Motorcar Parts of America’s (MPA) electric-vehicle testing company, D&V Electronics, has been selected for a very unique project: providing a power hardware-in-the-loop inverter test system to support the development of the rotor-motor controllers for NASA’s Dragonfly mission.
Part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, the Dragonfly mission consists of a large rotorcraft-lander that will explore Saturn’s moon Titan. Dragonfly will explore Titan’s environment, obtaining material samples to investigate prebiotic chemistry processes.
The power hardware-in-the-loop system is a combination of D&V’s innovative electric-motor emulator and Opal-RT’s advanced motor models utilizing NI’s real-time system. The combined technologies will validate the performance of the rotor-motor controllers for the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander.
“This project advances our ongoing joint-development-program relationship with Opal-RT and NI for power hardware-in-the-loop systems focused on the aerospace, automotive and marine markets, and we look forward to other exciting opportunities,” said Bill Hardy, chief executive officer of D&V Electronics.
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, which has similar characteristics to Earth’s environment – including sand dunes and an Earth-like hydrological cycle of methane clouds, rain and liquid flowing across the surface.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, manages the Dragonfly mission for NASA and is designing and building the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander.
“We are honored that the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has selected D&V Electronics to be part of such a historic, technically challenging space-exploration program,” said Selwyn Joffe, chairman, president and CEO of MPA.
Dragonfly is scheduled to launch in 2027 and reach Titan by 2034.