Boeing has been granted a patent for a system and method that includes an engine with one or more vanes. The system also includes an actuator that can move the vanes between different positions, and a control unit that operates the actuator. The control unit is mounted on or within the engine and includes a ceramic insulator directly mounted on the actuator. GlobalData’s report on Boeing gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Boeing, light-weight composite fuselage was a key innovation area identified from patents. Boeing's grant share as of September 2023 was 74%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Patent granted for a system with a control unit mounted on an actuator
A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11773744B2) describes a system for controlling the movement of vanes in an engine. The system includes an engine with one or more vanes, an actuator that can move the vanes between different positions, and a control unit that operates the actuator. The control unit is directly mounted on the actuator and is made of a ceramic insulator. It is also secured to the housing of the engine.
The control unit in the system is equipped with at least one silicon-on-insulator (SoI) system-on-chip (SoC). This SoI SoC consists of a digital fully depleted SoI and a mixed signal partially depleted SoI. The digital fully depleted SoI includes a microcontroller with associated memory, a clock generator, a bus protocol interface circuit, and a bus transceiver. On the other hand, the mixed signal partially depleted SoI includes an analog-to-digital converter, a low voltage linear variable differential transducer (LVDT) excitation and demodulation unit, a solenoid driver, a multiplex switch, and a DC-DC power supply circuit.
The system also incorporates a heat sink, which is made of ceramic material, and is coupled to the control unit. This heat sink helps dissipate heat generated by the control unit during operation. Additionally, the control unit may include one or more processors to enhance its functionality.
The patent also describes a method for controlling the vanes of an engine using the system. The method involves coupling the actuator to the vanes and the control unit to the actuator. The control unit, which is directly mounted on the actuator, operates the actuator to move the vanes between different positions. The control unit can be secured to the housing of the engine and may include at least one SoI SoC.
Furthermore, the patent mentions an aircraft that incorporates the described system. The aircraft includes an engine with vanes, an actuator, a control unit, and a heat sink. The control unit, mounted on or within the engine, operates the actuator to control the movement of the vanes. The control unit in the aircraft is equipped with a digital fully depleted SoI SoC and a mixed signal partially depleted SoI SoC.
Overall, this patent presents a system and method for controlling vanes in an engine using a control unit with a ceramic insulator and SoI SoCs. The system offers improved performance and efficiency in engine operation, particularly in aircraft applications.