Technological Innovations Driving a Hydrogen-Electric Aviation Future
From Brittani Garner
The aeronautics industry has been challenged on many fronts to increase flight efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease dependence on traditional hydrocarbon fuels. Recently, the aviation sector has surpassed a CO2 production rate of 1 billion metric tons per year, which without new interventions in policy, technology, and business practices, will further increase alongside the growing air-transport market.
Electrification of aircraft systems offers a promising avenue for decarbonizing aviation, though in a fashion unique from approaches used in other transportation markets. This talk will provide a background into aircraft electrification, describe technological developments that enable improvements towards environmentally responsible air transportation, and forecast a vision for future generations of aircraft systems. Developments in hydrogen-electric systems for zero-emissions aircraft operations will be discussed, including novel technologies related to cryogenic electric machines and power electronics, superconducting power system, lightweight hydrogen energy storage, fuel cell power and distributed propulsion integration, and high-efficiency air vehicle design.