Collaborative ResearchCollaborative Research

Active Flagship Research Projects


MUSES: Multi-Use Space Energy Systems

MIT Professors: Steven Leeb, James Kirtley, David Perreault

Masdar Institute Professors: Hatem Zeineldin, Mohamed Elmoursi Vinod Khadkikar, Mohamed Al Hosani


This project will develop and deliver superior power electronics, electric machines, and associated control strategies to enable weight, cost, and size reduction while expanding the capabilities of aerospace platforms. Advances in aerospace systems are increasingly tied to advances in energy processing. Visions and current research efforts for aerospace systems clearly point towards new demands for electric energy processing for propulsion, sensor systems, and for enabling efficient, cost effective programs for maintenance. This project will introduce advanced power electronics topologies, novel energy management systems, demand side management schemes, fault detection, isolation and recovery, and new electromagnetic actuators to ensure efficient, reliable and stable operation of the spacecraft and aeronautical power systems.

This project consists of five elements:

  • Explore new approaches for the design, control, and management of power systems like those found on aeronautical and spacecraft systems, that is, closed or islanded systems that form microgrids. Demonstrate new techniques for generation control, including maximum power point tracking, and new approaches for energy buffering which minimize transient demands on sensitive sources while still permitting loads and actuators to be operated with full regulation and tracking of aggressive motion control demands.
  • Significantly extend the performance specifications of power electronic circuits used to condition power for electronic loads, interface energy sources like solar and fuel cells, and provide motion control for actuators. Demonstrate new techniques for advanced high frequency power conversion, rising semiconductor technologies (e.g., GaN), new circuit designs, improved passive components, and advance materials and material characterization techniques.
  • Demonstrate methods for fault-detection and recovery so that power systems serving mission critical platforms can continue to operate in the face of unexpected damage, and to provide diagnostic and prognostic indications that permit the active prevention of system and subsystem failures. Explore nonintrusive monitoring techniques and signal processing methods to acquire and create actionable data while minimizing any "extra" installed sensor burden in a weight constrained power system.
  • Design, construct, and demonstrate new electromagnetic actuators which provide unique improvements in energy conversion density, efficiency, and requirements for control and stabilization on a resource constrained power system.
  • Continue development of a prototype power system where components of the project can be tested and demonstrated.


The Economic Vision 2030 for Abu Dhabi notes that in the near future the UAE will concentrate on developing its capabilities in the manufacturing and maintenance of aerospace equipment and parts, and other equipment and space apparatus. World-class leadership in the manufacturing and maintenance of aerospace systems will require a world-class presence in power electronics, actuators, and control systems in the next several decades. This projectís initiatives in power electronic circuits, energy management systems, and electromagnetic actuators are designed to support Abu Dhabi and Khalifa University of Science and Technology in becoming a tier 1 center for aerospace research and commercialization efforts.

The research is also intended to have significant and strong application to other relevant economic sectors, including energy production, consumer electronics, and generally to ensuring the relevance of graduate education on both campuses.