Advanced Hydrogen Aerospace Technologies and Design – Online Short Course (Starts 8 October 2024) 8 October - 7 November 2024 Online

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Instructed by experts from the HYSKY Society

✔    From 8 October – 7 November (5 Weeks, 10 Lectures/Classes, 20 Total Hours)

✔    Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1–3 p.m. ET USA (all sessions will be recorded and available for replay; course notes will be available for download)

✔    In this new joint course from AIAA and HYSKY Society, the latest and greatest in hydrogen aerospace technology is presented in the context of Fixed-Wing and eVTOL aircraft/vehicle design.

✔    All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course.

Hydrogen aviation, encompassing aircraft propelled by hydrogen fuel cells or combustion, represents a groundbreaking shift in air travel and aerospace engineering. This emerging field has gained significant momentum in recent years, driven by advancements in hydrogen fuel technologies, sustainable energy solutions, and the global imperative for decarbonization. However, transitioning to hydrogen-powered aviation extends beyond merely adapting existing technologies. It necessitates a nuanced understanding of aviation fundamentals, hydrogen fuel system intricacies, learnings from space exploration, and the resolution of key technical, design and regulatory challenges.

The course begins with a technical introduction to Hydrogen for use in aircrafts and airports in light of the shift towards sustainable aviation fuels, electric aircraft, and hydrogen as means to achieve net-zero aviation emissions. Care has been taken to cover challenges faced in converting to hydrogen: regulatory, economic, social and technical. The course also covers application of Hydrogen in view of how electric aviation will impact various stakeholders and operational practices.

The course will spend the bulk of the time looking at how to design Hydrogen-powered fixed-wing and eVTOL aircraft along with designing wings, tanks, and powertrain for using Hydrogen as a fuel.

At the conclusion of this short course, students will understand:

  • Hydrogen and Cryogenic Fundamentals (4 hrs)
  • H2 for Fixed-Wing Design - designing the powertrain for fixed-wing operations, revisit efficiency and environment (6 hrs)
  • H2 for eVTOL design - designing the powertrain, hybrid battery and fuel cell, for VTOL operations, revisit efficiency and environment (8 hrs)
  • Infrastructure, challenges, and benefits (airport, economics, challenges, etc.) (2 hrs)
  • [See below for detailed course outline]

AUDIENCE: Aerospace engineers interested in electric power, hybrid electric propulsion, and liquid hydrogen propulsion systems. Electrical/mechanical engineers interested in zero-carbon VTOL aircraft, UAS, and launch vehicles.

COURSE FEES (Sign-In To Register)
- AIAA Member Price: $945 USD
- Non-Member Price: $1145 USD
- AIAA Student Member Price: $495 USD

CLASSROOM HOURS / CEUs: 20 classroom hours / 2.0 CEU/PDH

CANCELLATION POLICY: A refund less a $50.00 cancellation fee will be assessed for all cancellations made in writing prior to 5 days before the start of the event. After that time, no refunds will be provided.

CONTACT: Please contact Lisa Le or Customer Service if you have any questions about the course or discounts for groups of 5+.


Part 1: Hydrogen and Cryogenic Fundamentals (4 hrs)

An introduction to hydrogen fundamentals with an emphasis on cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2). A brief overview of safety considerations and key operations with LH2 will be covered focusing on aerospace applications.


  • Why hydrogen: the need for decarbonization, hydrogen as a multifaceted solution, LH2 characteristics and advantages
  • Basic facts: energy content, storage options, spin states (ortho and para)
  • LH2 history: jet engines, aircraft flights, liquefaction, space program, six decades of successful full scale operations
  • Systems: system architectures, inputs, feedstocks, production, storage, generation, outputs, beneficial byproducts


  • Drivers: fluid and material properties, cryogenic temperatures, phase change
  • Mitigations: planning and training, providing ventilation, preventing leaks, eliminating ignition sources, other design and operational mitigations
  • Operations: thermal management and understanding thermodynamic responses during key operations
  • Pressure: controlling phase change during storage and operations


  • Environments: thermal, acceleration, mission/flight phases
  • Properties: thermophysical, mechanical, data sources
  • Thermodynamics: temperature and pressure responses
  • Heat Loads: radiative boundaries, conductive paths, transient loads


