Social and Environmental Responsibility Report

Within Embry-Riddle’s hybrid power plant, gasoline feeds into a lightweight, turbocharged aluminum engine, which transfers engine power from the crankshaft into a high-performance electric generator. The generator pumps out DC (direct current) electricity for use on an aircraft. Using this method, “The emissions benefits begin with the operation of the engine and generator at their most efficient settings at all times,” said Embry-Riddle Project Manager David Spitzer. “Furthermore, with UAM the flight times are shorter because there is zero delay due to traffic, road layout, stoplights or any of the other limitations we currently accept on the ground.” More Efficient Gas Turbines Entrepreneur Reamonn Soto, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was wrapping up his master’s degree at Embry-Riddle when he had a big idea to save gas turbine operators millions of dollars annually. His business, Sensatek Propulsion Technologies, offers patented radiofrequency sensors designed for harsh environments. Sensatek’s sensors generate data that help power-system fleet owners optimize strategic power-generation assets.

Hybrid-Electric Propulsion A newly developed hybrid power plant promises a ratio of electric power-to-weight that is 4.6 times better than any existing battery system, Embry-Riddle researchers say. This 460% improvement suggests a sustainable, environmentally friendly method to keep urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles aloft. The new technology converts power from an efficient turbocharged engine to highly concentrated electrical power, which can then be transferred to electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The research is being externally supported by a $2.5 million contract. “Urban air mobility vehicles are going to solve many of our current problems in cities,” said Aerospace Engineering Professor Dr. Richard “Pat” Anderson, director of the Eagle Flight Research Center. “Air taxis will relieve roadway congestion, and they will also be greener if they replace cars that are stuck in traffic. Future aviation options will be clean, quiet and more sustainable.”

99 % of Embry-Riddle survey

respondents said that creating jobs and improving quality of life are important objectives.

Innovation to Serve Society | 23

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