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Aerospace, Volume 6, Issue 12 (December 2019) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The CENTRELINE project aims to demonstrate the proof of concept for a ground-breaking approach to synergistic propulsion–airframe integration. The concept features a turbo-electrically-driven propulsive device at the aft-fuselage that re-energizes the fuselage boundary layer flow in order to compensate the viscous drag effects in the fuselage wake field. Each component within the drive train is described by an analytical model linking specific subdomains, e.g., electromagnetics, structural mechanics, and thermal analysis, which compose a coupled system model. This approach enables large design space explorations to perform trade studies on system level, e.g., to choose the optimal DC link voltage level. View this paper.
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Article
Modelling of a Dual-Fuel-Mode Free-Jet Combustion System
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120135 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2379
Abstract
The focus of this study is to design a combustion system able to sustain hypersonic flight at Mach 8. A Dual-Mode Free-Jet combustion chamber design, first tested in 2010 by NASA, is being adapted to run on hydrogen fuel instead of ethylene while [...] Read more.
The focus of this study is to design a combustion system able to sustain hypersonic flight at Mach 8. A Dual-Mode Free-Jet combustion chamber design, first tested in 2010 by NASA, is being adapted to run on hydrogen fuel instead of ethylene while addressing the excessive thermal heat load. This study is part of the FAME (Flight at Mach Eight) project, with the primary objective to design and analyse the engine configuration for a hypersonic commercial aircraft. This CFD analysis and validation study, the first to replicate this combustion chamber design, provides detailed instructions on the combustion system design. The analysis from this study can be used for future research to successfully reach a sustainable design and operation of a Dual-Mode Free-Jet combustion chamber. The 53% size reduction in the combustion system represents significant progress which encourages future research regarding in the design of combustion systems for hypersonic propulsion systems. Full article
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Article
Assessment of a Turbo-Electric Aircraft Configuration with Aft-Propulsion Using Boundary Layer Ingestion
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120134 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3693
Abstract
In this paper, a turbo-electric propulsion system was analyzed, and its performance was assessed. The aircraft considered here was a single-aisle, medium-range configuration targeting a capacity of 150 Pax. The propulsion concept comprised two boosted geared turbofan engines mounted under-wing. Those main engines [...] Read more.
In this paper, a turbo-electric propulsion system was analyzed, and its performance was assessed. The aircraft considered here was a single-aisle, medium-range configuration targeting a capacity of 150 Pax. The propulsion concept comprised two boosted geared turbofan engines mounted under-wing. Those main engines were supported by an electrically driven aft-propulsor contributing to the thrust generation and by taking advantage of ingesting the boundary layer of the fuselage for potentially higher levels of propulsive efficiency and allowing for the improved operation of the main engines. The performance assessment as carried out in the context of this paper involved different levels: Firstly, based on the reference aircraft and the detailed description of its major components, the engine performance model for both main engines, as well as for the electrically driven aft-propulsor was set up. The methodology, as introduced, has already been applied in the context of hybrid-electric propulsion and allowed for the aforementioned aircraft sizing, as well as the subsequent gas turbine multi-point synthesis (simulation). A geared turbofan architecture with 2035 technology assumptions was considered for the main engine configuration. The present trade study focused on the design and performance analysis of the aft-propulsor and how it affected the performance of the main engines, due to the electric power generation. In order to allow for a more accurate description of the performance of this particular module, the enhanced streamline curvature method with an underlying and pre-optimized profile database was used to design a propulsor tailored to meet the requirements of the aft propulsor as derived from the cycle synthesis and overall aircraft specification; existing design expertise for novel and highly integrated propulsors could be taken advantage of herein. The resulting performance characteristics from the streamline curvature method were then fed back to the engine performance model in a closely coupled approach in order to have a more accurate description of the module behavior. This direct coupling allowed for enhanced sensitivity studies, monitoring different top-level parameters, such as the thrust/power split between the main engines and the aft propulsor. As a result, different propulsor specifications and fan designs with optimal performance characteristics were achieved, which in return affected the performance of all subsystems considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Jet Engine Technology)
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Article
Implementation and Hardware-In-The-Loop Simulation of a Magnetic Detumbling and Pointing Control Based on Three-Axis Magnetometer Data
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120133 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2788
Abstract
The subject of this work is the implementation and experimental testing of a purely magnetic attitude control strategy, which can provide stabilization after the deployment and pointing of the spacecraft without any attitude information. In particular, the control produces the detumbling of the [...] Read more.
