NASA SBIR 2021-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Number:          21-1- A1.06-2027
Subtopic Title:
      Vertical Lift Technology and Urban Air Mobility
Proposal Title:
      Integrated magnetics, insulation, and cooling architecture for robust eVTOL motors

Small Business Concern

Hinetics, LLC
60 Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 239-1628                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Dongsu Lee
60 Hazelwood Drive, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-6495                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Dr. Jonathon Schuh
60 Hazelwood Drive, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 717-1991                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 2
End: 3
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

To address the NASA need for advanced technologies that will improve the safety and reliability of the electrical power system/powertrain of UAM vehicles, specifically advancements in thermal management technologies for electric motor systems, Hinetics proposes to develop a new Integrated Magnetics, Insulation and Cooling Architecture (MAGICA) that can help break the trade-off between power density and reliability, and obtain robust, high power motors that can be produced in high volume. This approach reduces electro-thermal stresses at the windings, which are traditionally viewed as the most vulnerable sub-system in motors for electric aircraft. The significantly improved dielectric protection extends the SOA on several fronts including thermal degradation, insulation quality, and partial discharge, preventing winding failure while retaining high power density and system-level benefits. The system offers enhanced electro-thermal performance with the unique infusion of cooling and magnetics, alleviating the iron yoke as a thermal bottleneck, reducing ΔT between the heatsink and coils, and creating sufficient thermal headroom to enhance the coil insulation without degrading motor performance. Combined with modular manufacturing and pre-qualification of the coil assembly offering independent quality assurance, this provides a path to meet NASA requirements for high reliability and safety in cost-effective, mass production.


During Phase I, HINETICS will demonstrate the feasibility of MAGICA through a combination of computer modeling, design optimization, and fabrication and test of a laboratory prototype, which will reduce development risk in Phase II. MAGICA is currently at TRL 2; in Phase II, HINETICS plans to expand the capabilities of the MAGICA into a functional motor prototype at TRL 6. The demonstrated results will offer NASA capability to improve motor performance while prioritizing utmost reliability.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

When complete, MAGICA will help improve the safety and reliability of the electrical motors used in UAM powertrains. Hinetics has developed a series of machines ranging from the 20-500 kW class, relevant to the NASA Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project’s concept vehicles, to MW-class high speed machines for the Electrified Aircraft Propulsion program within ARMD. These motors can be readily retrofitted with MAGICA to increase reliability as we scale to volume production. 

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

MAGICA enables reliable, safe operation of high power UAM aircraft. This will have uses for Government applications such as civil and military disaster relief, search and rescue, medical evacuation, firefighting, and commercial applications such as urban air mobility and cargo transport. With little alteration, MAGICA will also be capable of motors for commercial hybrid-electric regional aircraft.

Duration:     6

Form Generated on 04/06/2021 12:14:35