  • Tanks and dewars: single wall, double wall (dewars), sizing, packaging, integration
  • Insulation systems: foam, perlite, aerogels, glass bubbles, multilayer insulation (MLI)
  • Pressure control: passive design, venting, mixing, Joule-Thomson cooling
  • Boil-off mitigation: cryo-refrigeration, reliquefaction, other active methods


  • Pressurization: self-pressurization, active pressurization, pressurant mass estimation, collapse factors
  • Chilldown: transfer piping and components, receiving tanks, two-phase flow
  • Filling: parameters affecting the fill process, minimizing losses, injection methods
  • Sensors: temperature, pressure, fill level, flow, leak detection

Part 2: Why H2 for Fixed-Wing Design - designing the powertrain for fixed-wing operations, revisit efficiency and environment (6 hrs)

Why designing the wing and fuel tank is important for a hydrogen powered fixed wing aircraft with a focus on efficiency, environmental benefits along with a summary of the multidisciplinary packing optimization approach validation and potential of compressed hydrogen for regional missions and associated storage challenges capped off with an example of a retrofitted Fixed-Wing aircraft, the Cessna Grand Caravan.

The challenges of designing a Fixed-wing Aircraft using Hydrogen

  • Challenges of hydrogen's low volumetric energy density.
  • Historical attempts and recent interest in hydrogen aviation.
  • Challenges put forward by wing design and fuel/powertrain of conventional Fixed-Wing aircraft when converting to H2 powered Fixed-Wing aircraft

Packing Optimization in Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO)

  • Concept and relevance of packing optimization in aircraft design.
  • Limitations of traditional packing optimization methods.
  • Introduction of the Kreisselmeier–Steinhauser (KS) aggregation function for general packing constraints.
  • Extension of wing packing design optimization to include aerostructural considerations.

Design of wing and hydrogen tank

  • Baseline wing design and structural layout.
  • Characteristics, geometry, and material of hydrogen tanks.

Optimization Scenarios:

  • Optimizing Tank Shape Only
  • Maximizing tank volume within a fixed wingbox.
  • Optimizing Wing OML and Tank Shape
  • Minimizing drag while meeting fuel volume constraints through wing and tank shape variations.
  • Aerostructural Optimization at Fixed Tank Volume
  • Aerostructural Optimization Considering Tank Weight
  • Aerostructural Optimization for Maximum Range with design payload considerations.

Example of Hydrogen-powered fixed-wing aircraft

  • Introduction of ZeroAvia's hydrogen-electric powertrain, ZA600, and its benefits.
  • Technical Overview: An example of ZeroAvia’s conversion of a Cessna aircraft to a H2-electric aircraft
  • Description of the ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain and its components.
  • Safety, reliability, and efficiency benefits of hydrogen-electric systems.
  • Innovations in fuel cell, inverter, and electric motor technologies.
  • The Hydrogen-Electric Caravan - Aircraft Performance
    • Expected performance and operational capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan with ZA600 powertrain.
    • Discussion on range, payload, and operational adjustments for hydrogen-electric propulsion.

Route Analysis Overview

  • Analysis of commercial flying routes suitable for hydrogen-electric propulsion.
  • Economic and environmental potential of replacing traditional propulsion with hydrogen-electric systems.

Emissions Savings

  • Projected emissions savings from converting Cessna Caravans to hydrogen-electric propulsion.
  • Comparative analysis of emissions reductions against SAFs and jet fuel.

Operating Cost Savings

  • Overview of the operating cost benefits of hydrogen-electric propulsion, including fuel and maintenance savings.
  • Introduction of ZeroAvia's HyPerHour model for de-risking adoption.

Retrofit and Maintenance

  • Outline of the retrofit process for converting existing Cessna Caravans to hydrogen-electric propulsion.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Production and Airport Refueling
    • Discussion on hydrogen fuel supply chain, including production, storage, and refueling infrastructure.
    • ZeroAvia's strategies for ensuring reliable and low-cost hydrogen fuel availability.

Recommended Reading

Part 3: Why H2 for eVTOL design - designing the powertrain, hybrid battery and fuel cell, for VTOL operations, revisit efficiency and environment (8 hrs)

Why powering eVTOL with H2 is logical and how hydrogen powered eVTOL aircraft can be designed using PEM Fuel Cells and hybrid battery, highlighting key technology drivers for hydrogen-powered eVTOL aircraft and recommendations for meeting these requirements to achieve viable aircraft design, and future research needed.

