phase num-
bers have higher torque ripple frequency and lower amplitude
characteristics [65], while motors with an even phase number
Fig. 7. Schematic of two fault-tolerant approaches using the same number of
may be beneficial in compensating for unbalanced magnetic switching devices. (a) Three single-phase modular configuration and (b) dual
pull when a phase is disabled [51]. three-phase configuration.
In reference [51], a system is developed to optimize the
phase number, shown in Fig. 8, which uses the total loss
dual three-phase drive configuration in comparison with a three
as a refinement parameter. It is suggested that a five-phase
single-phase configuration.
motor may produce the lowest copper loss and total loss,
Fig. 9 shows another comparison of the number of power
followed by four-phase and seven-phase motors. Note that the
switches and overall kVA/kW ratio of fault-tolerant topolo-
optimization did not incorporate complexity and system cost,
gies for three-phase and modular single-phase systems. The
thus overestimating the benefits of motors with higher phase
kVA/kW ratio indicates the quantity of power electronic devices
for a fixed power output. As the number of modules increases
In practice, the optimal phase number may differ from appli-
for modular single-phase systems, the overall size of the fault-
cation to application due to the varying subsystem requirements
tolerant drive tends to decrease but the component count in-
and refinement criteria.
creases. Higher module numbers will show a leveling-out of
drive size, but an ever-increasing component count. The bar of
the two-phase (1 + 1) motor represents infinity as this motor
D. Multichannel Three-Phase Approach
will not provide full torque at standstill from one phase and
In this configuration, PM motors with multiple isolated sets hence is not a feasible actuator motor.
of three-phase windings are each driven by independent con- Motors with three-phase modules do not suffer from un-
ventional three-phase power converters. See Fig. 7(b) for a balanced torque dips when one lane fails, but for a given

gain in-service experience. At this stage, the MEA represents

an evolutionary implementation of the all-electric drive in
aerospace systems and has shown its popularity.
This paper has presented an overview of electric motor
technologies used for MEA with a comparison of relative merits
and disadvantages of caged induction, SR, and PM motor drives
using analytical methods.
When optimizing the motor drive design, fault tolerance,
availability, and system complexity should be taken into ac-
count, and there is always a tradeoff between necessary re-
dundancy and additional complexity. Furthermore, it is still
necessary to optimize an individual machine drive system for
a specific aerospace application using a quantitative approach,
since machine performance depends upon the associated drive
subsystem, and issues such as reliability and robustness are
difficult to qualify.
In terms of motor drive configurations, the choice is dictated
primarily by the power supplies. A separate power supply is
required for each independent lane of a fault-tolerant drive and
consequently the number of lanes should not exceed the number
Fig. 8. Methodology for optimizing the phase number. of power buses. The use of three-phase lanes is preferred to
single-phase lanes because single-phase lane failures introduce
torque ripple and impose unacceptably high THD on the power

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[62] M. Barcaro, N. Bianchi, and F. Magnussen, “Analysis and tests of a dual Glynn J. Atkinson (M’03) received the engineering
three-phase 12-slot 10-pole permanent-magnet motor,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Doctorate in fault-tolerant machines for aerospace
Appl., vol. 46, no. 6, pp. 2355–2362, Nov./Dec. 2010. applications from Newcastle University, Newcastle
[63] Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), “DO-160 version upon Tyne, U.K., in 2005.
F: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equip- He is currently with Newcastle University where
ment,” Aviation industry standards and procedures document, pp.16–41, he was a Research Associate in the Power Electron-
Dec. 2007. ics, Machines, and Drives Group in the area of 3-D
[64] H. Zhang, F. Mollet, C. Saudemont, and B. Robyns, “Experimental val- machine topologies using soft magnetic composites
idation of energy storage system management strategies for a local dc and is currently a Lecturer within the group, leading
distribution system of more electric aircraft,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., research into PM machine topologies for use in trac-
vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 3905–3916, Dec. 2010. tion applications.
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John W. Bennett received the Ph.D. degree in fault-
tolerant electric actuators from Newcastle Univer-
sity, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., in 2010.
Wenping Cao (M’05–SM’11) received the Ph.D. de-
Since 2001, he has been with Newcastle Uni-
gree in electrical machines and drives from the Uni-
versity where he was a Research Associate and is
versity of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K., in 2004.
currently a Senior Research Associate. He has de-
He is currently a Lecturer with Newcastle Uni-
veloped power electronic drives for a number of
versity, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. His research
university and industrial research projects, including
interests are energy efficiency improvements in the
propulsion for unmanned aerial vehicles and fault-
design, operation, and repair of electric machines and
tolerant actuators for aircraft high-lift surfaces and
nose-wheel steering.
Dr. Cao is a member of the Institution of Engineer-
ing and Technology.

David J. Atkinson received the Ph.D. degree with

Barrie C. Mecrow (M’98) received the Ph.D. degree research into the use of Kalman-filter-based esti-
from Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, mation on induction-motor vector-controlled drives,
U.K., in 1987, for research work on 3-D eddy current from Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne,
computation applied to turbogenerators. U.K., in 1991.
He was a turbogenerator design engineer with He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the
NEI Parsons, England, until 1987. Since then, he Power Electronics, Drives, and Machines Group,
has been with Newcastle University where he was Newcastle University. His research interests include
a Lecturer and is currently a Professor of Electrical electrical drive systems, real-time estimation and
Power engineering. He is involved in a range of re- control, power electronics, and wind power gen-
search projects, including fault-tolerant drives, eration. His current research projects involvements
high-performance PM machines, and novel include sensorless vector drives, fault-tolerant drives, and cascade induction
switched-reluctance drives. generators.

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