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Aerospace, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Cover Story This diagram shows the layout of the proposed High-Lift Active Flow Control (HLAFC) system for [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Aerospace in 2016
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010001
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
The editors of Aerospace would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Manganese and Zinc Spinel Ferrites Blended with Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as Microwave Absorbing Materials
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010002
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
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Abstract
Magnetic and dielectric materials can be blended to enhance absorption properties at microwave frequencies, although the materials may have relatively weak attenuation capabilities by themselves. The specific goal of this work is to enhance microwave absorption properties of materials with interesting dielectric behavior
[...] Read more.
Magnetic and dielectric materials can be blended to enhance absorption properties at microwave frequencies, although the materials may have relatively weak attenuation capabilities by themselves. The specific goal of this work is to enhance microwave absorption properties of materials with interesting dielectric behavior by blending them with magnetic materials based on transition metals. The synthesized Mn1−xZnxFe2O4 (x = 0.0 and 1.0) spinel ferrite nanoparticles (MZF NPs) were blended with commercial multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in various proportions with a binder matrix of paraffin. This simple and efficient process did not cause a significant variation in the energy states of MWCNTs. MZF NPs were synthesized with a citric acid assisted sol–gel method. Their electromagnetic characteristics and microwave absorption properties were investigated. These properties were derived from the microwave scattering parameters measured via the transmission line technique by using a vector network analyzer (VNA) in conjunction with an X band waveguide system. The return loss (RL) values of the samples were obtained from the electromagnetic constitutive parameters (permittivity and permeability). The results indicate that the minimum RL value and the bandwidth change significantly with the amount of ferrite material in the blend. These results encourage further development of MWCNTs blended with ferrite nanoparticles for broadband microwave applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Materials 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Trajectory Tracking of a Tri-Rotor Aerial Vehicle Using an MRAC-Based Robust Hybrid Control Algorithm
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010003
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 3 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, a novel Model Reference Adaptive Control (MRAC)-based hybrid control algorithm is presented for the trajectory tracking of a tri-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The mathematical model of the tri-rotor is based on the Newton–Euler formula, whereas the MRAC-based hybrid controller
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel Model Reference Adaptive Control (MRAC)-based hybrid control algorithm is presented for the trajectory tracking of a tri-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The mathematical model of the tri-rotor is based on the Newton–Euler formula, whereas the MRAC-based hybrid controller consists of Fuzzy Proportional Integral Derivative (F-PID) and Fuzzy Proportional Derivative (F-PD) controllers. MRAC is used as the main controller for the dynamics, while the parameters of the adaptive controller are fine-tuned by the F-PD controller for the altitude control subsystem and the F-PID controller for the attitude control subsystem of the UAV. The stability of the system is ensured and proven by Lyapunov stability analysis. The proposed control algorithm is tested and verified using computer simulations for the trajectory tracking of the desired path as an input. The effectiveness of our proposed algorithm is compared with F-PID and the Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC). Our proposed controller exhibits much less steady state error, quick error convergence in the presence of disturbance or noise, and model uncertainties. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
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Open AccessArticle SMA-Based System for Environmental Sensors Released from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010004
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
In the work at hand, a shape memory alloy (SMA)-based system is presented. The system, conceived for releasing environmental sensors from ground or small unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV (often named UAS, unmanned aerial system), is made of a door, integrated into the bottom
[...] Read more.