Rationale for Developing a Hydrogen-Powered eVTOL Aircraft

  • Overview of electric propulsion in aviation, particularly for VTOL applications, and the advantages of using hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Explanation of the importance of hydrogen as a clean energy source for eVTOL aircraft and the development of software for design and analysis of PEM Fuel Cell systems.

Designing powertrain of a Hydrogen-Powered eVTOL Aircraft (using H2 Fuel Cell)

  • Introduction to the development of a PEM Fuel Cell model for conceptual design and analysis of hydrogen eVTOL aircraft, highlighting examples and objectives such as identifying key technology drivers and establishing technology targets for a viable aircraft.
  • Example of a design process for sizing the fuel stack and ancillary subsystems (air system, cooling systems, water system, electrical system) based on specified power requirements with explanation of the theoretical underpinnings for designing and analyzing H2 PEM Fuel Cell systems, covering topics like reversible cell voltages, the i-v curve, hydrogen flow, and energy storage.
  • Overview of thermal management in PEMFC with active and passive cooling techniques including Cooling Using the Cathode Air Supply, Edge Cooling, Cooling with Separate Air Flow, Liquid Cooling, Phase Change Cooling; waste heat recovery strategies; and weight penalty reduction strategies.
  • Analysis for predicting the performance of the designed H2 PEMFC system under various conditions, including electrical outputs and efficiency.
  • Exploration of ancillary systems necessary for the operation of the fuel cell stack and their impact on the overall system design and performance.
  • Discussion on estimating the weight of the fuel cell system components, including the stack and hydrogen storage, critical for aircraft design.
  • Overview of the software developed for designing and analyzing PEMFC systems for hydrogen eVTOL aircraft, including key features and capabilities. Explanation of the input parameters required for the software and the outputs it generates, facilitating the design and analysis process.
  • Example designs for eVTOL aircraft powered by PEM Fuel Cells, including baseline and modern configurations with varying power outputs and payload capacities.

Designing powertrain of a Hydrogen-Powered eVTOL Aircraft (using a hybrid Fuel Cell and batteries)

  • Introduction tothe inefficiencies associated with DC-DC converters in typical H2 FC EV powertrains and proposes an experimental approach to improve powertrain efficiency by eliminating the DC-DC converter.
  • Overview of HFCEV technology and its benefits.
  • Challenges with integrating PEM fuel cells with batteries due to voltage differences and the associated energy losses in DC-DC converters.
  • Experimental results of bench tests designed to investigate the performance of a PEM fuel cell hybrid system with lead-acid batteries and Li-Ion phosphate batteries under different conditions.
  • Analysis of fuel cell stack output, battery charging rates, and power distribution under different loads and battery states of charge.
  • Evaluation of the feasibility of removing DC-DC converters from the hybrid system.
  • Consideration of battery type, voltage, and capacity in relation to the fuel cell stack for effective system design.
  • Comparative analysis of system performance with different battery configurations, highlighting the advantages of lithium-ion phosphate batteries.

Rotorcraft (eVTOL) Sizing

  • Sizing rotorcraft (eVTOL) based on fuel cell performance, including basic sizing and essential refinements.

Recommended Reading

Part 4: Infrastructure, challenges, and benefits (airport, economics, challenges, etc.) (2 hrs)

Why airports will need to be H2 enabled by 2040 and how the transportation ecosystem at an airport will be affected along with how regulatory policies are shaping the landscape and how the technology adoption could pan out.

Hydrogen-enabled Airport

  • Airports to focus on the transition to zero-emission vehicles and clean transportation at airports.
  • Development of a 2040 vision for zero-emission ground and air vehicles operating at and near major airports, using Ontario, CA airport as a case study.

The Transportation Ecosystem of an Airport

  • Detailed overview of the airport transportation ecosystem, including airside and landside vehicle categories.
  • Analysis of airside components: Aircraft (commercial and passenger) and air taxis, Ground Support Equipment (GSE), and other support/maintenance vehicles.
  • Analysis of landside components: Buses, delivery vehicles, freight, and passenger cars.

Perspectives on Federal and State Policies

  • Overview of current federal and state policies affecting electric aircraft and hydrogen technologies.
  • Environmental issues and policy recommendations for supporting the growth of electric aviation.

