Design and Characterization of a Three-Phase Brushless Exciter for Aircraft Starter/Generator

Antonio Griffo, Rafal Wrobel, Phil Mellor, Jason M Yon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


This paper evaluates a three-phase ac main exciter (ME) for a wound-field synchronous aircraft starter–generator capable of operating in both starting and generating modes. The research has been based around a 225-kVA generator utilizing the existing single-phase ME hardware. Initially, a reconfiguration of the existing single-phase unit into a three-phase one has been carried out. Subsequently, an optimization of the ME stator has been performed. The hardware evaluations have been performed in parallel to the development of design methodologies suitable for future starter/generator design. The three-phase ac ME design needs to satisfy the required current output at both start and generate modes with minimum input voltampere rating of the inverter required to drive the ME. The ME's output capabilities have been predicted in all operating conditions using a computationally efficient combination of 3-D finite-element models together with a lumped-parameter circuit approach. The theoretical findings from the analyses have been validated on a prototype ME, confirming that the three-phase ac ME is capable of generating the required current output in both operating modes. The developed modeling system allowed for the identification of the ME's optimal operating points with regard to the minimum input apparent power (in voltamperes) at the required output power and a methodology for the accurate and computationally efficient evaluation of future starter/generator designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2106 - 2115
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2013


  • aircraft starter-generator
  • brushless exciter
  • design optimisation
  • more electric aircraft


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