The subject of this work is the implementation and experimental testing of a purely magnetic attitude control strategy, which can provide stabilization after the deployment and pointing of the spacecraft without any attitude information. In particular, the control produces the detumbling of the satellite and leads it to a desired attitude with respect to the direction of the Earth magnetic field, based on the only information provided by a three-axis magnetometer. The system is meant to be used as a backup solution, in case of failure of the primary strategy and is designed considering the constraints set on time of operations, power consumption, and peak electric current for a typical CubeSat mission. The detumbling and pointing algorithms are implemented on the FPGA core of a CubeSat on-board computer and tested by Hardware-in-the-loop simulations. The simulation setup includes a Helmholtz cage, recreating the magnetic environment along the orbit, the on-board computer, a MEMS three-axis magnetometer and Simulink software, on which the attitude dynamics is propagated. Test on the real system can provide useful information to select the parameters of the control, such as the gains, to estimate the limits of the system, the time of operations and prevent failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites)
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Article
Determination of Serviceability Limits of a Turboshaft Engine by the Criterion of Blade Natural Frequency and Stall Margin
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120132 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2900
Abstract
This paper analyzes the health and performance of the 12-stage axial compressor of the TV3-117VM/VMA turboshaft operated in a desert environment. The results of the dimensional control of 4800 worn blades are analyzed to model the wear process. Operational experience and two-phase flow [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the health and performance of the 12-stage axial compressor of the TV3-117VM/VMA turboshaft operated in a desert environment. The results of the dimensional control of 4800 worn blades are analyzed to model the wear process. Operational experience and two-phase flow simulations are used to assess the effectiveness of an inlet particle separator. Numerical modal analysis is performed to generate the Campbell diagram of the worn blades and identify resonant blade vibrations which can lead to high cycle fatigue (HCF): mode 7 engine order 30 in the first stage and mode 8 engine order 60 in the fourth. It is also shown that the gradual loss of the stall margin over time determines the serviceability limits of compressor blades. In particular, the chord wear of sixth-stage blades as high as 6.19 mm results in a reduction of the stall margin by 15–17% and a permanent stall at 770–790 flight hours. In addition, recommendations setting out go/no-go criteria are made to maintenance and repair organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 9th EASN International Conference on Innovation in Aviation & Space)
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Article
Integration and Verification Approach of ISTSat-1 CubeSat
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120131 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2851
Abstract
Large-scale space projects rely on a thorough Assembly, Integration, and Verification (AIV) process to provide the upmost reliability to spacecraft. While this has not traditionally been the case with CubeSats, their increasing role in space science and technology has led to new verification [...] Read more.
Large-scale space projects rely on a thorough Assembly, Integration, and Verification (AIV) process to provide the upmost reliability to spacecraft. While this has not traditionally been the case with CubeSats, their increasing role in space science and technology has led to new verification approaches, including in educational CubeSats. This work describes the integration and verification approach for ISTSat-1, which is an educational CubeSat from the Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal that partially discards the typical stage-gate approach to spacecraft development in favor of a more iterative approach, allowing for the system-level verification of unfinished prototypes. Early verification included software functional testing on a flatsat model, thermal vacuum and vibration testing on a battery model, ionizing radiation testing on the on-board computer, and non-ionizing radiation (EMC) testing on all subsystems. The testing of functional prototypes at an early development stage led to uncovering system-level errors that would typically require hardware redesign at a later project stage. The team considers the approach to be useful for educational projects that employ a small, co-located team with low non-recurring engineering costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites)
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Article
Hardware-In-The-Loop and Software-In-The-Loop Testing of the MOVE-II CubeSat
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120130 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3278
Abstract
This article reports the ongoing work on an environment for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) tests of CubeSats and the benefits gained from using such an environment for low-cost satellite development. The satellite tested for these reported efforts was the MOVE-II CubeSat, developed [...] Read more.
This article reports the ongoing work on an environment for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) tests of CubeSats and the benefits gained from using such an environment for low-cost satellite development. The satellite tested for these reported efforts was the MOVE-II CubeSat, developed at the Technical University of Munich since April 2015. The HIL environment has supported the development and verification of MOVE-II’s flight software and continues to aid the MOVE-II mission after its launch on 3 December 2018. The HIL environment allows the satellite to interact with a simulated space environment in real-time during on-ground tests. Simulated models are used to replace the satellite’s sensors and actuators, providing the interaction between the satellite and the HIL simulation. This approach allows for high hardware coverage and requires relatively low development effort and equipment cost compared to other simulation approaches. One key distinction from other simulation environments is the inclusion of the electrical domain of the satellite, which enables accurate power budget verification. The presented results include the verification of MOVE-II’s attitude determination and control algorithms, the verification of the power budget, and the training of the operator team with realistic simulated failures prior to launch. This report additionally presents how the simulation environment was used to analyze issues detected after launch and to verify the performance of new software developed to address the in-flight anomalies prior to software deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites)
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Article
Influence of Polyisobutylene Kerosene Additive on Combustion Efficiency in a Liquid Propellant Rocket Engine
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120129 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2943
Abstract
The combustion of kerosene with the polymer additive polyisobutylene (PIB) was experimentally investigated. The aim of the study was to measure the effect of PIB kerosene on the efficiency of combustion chamber cooling and the combustion efficiency of the liquid propellant for a [...] Read more.