In the work at hand, a shape memory alloy (SMA)-based system is presented. The system, conceived for releasing environmental sensors from ground or small unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV (often named UAS, unmanned aerial system), is made of a door, integrated into the bottom of the fuselage, a device distributor, operated by a couple of antagonistic SMA springs, and a kinematic chain, to synchronize the deployment operation with the system movement. On the basis of the specifications (weight, available space, energy supply, sensors size, etc.), the system design was addressed. After having identified the main system characteristics, a representative mock-up was manufactured, featuring the bottom part of the reference fuselage. Functionality tests were performed to prove the system capability to release the sensors; a detailed characterization was finally carried out, mainly finalized at correlating the kinematic chain displacement with the SMA spring temperature and the supplied electrical power. A comparison between theoretical predictions and experimental outcomes showed good agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Materials 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A New Gaskinetic Model to Analyze Background Flow Effects on Weak Gaseous Jet Flows from Electric Propulsion Devices
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010005
Received: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
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Abstract
Recent work on studying rarefied background and jet flow interactions is reported. A new gaskinetic method is developed to investigate two closely related problems. The first problem is how a collisionless background flow can affect a highly rarefied jet flow. The rarefied jet
[...] Read more.
Recent work on studying rarefied background and jet flow interactions is reported. A new gaskinetic method is developed to investigate two closely related problems. The first problem is how a collisionless background flow can affect a highly rarefied jet flow. The rarefied jet and background flow conditions are assumed available and described with seven parameters. Gaskinetic theories are applied and formulas are obtained for the mixture properties. Simulations are performed to validate these expressions, and excellent agreement is obtained. The second problem is to recover the collisionless background and jet flow parameters with limited measurements. A group of linearized equations are derived for the flowfield properties. The solving process includes initial estimations on the seven parameters, followed with iterations. Numerical tests are performed and the results indicate the procedure is accurate and efficient. The new method and expressions can reduce the amount of experimental work and numerical simulations to analyze facility effects. Parameter studies with particle simulations may require several months; however, the new methods may require minutes. These methods can be used to quantify and predict jet performance, vacuum chamber designs and optimization. Applications may be for many societies using vacuum conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid-Structure Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Parametric Approach to Assessing Performance of High-Lift Device Active Flow Control Architectures
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010006
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
Active Flow Control is at present an area of considerable research, with multiple potential aircraft applications. While the majority of research has focused on the performance of the actuators themselves, a system-level perspective is necessary to assess the viability of proposed solutions. This
[...] Read more.
Active Flow Control is at present an area of considerable research, with multiple potential aircraft applications. While the majority of research has focused on the performance of the actuators themselves, a system-level perspective is necessary to assess the viability of proposed solutions. This paper demonstrates such an approach, in which major system components are sized based on system flow and redundancy considerations, with the impacts linked directly to the mission performance of the aircraft. Considering the case of a large twin-aisle aircraft, four distinct active flow control architectures that facilitate the simplification of the high-lift mechanism are investigated using the demonstrated approach. The analysis indicates a very strong influence of system total mass flow requirement on architecture performance, both for a typical mission and also over the entire payload-range envelope of the aircraft. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design)
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Open AccessArticle Electromagnetic Simulation and Alignment of Dual-Polarized Array Antennas in Multi-Mission Phased Array Radars
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 7; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010007
Received: 19 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
Electromagnetic (EM) simulation of dual-polarized antennas is necessary for precise initial alignments, calibration and performance predictions of multi-function phased array radar systems. To achieve the required flexibility and scalability, a novel Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) solution is developed for rectangular, cylindrical and non-orthogonal coordinate
[...] Read more.
Electromagnetic (EM) simulation of dual-polarized antennas is necessary for precise initial alignments, calibration and performance predictions of multi-function phased array radar systems. To achieve the required flexibility and scalability, a novel Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) solution is developed for rectangular, cylindrical and non-orthogonal coordinate systems to simulate various types of array antenna manifolds. Scalable array pattern predictions and beam generations are obtained by combining the FDTD simulation solutions with the Near-Field (NF) chamber measurements. The effectiveness and accuracy of this approach are validated by comparing different simulations and comparing simulations with measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar and Aerospace)
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Open AccessArticle On Multirate GARK Schemes with Adaptive Micro Step Sizes for Fluid–Structure Interaction: Order Conditions and Preservation of the Geometric Conservation Law
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 8; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010008
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
The application of partitioned schemes to fluid–structure interaction (FSI) allows the use of already developed solvers specifically designed for the efficient solution of the corresponding subproblems. In this work, we propose and describe a loosely coupled partitioned scheme based on the recently introduced
[...] Read more.
