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Development of a Solid State Electrical Distribution System

Report Number: ASD TDR 63-805
Author: R. N. Stock and R. W. Powell
Corporate Author: Alexandria Division American Machine and Foundry Company
Laboratory: AF Aero-Propulsion Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1963-10
Pages: 270
Contract: AF 33(657)-8688
Project: 8128
Task: 812806
AD Number: AD0422380

This report describes an engineering study and development effort to produce efficient and practical solid state transmission links (i.e., electrical power control and distribution systems.) They were to be suitable for advanced aerospace vehicles and to have higher reliability than the conventional electromechanical transmission links used in present-day aircraft.

Two transmission links of the F-106B were re-designed as solid state systems to demonstrate the feasibility of solid state transmission links. Components were not replaced on a one-for-one basis. Instead, an overall functional analysis was made and then the logic system was designed so that solid state devices would be employed most efficiently. In particular, control and protection functions were performed by a single power switch. Also, all logic was performed at a low level. However, the operational functions of the original systems were retained.

The solid state systems used controlled rectifiers and power transistors as handling devices. Control circuits were implemented with T. I. Solid Circuits, the G. E. silicon controlled switch (3N60), the unijunction transistor (2N491B), a compound transistor (2N2223), and a complementary pair of transistors (2N718/2N722). An interesting aspect of the systems was that relatively few types of devices were needed to implement a variety of functions. These functions included 4 areas: (1) power switches; (2) control circuits; (3) power supplies; and (4) circuit breakers.

The solid state systems were tested over the temperature range of -55 degrees to +80 degrees C. Results were good; however, some alternate circuits were designed after the satisfactory completion of system tests. This was done because it became apparent that significant improvements could be made with relatively little effort. For example, the original dc overload circuit contained 42 parts and exhibited a trip current variation of 20% over the temperature range of -55 degrees to +80 degrees C; the alternate dc overload circuit contained 23 parts and exhibited a trip current variation of only 1% over the same temperature range.

It was concluded that definite advantages can be provided by the application of solid state techniques to transmission links for advanced aerospace vehicles. However, 2 key problems are voltage transients and power switch cooling. By virtue of the techniques developed, applied, and then clearly presented in the design manual, this program furnished a sound basis for future development of operational solid state transmission links for advanced aerospace vehicles.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
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