Market Assessment

Electric Propulsion System Application: Analysis of different operational use cases for electric propulsion in aviation.

  • Infrastructure Development and Market Assessment: Examination of current market trends and the infrastructure needed to support electric aircraft.
  • Overview of drivers of Electrified Aviation Market Demand and Projected Barriers to Electrification: Discussion on factors driving the adoption of electric aviation (and hydrogen technologies) and potential barriers.

Hydrogen Infrastructure

  • Discussion on the emergence of hydrogen as an aviation fuel, its advantages, and the challenges associated with developing hydrogen infrastructure for airports.
  • Infrastructure requirements for hydrogen production, transport, storage, and dispensing.
  • Cost analysis including CAPEX and OPEX for hydrogen infrastructure under different scenarios.

Examination of three future scenarios for technology adoption: Baseline, Balanced, and High Hydrogen

  • Analysis of vehicle use cases, duty cycles, energy demand, and fuel consumption for the airport ecosystem under each scenario.
  • Assessment of hydrogen infrastructure needs and costs, along with relative emissions under each scenario.
  • Engagement with external stakeholders including government agencies, aviation companies, and airport operators.
  • Description of the Baseline, Balanced (electric and hydrogen), and High Hydrogen scenarios.
  • Examination of energy demand, fuel consumption, and emissions for the airport ecosystem under each scenario.
  • Impact of each scenario on the transition to zero-emission ground and air vehicles.

Potential Path Forward

  • Strategic transition of vehicle types for the most beneficial segments aligned with practical growth in hydrogen demand.
  • Recommended next steps for further analysis and stakeholder collaboration to drive economic adoption of hydrogen at airports.

Recommended Reading



  • The course lectures will be delivered via Zoom. Access to the Zoom classroom will be provided to registrants near to the course start date.
  • All sessions will be available on-demand within 1-2 days of the lecture. Once available, you can stream the replay video anytime, 24/7.
  • All slides will be available for download after each lecture. No part of these materials may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted, unless for course participants. All rights reserved.
  • Between lectures during the course, the instructor(s) will be available via email for technical questions and comments.

Matt Moran is the Managing Member at Moran Innovation LLC, and previous Managing Partner at Isotherm Energy. He's been developing power and propulsion systems for more than 40 years; and break-through liquid, slush, and gaseous hydrogen systems since the mid-1980s. Matt was also the Sector Manager for Energy & Materials in his last position at NASA where he worked for 31 years. He's been a co-founder in seven technology startups; and provided R&D and engineering support to many organizations. Matt has three patents and more than 50 publications including the Cryogenic Fluid Management series. He also leads the monthly LH2 Era™ Webinar. Moran Innovation LLC develops technologies and systems for customers in the energy, transportation, aerospace, and defense industry sectors. An adaptive systems approach is applied for breakthrough innovation that accelerates system deployment and product launch. Recent contracts have included: NASA and commercial lunar landing systems development; venture-backed hydrogen systems for aircraft and vehicles; propulsion system trade studies for spacecraft and rocket engines; hydrogen-based microgrid and fueling system architectures; technology transfer and commercialization consulting.

Danielle McLean is an innovative engineer and entrepreneur who leads hydrogen advancement as the founder and CEO of HYSKY Society, a notable 501c3 non-profit launched in January 2022. Danielle is passionate about empowering women and underserved people within the realms of hydrogen, sustainability, and aviation. She founded and chaired the H2eVTOL Council at the Vertical Flight Society, eventually spinning it off into the self-sustained non-profit, HYSKY Society. In her previous role at Spirit Aerosystems (SPR) in 2019, Danielle was honored with the Innovation Award for her creation and leadership of the company’s hydrogen-powered aircraft research team. Danielle's DEI and hydrogen advocacy reflect her dedication to technological and societal advancement, built into HYSKY Society’s DNA from the Board of Directors onward.

Rishav Shrestha, MD, MPH, PhD, is a Deep-Tech entrepreneur developing a flying car. He is co-founder/COO of HYSKY Society, where he works with Danielle to promote and develop Hydrogen Aviation. Rishav is also co-founder/CTO at his MedTech company, E3A Healthcare, that develops smart medical devices for newborns. Rishav got trained as a physician (Nepal), a public health expert (Johns Hopkins), and a scientist in nanotechnology and bio(med)engineering (Singapore). He plans to get a Private Pilot’s License soon.


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