The application of partitioned schemes to fluid–structure interaction (FSI) allows the use of already developed solvers specifically designed for the efficient solution of the corresponding subproblems. In this work, we propose and describe a loosely coupled partitioned scheme based on the recently introduced generalized-structure additively partitioned Runge-Kutta (GARK) framework. The resulting scheme combines implicit-explicit (IMEX) and multirate approaches while coupling of the subproblems is realized both on the level of the discrete time steps and at the level of interior Runge-Kutta stages. Specifically, we allow for varying micro step sizes for the fluid subproblem and therefore extend the multirate GARK framework based on constant micro steps. Furthermore, we derive the order conditions for this extension allowing for coupled time integration schemes of up to third order and discuss specific choices of the Runge-Kutta coefficients complying with the geometric conservation law. Finally, numerical experiments are carried out for uniform flow on a moving grid as well as the classical FSI test case of a moving piston. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid-Structure Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Control of Triple-Shock Configurations and Vortex Structures Forming in High Speed Flows of Gaseous Media past an AD Body under the Action of External Energy Sources
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 9; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010009
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
The problem of supersonic streamlining of an aerodynamic (AD) body, “a plate blunted by a cylinder”, by a flow with the freestream Mach number M = 4 containing an external energy source has been studied, taking into account physicochemical transformations. The results of
[...] Read more.
The problem of supersonic streamlining of an aerodynamic (AD) body, “a plate blunted by a cylinder”, by a flow with the freestream Mach number M = 4 containing an external energy source has been studied, taking into account physicochemical transformations. The results of the effect of the ratio of specific heats γ changing in the range from 1.1 to 1.4 on the dynamics of triple-shock configurations and vortex-contact structures are presented for the interaction of an energy source with the bow shock wave. The energy source is modeled via the heated rarefied layer (filament). The angles in the triple-shock configurations, the stagnation pressure, together with the frontal drag force, have been studied dependent on the specific heats ratio γ, the characteristics of the energy source, and also on the angle of the incident shock. Vortex-contact structures have been researched for the Mach numbers 7, 8, 9, as well as the generation of the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability accompanying the formation of a triple-shock configuration. The results show a strong influence of the specific heats ratio of the gas medium and the parameters of the energy source on the triple-shock configuration and aerodynamic characteristics of the body. This conclusion can be useful for aerospace applications in the area of the design of nozzles, intakes, and high speed flying vehicles. Additionally, the results show the possibility of flow control in the atmospheres of other planets using external energy deposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid-Structure Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Sense and Avoid Airborne Radar Implementations on a Low-Cost Weather Radar Platform
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010011
Received: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Traditionally, multi-mission applications in airborne radar are implemented through very expensive phased array architectures. The emerging applications from civilian surveillance, on the other hand, prefer low-cost and low-SWaP (space, weight and power) systems. This study introduces asoftware-basedsolutionthatintendstouselow-costhardwareandadvancedalgorithms/processing backend to meet the remote sensing
[...] Read more.
Traditionally, multi-mission applications in airborne radar are implemented through very expensive phased array architectures. The emerging applications from civilian surveillance, on the other hand, prefer low-cost and low-SWaP (space, weight and power) systems. This study introduces asoftware-basedsolutionthatintendstouselow-costhardwareandadvancedalgorithms/processing backend to meet the remote sensing goals for multi-mission applications. The low-cost airborne radar platform from Garmin International is used as a representative example of the system platform. The focus of this study is the optimal operating mode, data quality and algorithm development in cases of all-weather sense and avoid (SAA) applications. The main challenges for the solution are the resolution limitation due to the small aperture size, limitations from the field-of-view (FOV) and the scan speed from mechanical scanning. We show that the basic operational needs can be satisfied with software processing through various algorithms. The concept and progress of polarimetric airborne radar for dual-function operations at X-band Generation 1 (PARADOX1) based on the platform are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar and Aerospace)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Varied Shear Correction on the Thermal Vibration of Functionally-Graded Material Shells in an Unsteady Supersonic Flow
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010012
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
A model is presented for functionally-graded material (FGM), thick, circular cylindrical shells under an unsteady supersonic flow, following first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) with varied shear correction coefficients. Some interesting vibration results of the dynamics are calculated by using the generalized differential quadrature
[...] Read more.
