Concept and Demonstration of a Coaxial Magnetic Coupling with Electromagnetic Disconnection for Aircraft Permanent Magnet Generators

O. R. Tweedy, Y. Akcay, P. Giangrande, M. Galea

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The application of more electrified systems in aircraft is required to achieve the target of a more sustainable aviation industry. This in turn relies on the development of new electro-mechanical devices to ensure reliability of critical aircraft functions during flight. The aim of this work is to develop and test a device capable of protecting permanent magnet generators from damage, thus enabling the practical use of such high power density generators in aircraft while eliminating their inherent vulnerability to sustained electrical faults. A novel electromechanical actuator concept for decoupling a permanent magnetic generator from an aircraft gas turbine engine is introduced and experimentally validated. The proposed concept combines a coaxial magnetic coupling with an electromagnetic actuator, allowing for rapid disconnection in case of electrical fault detection. The 2D finite element magnetic analysis methodology employed in the design of the magnetic coupling and electromagnetic actuator is validated with experiments that reveal the peak torque results of the magnetic coupling are accurate to within a 2.5% error and the actuator can produce the 450 N pull force required for disconnection. The device is capable of operating at a maximum speed of 12,000 RPM and transmitting a load of 32 Nm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuators
  • Aircraft
  • Couplings
  • Disconnect unit
  • electromagnetic actuator
  • electromechanical actuator
  • Generators
  • magnetic coupling
  • more electric aircraft (MEA)
  • permanent magnet generator
  • reliability
  • Shafts
  • solenoid
  • Torque
  • Turbines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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