ROLLS SMITHS Engine Controls (RoSEC) is developing a next-generation electronic-engine-control (EEC) unit, which, it claims, will offer a 20% improvement in "functionality" and weigh significantly less than the device it has already completed for the BMW Rolls-Royce BR710 engine.
Functionality is defined as the number of monitoring and control tasks that the EEC, which lies at the heart of a power plant's full-authority digital engine-control (FADEC), can perform.
"We can reduce the size of the EEC using the latest technology," says Dave Goldney, marketing manager at RoSEC, a joint-venture company between Rolls Royce and Smiths Industries. Goldney reveals that the ultimate target is to develop by around 2000 a unit weighing just 5.45kg.
RoSEC's so-called EEC2000 concept takes the work already performed by Smiths under R-R's Advanced Low Pressure Systems/ Advanced Civil Core Demonstrator (ALPS/ACCORD) programme a stage further.
Although the desired level of functionality has already been achieved under the ALPS/ ACCORD work, Goldney says that the EEC can be made lighter.
"For the complexity of the ALPS/ACCORD system, we're satisfied with how far we got, considering the number of functions in there," says Goldney. "We're satisfied we've gone a long way towards meeting that [5.45kg] target."
The EEC developed by Smiths for the ALPS/ACCORD offers a similar level of functionality as that developed for the R-R Trent engine by Lucas Aerospace, but is lighter by more than half. Initial engine runs with the Smiths unit are due to take place in 1996, with Hamilton Standard of the USA also selected by R-R to demonstrate a competitive system.
A principal feature of the ALPS/ACCORD and EEC2000 concepts is the use of multi-chip modules, which allow an EEC to be made smaller and lighter, as well as more reliable and cheaper to manufacture. RoSEC has also managed to reduce significantly the size of electromagnetic connector plug-on modules, which protect the EEC from lightning strikes, and has developed innovative pipe connectors for engine- pressure sensors.
Goldney claims that RoSEC is unique in offering a "one-stop shop", with a full in-house FADEC and EEC design and manufacture capability. "The systems engineers are in the same company as the engineers who are having to design the box. They begin to understand the problems that each has, and to solve them in a much more cost-effective manner," he says.
Source: Flight International