A model is presented for functionally-graded material (FGM), thick, circular cylindrical shells under an unsteady supersonic flow, following first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) with varied shear correction coefficients. Some interesting vibration results of the dynamics are calculated by using the generalized differential quadrature (GDQ) method. The varied shear correction coefficients are usually functions of FGM total thickness, power law index, and environment temperature. Two parametric effects of the environmental temperature and FGM power law index on the thermal stress and center deflection are also presented. The novelty of the paper is that the maximum flutter value of the center deflection amplitude can be predicted and occurs at a high frequency of applied heat flux for a supersonic air flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Materials 2016)
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Open AccessArticle CFD Study of a New Annular Lift Fan Configuration with High Lift Efficiency
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010013
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
A new annular lift fan configuration that has very high lift efficiency is explored by using a numerical scheme. The inlet lip radius and diffuser angle are maximized by semicircle duct walls and the location of the lift fan is moved from the
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A new annular lift fan configuration that has very high lift efficiency is explored by using a numerical scheme. The inlet lip radius and diffuser angle are maximized by semicircle duct walls and the location of the lift fan is moved from the throat to the diffuser area to maximize the diffusion effect of the ducted fan. The improved lift fan achieves the figure of merit of 0.772 and the power loading of 9.03 lbs/hp without ground effect, very close to the theoretical limit. Under the ground effect, the figure of merit reaches 0.822 with the power loading of 9.62 lbs/hp. The improved lift efficiency deteriorates the transition characteristics with higher momentum drag and pitching moment. However, with the aid of jet thrusts directly providing part of the lift during transition, the peak of momentum drag and pitching moment can be lowered. A total thrust to weight ratio of 0.7 is enough for all of the requirements in transition and in hover and for the maximum speed of 0.75 Mach in cruise flight. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Heat Exchangers for Intercooled Recuperated Aero Engines
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 14; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010014
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 26 February 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
In the framework of the European research project LEMCOTEC, a section was devoted to the further optimization of the recuperation system of the Intercooled Recuperated Aero engine (IRA engine) concept, of MTU Aero Engines AG. This concept is based on an advanced thermodynamic
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In the framework of the European research project LEMCOTEC, a section was devoted to the further optimization of the recuperation system of the Intercooled Recuperated Aero engine (IRA engine) concept, of MTU Aero Engines AG. This concept is based on an advanced thermodynamic cycle combining both intercooling and recuperation. The present work is focused only on the recuperation process. This is carried out through a system of heat exchangers mounted inside the hot-gas exhaust nozzle, providing fuel economy and reduced pollutant emissions. The optimization of the recuperation system was performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computations, experimental measurements and thermodynamic cycle analysis for a wide range of engine operating conditions. A customized numerical tool was developed based on an advanced porosity model approach. The heat exchangers were modeled as porous media of predefined heat transfer and pressure loss behaviour and could also incorporate major and critical heat exchanger design decisions in the CFD computations. The optimization resulted in two completely new innovative heat exchanger concepts, named as CORN (COnical Recuperative Nozzle) and STARTREC (STraight AnnulaR Thermal RECuperator), which provided significant benefits in terms of fuel consumption, pollutants emission and weight reduction compared to more conventional heat exchanger designs, thus proving that further optimization potential for this technology exists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chirp Signals and Noisy Waveforms for Solid-State Surveillance Radars
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 15; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010015
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Since the advent of “pulse compression” radar, the “chirp” signal (Linear Frequency Modulation, LFM) has been one of the most widely used radar waveforms. It is well known that, by changing its modulation into a Non-Linear Frequency Modulation (NLFM), better performance in terms
[...] Read more.
