Requirements for greener vehicle operations in the defence sector have led to a greater call for more efficient vehicle systems with reduced emissions.

Summary of applications

The demand for unmanned ground and aerial vehicles with higher carrying capacity for surveillance equipment has resulted in significant rise in the electrical power requirements. Existing electrical supplies have a limited capability due to space and mass allocations, hence other methods are necessary to ensure that aerial and land platforms are capable of being successful in their mission.

Research into these fundamental challenges have led to the development of systems which can power manage both user and operator demands while ensuring on-board vehicle resources can deliver the necessary power requirements over a range of operations.

The intelligent propulsion and emissions laboratory (IPEL) houses three separate engine test cells, used for monitoring emissions or power output of combustion engines. It is also the home to one 100kW electric motor/brake system and a 300BHP eddy current brake system for propulsion loading applications.

Intelligent power management (IPM) has been developed by Dr John Economou and his colleagues within the IPEL, and explored with a range of research projects. An example of IPM is the one developed by Mr Lakmal Karunarathne, focused on the application of fuzzy logic methods with learning capabilities, allowing electrical power management systems to emulate the human learning processes.