The 4th generation Electric Drive Control System (EDCS) is the central control and monitoring unit of the Antares. The system was developed specifically for the applications in the Antares and it processes all information from the electric propulsion, the battery system, the hydraulic system and the water ballast system. The functions can be divided into two areas: Functions for flight operation and battery care and service functions. A large high-contrast 4.3-inch full-color display is used to display the information. The display surface makes it possible to display the data clearly and to present messages in plain text. Additionally, an audio announciator for different languages is integrated. Five keys are available for inputs.

hauptrechner edcs 4 lange aviation
EDCS-4 main computer 2

In flight

After starting the system, a screen with information about the system state is displayed. This contains information on temperatures and voltages of individual components. If there are values outside of their nominal ranges, a message is displayed. If, for example, the battery voltage is below the value required for the self-start, a corresponding message is output.

After displaying the system status, the EDCS guides the pilot through the take-off checklist on the full-color display and automatically detects whether, for example, a tail dolly is still in place, the airbrakes are retracted and the landing gear is set correctly.

When the motor is extended, the system automatically switches to the powered flight screen. Here, information about the voltages and temperatures of various components, the available charge in the battery, as well as the current flowing and the motor speed are displayed. Thanks to the large display, it is possible to present this data on a single page without the hassle of scrolling through different views. In addition, caution or warning messages can appear in plain text.

When the motor is retracted, the system automatically switches to the soaring screen. Here, information on the voltages and temperatures of important components is also displayed, as well as information on flight time, motor time and available battery charge.

When the Antares is on the ground, the flight log screen can be selected. Here, automatically recorded and saved take-off and landing times as well as motor running times are displayed.

Battery care and service functions

For battery care and service functions it is necessary to connect the Antares to the mains outlet and to connect the wings electrically to the fuselage. With the appropriate optional equipment, this can also be done with the aircraft in the trailer. After starting up the system, the three charging processes “Charging”, “Charging Plus” and “Charging Minus” as well as the service section can be selected. In addition, the user is informed about any new entries in the fault log.

The “Charging” process brings the battery cells to 100% of the nominal energy. With the “Charge Plus” process, the final charging voltage of the battery cells can be increased slightly, thereby storing approx. 20% additional energy. The battery cells should not be kept in this state for longer than two days. If the slightly elevated cell voltage is not reduced by a motor run, the “Charge minus” process is available to discharge the cells to the nominal voltage range.. In all charging processes, the temperature is permanently monitored at individual cell level. Should the battery temperature be too low, then the battery heater is used first to bring the temperature into the optimum range.

In the service section, the settings for the data connection to the mobile network can be made and general system information such as the software version can be called up. Furthermore, this section offers the option of accessing the extensive data logs on the use of the drive system via a USB port. For example, a very detailed analysis of the strain on the battery is possible, making it easy to identify the causes of a fault. Moreover, any faults reported by the system can be viewed in the error log.