Since the advent of “pulse compression” radar, the “chirp” signal (Linear Frequency Modulation, LFM) has been one of the most widely used radar waveforms. It is well known that, by changing its modulation into a Non-Linear Frequency Modulation (NLFM), better performance in terms of Peak-to-Sidelobes Ratio (PSLR) can be achieved to mitigate the masking effect of nearby targets and to increase the useful dynamic range. Adding an appropriate amplitude modulation, as occurs in Hybrid-NLFM (HNLFM), the PSLR can reach very low values (e.g., PSLR < −60 dB), comparable to the two-way antenna sidelobes in azimuth. On the other hand, modern solid-state power amplifier technology, using low-power modules, requires them to be combined at the Radio Frequency (RF) stage in order to achieve the desired transmitted power. Noise Radar Technology (NRT) represents a valid alternative to deterministic waveforms. It makes use of pseudo-random waveforms—realizations of a noise process. The higher its time-bandwidth (or BT) product, the higher the (statistical) PSLR. With practical BT values, the achievable PSLR using pure random noise is generally not sufficient. Therefore, the generated pseudorandom waveforms can be “tailored” (TPW: Tailored Pseudorandom Waveforms) at will through suitable algorithms in order to achieve the desired sidelobe level, even only in a limited range interval, as shown in this work. Moreover, the needed high BT, i.e., the higher time duration T having fixed the bandwidth B, matches well with the low power solid-state amplifiers of Noise Radar. Focusing the interest on (civil) surveillance radar applications, such as ATC (Air Traffic Control) and marine radar, this paper proposes a general review of the two classes of waveforms, i.e., HNLFM and TPW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar and Aerospace)
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Open AccessArticle An Improved Electron Pre-Sheath Model for TSS-1R Current Enhancement Computations
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 16; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010016
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
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Abstract
This report presents improvements of investigations on the Tethered Satellite System (TSS)-1R electron current enhancement due to magnetic limited collections. New analytical expressions are obtained for the potential and temperature changes across the pre-sheath. The mathematical treatments in this work are more rigorous
[...] Read more.
This report presents improvements of investigations on the Tethered Satellite System (TSS)-1R electron current enhancement due to magnetic limited collections. New analytical expressions are obtained for the potential and temperature changes across the pre-sheath. The mathematical treatments in this work are more rigorous than one past approach. More experimental measurements collected in the ionosphere during the TSS-1R mission are adopted for validations. The relations developed in this work offer two bounding curves for these data points quite successfully; the average of these two curves is close to the curve-fitting results for the measurements; and an average of 2.95 times larger than the Parker-Murphy theory is revealed. The results indicate that including the pre-sheath analysis is important to compute the electron current enhancement due to magnetic limitations. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note 3D CFD Simulation and Experimental Validation of Small APC Slow Flyer Propeller Blade
Aerospace 2017, 4(1), 10; doi:10.3390/aerospace4010010
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
The current work presents the numerical prediction method to determine small-scale propeller performance. The study is implemented using the commercially available computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver, FLUENT. Numerical results are compared with the available experimental data for an advanced precision composites (APC) Slow
[...] Read more.
The current work presents the numerical prediction method to determine small-scale propeller performance. The study is implemented using the commercially available computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver, FLUENT. Numerical results are compared with the available experimental data for an advanced precision composites (APC) Slow Flyer propeller blade to determine the discrepancy of the thrust coefficient, power coefficient, and efficiencies. The study utilized unstructured tetrahedron meshing throughout the analysis, with a standard k-ω turbulence model. The Multiple Reference Frame model was also used to consider the rotation of the propeller toward its local reference frame at 3008 revolutions per minute (RPM). Results show reliable thrust coefficient, power coefficient, and efficiency data for the case of low advance ratio and an advance ratio less than the negative thrust conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
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