The combustion of kerosene with the polymer additive polyisobutylene (PIB) was experimentally investigated. The aim of the study was to measure the effect of PIB kerosene on the efficiency of combustion chamber cooling and the combustion efficiency of the liquid propellant for a rocket engine operating on kerosene and gaseous oxygen (GOX). The study was conducted on an experimental rocket engine using kerosene wall film cooling in the combustion chamber. Fire tests showed that the addition of polyisobutylene to kerosene had no significant effect on the combustion efficiency. However, analysis of the wall temperature measurement results showed that the use of PIB kerosene is more effective for film cooling than pure kerosene, which can increase the efficiency of combustion chamber cooling and subsequently increase its reliability and reusability. Thus, the findings of this study are expected to be of use in further investigations of wall film cooling efficiency. Full article
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Editorial
Special Issue “Advances in Hybrid Rocket Technology and Related Analysis Methodologies”
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120128 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
Hybrid rockets are chemical propulsion systems that, in the most common configuration, employ a liquid oxidizer (or gaseous in much rarer cases) and a solid fuel; the oxidizer, stored in tanks, is properly injected in the combustion chamber where the solid fuel grain [...] Read more.
Hybrid rockets are chemical propulsion systems that, in the most common configuration, employ a liquid oxidizer (or gaseous in much rarer cases) and a solid fuel; the oxidizer, stored in tanks, is properly injected in the combustion chamber where the solid fuel grain is bonded [...] Full article
Article
Nano-Sized and Mechanically Activated Composites: Perspectives for Enhanced Mass Burning Rate in Aluminized Solid Fuels for Hybrid Rocket Propulsion
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120127 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2513
Abstract
This work provides a lab-scale investigation of the ballistics of solid fuel formulations based on hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene and loaded with Al-based energetic additives. Tested metal-based fillers span from micron- to nano-sized powders and include oxidizer-containing fuel-rich composites. The latter are obtained by chemical [...] Read more.
This work provides a lab-scale investigation of the ballistics of solid fuel formulations based on hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene and loaded with Al-based energetic additives. Tested metal-based fillers span from micron- to nano-sized powders and include oxidizer-containing fuel-rich composites. The latter are obtained by chemical and mechanical processes providing reduced diffusion distance between Al and the oxidizing species source. A thorough pre-burning characterization of the additives is performed. The combustion behaviors of the tested formulations are analyzed considering the solid fuel regression rate and the mass burning rate as the main parameters of interest. A non-metallized formulation is taken as baseline for the relative grading of the tested fuels. Instantaneous and time-average regression rate data are determined by an optical time-resolved technique. The ballistic responses of the fuels are analyzed together with high-speed visualizations of the regressing surface. The fuel formulation loaded with 10 wt.% nano-sized aluminum (ALEX-100) shows a mass burning rate enhancement over the baseline of 55% ± 11% for an oxygen mass flux of 325 ± 20 kg/(m2∙s), but this performance increase nearly disappears as combustion proceeds. Captured high-speed images of the regressing surface show the critical issue of aggregation affecting the ALEX-100-loaded formulation and hindering the metal combustion. The oxidizer-containing composite additives promote metal ignition and (partial) burning in the oxidizer-lean region of the reacting boundary layer. Fuels loaded with 10 wt.% fluoropolymer-coated nano-Al show mass burning rate enhancement over the baseline >40% for oxygen mass flux in the range 325 to 155 kg/(m2∙s). The regression rate data of the fuel composition loaded with nano-sized Al-ammonium perchlorate composite show similar results. In these formulations, the oxidizer content in the fuel grain is <2 wt.%, but it plays a key role in performance enhancement thanks to the reduced metal–oxidizer diffusion distance. Formulations loaded with mechanically activated ALEX-100–polytetrafluoroethylene composites show mass burning rate increases up to 140% ± 20% with metal mass fractions of 30%. This performance is achieved with the fluoropolymer mass fraction in the additive of 45%. Full article
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Article
Predesign Considerations for the DC Link Voltage Level of the CENTRELINE Fuselage Fan Drive Unit
Aerospace 2019, 6(12), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6120126 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3659
Abstract
Electric propulsion (EP) systems offer considerably more degrees of freedom (DOFs) within the design process of aircraft compared to conventional aircraft engines. This requires large, computationally expensive design space explorations (DSE) with coupled models of the single components to incorporate interdependencies during optimization. [...] Read more.
Electric propulsion (EP) systems offer considerably more degrees of freedom (DOFs) within the design process of aircraft compared to conventional aircraft engines. This requires large, computationally expensive design space explorations (DSE) with coupled models of the single components to incorporate interdependencies during optimization. The purpose of this paper is to exemplarily study these interdependencies of system key performance parameters (KPIs), e.g., system mass and efficiency, for a varying DC link voltage level of the power transmission system considering the example of the propulsion system of the CENTRELINE project, including an electric motor, a DC/AC inverter, and the DC power transmission cables. Each component is described by a physically derived, analytical model linking specific subdomains, e.g., electromagnetics, structural mechanics and thermal analysis, which are used for a coupled system model. This approach strongly enhances model accuracy and simultaneously keeps the computational effort at a low level. The results of the DSE reveal that the system KPIs improve for higher DC link voltage despite slightly inferior performance of motor and inverter as the mass of the DC power transmission cable has a major share for a an aircraft of the size as in the CENTRELINE project. Modeling of further components and implementation of optimization strategies will be part of future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 9th EASN International Conference on Innovation in Aviation & Space)
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