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DDG 1000’s Integrated Power System Software, Hardware Come Together in Successful Test

The most sophisticated integrated electric power and propulsion system ever built for a U.S. warship is one step closer to hitting the “on” switch.

The Navy’s new USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) guided-missile destroyer will feature advanced power generation, conversion, and distribution for efficiency, economy, and combat effectiveness.

The successful March 20 demonstration of the integration of the Engineering Control System (ECS) software and the ship’s Integrated Power System (IPS), which took place at the Land Based Test Site (LBTS) at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division-Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES) located in Philadelphia, was a major milestone in the development of IPS and the all-electric ship.

“This is an extremely significant test milestone for the DDG 1000 program,” says Capt. James Downey, DDG 1000 program manager from Program Executive Office Ships. “This test demonstrates that the DDG 1000 program’s incremental development of technologies and robust testing plan are on track to deliver unprecedented capability to the fleet.”

The Main Turbo Generator is powered by the gas turbines and distributes electrical power to the motor and other loads at the Land Based Test Facility. U.S. Navy photo by Chris Hatch

The DDG 1000 IPS will use gas turbines to generate electricity, and use the electric power for propulsion, combat systems, and ship services.

The test demonstrated IPS control in a variety of modes and at various “levels of intelligence,” from manual to man-in-the-loop and fully automated situations. The test included normal operations as well as fault conditions.

The Navy has been carefully introducing IPS. This most recent testing is part of a three-year integration and risk-reduction test effort where the IPS has been demonstrated at full power – now integrated with major portions of its shipboard control system.

The land-based test facility replicates a single shaft of an actual ship engineering plant for this testing program, which reduces the risk inherent with new technology.

According to Matthew Stauffer, NSWCCD-SSES DDG 1000 IPS LBTS program manager, the LBTS configuration consists of one complete propulsion shaft line of IPS equipment that includes a ship set of four high-voltage switchboards and two shipboard electrical zones of the low-voltage distribution system, in conjunction with a Rolls-Royce 4500 Auxiliary Turbine Generator (ATG), a Rolls-Royce MT30 Main Turbine Generator (MTG), and a GE Energy Power Conversion Tandem Advanced Induction Motor. This represents one-half of the actual ship’s engineering plant – the DDG 1000 power will be generated by two MTG and two ATG gas turbines.

“Raytheon is the prime contractor for the Engineering Control System [ECS] along with several subcontractors, including Lockheed Martin [for integration and test of ECS], Northrop Grumman Marine Systems [for ECS-specific Integrated Power System test activities supporting the DTB2-260 ECS software drop], and GE Energy Power Conversion [for IPS specific software code],” Stauffer says.

Stauffer says that ECS provides operation and control of Integrated Power Systems, auxiliary systems, and selected damage control systems in response to directives from the Ship Domain Controller, which provides task integration functions for ECS, or the Distributed Control Work Station. “ECS translates directives into commands and provides centralized monitoring and control for all aspects of ship operations.

View of the Converteam Advanced Induction Motor being evaluated as part of the Integrated Power System at the Navy’s Land Based Test Facility in Philadelphia. U.S. Navy photo by Chris Hatch

“ECS reports the current operating state, configuration, health status of power, auxiliary and damage control systems back to the operator for use in command/control, and conditioned-based maintenance and operator engineering screens,” he says. “ECS affords the operator full control of the machinery plant and includes automated power management and casualty response logic and control.”

The test site has been used to evaluate different configurations and motors, which mitigates the risk involved with newer technology applications. The test program validates key system metrics such as torque, speed, and power output, and specific fuel consumption for the various configurations, and runs them under realistic loads to assess reliability.

USS Zumwalt is the lead ship of the DDG 1000 class, and currently 67 percent complete at Bath Irons Works in Maine. Zumwalt will be delivered in fiscal year 2014, with an initial operational capability in fiscal year 2016. The second ship, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), is more than 26 percent complete. The name of the third ship in the class of three was announced on April 16 by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), which is scheduled to start fabrication this month.

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Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...