GE Aviation, Farmington Hills Firm Working On Advanced Army Electronics

GRAND RAPIDS — GE Aviation said Monday it had received a contract for the research and development of silicon carbide-based power electronics supporting the high-voltage next generation ground vehicle electrical power architecture for the United States Army. A Farmington Hills electronics manufacturer will assist in the work.

“GE continues to invest in electric power technologies and specifically in Silicon Carbide which enables significant improvements in size, weight and power,” said Vic Bonneau, president of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. “Our electric power team has successfully demonstrated various types of power conversion products that have led to high temperature applications of silicon carbide technology. We’re taking this to the next level to deliver prototypes that demonstrate these improved capabilities in the field.”

The $3.4 million contract consists of an 18-month development program that will demonstrate the benefits of GE’s silicon carbide electronics in two critical systems — a 35-kilowatt engine cooling fan controller and a 3-kilowatt coolant pump controller. The hardware will be more efficient than present day silicon based systems and will allow better management of the vehicle’s available on-board power, increasing mission capability. It will also enable integration of controller electronics onto the engine cooling fan, eliminating a separate liquid cooled unit, cooling hoses and connecting cables, simplifying vehicle installation.

Global Embedded Technologies Inc. in Farmington Hills has been selected to configure, integrate, and supply the controllers. Marvin Land Systems of Inglewood, Calif. has been selected to provide the main engine cooling fan and coolant pump.

The contract is in support of technology development for the Army’s Warren-based Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Alexandria, Va.-based DCS Corp. is the contracting agent for TARDEC. DCS develops advanced technology and provides acquisition management expertise for Army aviation, ground vehicle, soldier systems, and missile systems. DCS has an office at 7400 Miller Drive in Warren. More at www.dcscorp.com/Our-Customers/US-Army.aspx

GE’s Global Research Center is leading the development of silicon carbide technology in aviation, health care and energy. More at www.geaviation.com.

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