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Technical Paper

A Control Algorithm for Low Pressure - EGR Systems Using a Smith Predictor with Intake Oxygen Sensor Feedback

Low-pressure cooled EGR (LP-cEGR) systems can provide significant improvements in spark-ignition engine efficiency and knock resistance. However, open-loop control of these systems is challenging due to low pressure differentials and the presence of pulsating flow at the EGR valve. This research describes a control structure for Low-pressure cooled EGR systems using closed loop feedback control along with internal model control. A Smith Predictor based PID controller is utilized in combination with an intake oxygen sensor for feedback control of EGR fraction. Gas transport delays are considered as dead-time delays and a Smith Predictor is one of the conventional methods to address stability concerns of such systems. However, this approach requires a plant model of the air-path from the EGR valve to the sensor.
Journal Article

A Freezable Heat Exchanger for Space Suit Radiator Systems

During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment, the load from the electrical components and incident radiation. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Radiators have no moving parts and are thus simple and highly reliable. However, past freezable radiators have been too heavy.
Technical Paper

A Heuristic Supervisory Controller for a 48V Hybrid Electric Vehicle Considering Fuel Economy and Battery Aging

Most studies on supervisory controllers of hybrid electric vehicles consider only fuel economy in the objective function. Taking into consideration the importance of the energy storage system health and its impact on the vehicle’s functionality, cost, and warranty, recent studies have included battery degradation as the second objective function by proposing different energy management strategies and battery life estimation methods. In this paper, a rule-based supervisory controller is proposed that splits the torque demand based not only on fuel consumption, but also on the battery capacity fade using the concept of severity factor. For this aim, the severity factor is calculated at each time step of a driving cycle using a look-up table with three different inputs including c-rate, working temperature, and state of charge of the battery. The capacity loss of the battery is then calculated using a semi-empirical capacity fade model.
Technical Paper

A High Efficiency Magnetic Activated Sludge Reactor for Wastewater Processing

Technologies for the recycling of water are a primary goal of NASA’s advanced life support programs. Biological processes have been identified as an attractive method for wastewater processing. A fundamental new bioreactor based on a traditional activated sludge process is demonstrated that treats hygiene wastewater using magnetic iron oxide particles agglomerated with microbial cells. In this bioreactor, microbes are suspended in magnetic flocs in a wastewater medium. Instead of a traditional gravity separator used in activated sludge operations, a magnetic separator removes the microbial flocs from the outlet stream. The reactor separation operates continuously, independent of gravitational influences. The reactor has been able to simultaneously remove 98% of high levels of both nitrogenous and organic carbon impurities from the wastewater as well as achieve acceptably low levels of total suspended solids.
Journal Article

A History of Space Toxicology Mishaps: Lessons Learned and Risk Management

After several decades of human spaceflight, the community of space-faring nations has accumulated a diverse and sometimes harrowing history of toxicological events that have plagued human space endeavors almost from the very beginning. Some lessons have been learned in ground-based test beds and others were discovered the hard way - when human lives were at stake in space. From such lessons one can build a risk-management framework for toxicological events to minimize the probability of a harmful exposure, while recognizing that we cannot predict all possible events. Space toxicologists have learned that relatively harmless compounds can be converted by air revitalization systems into compounds that cause serious harm to the crew.
Technical Paper

A Lightweight EVA Emergency System

TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) is developing a compact, lightweight ExtraVehicular activity (EVA) emergency system that provides 30-minute life-support in the case of system or component failures in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The system uses a low ventilation rate to reduce the amount of stored oxygen, reducing the associated weight and volume penalty. Operation of the system requires an effective sorbent that would remove carbon dioxide and moisture from the suit. We are developing a regenerable sorbent that is suitable for the conceptual system. Recently, we tested the sorbent performance in an adiabatic reactor setup simulating representative EVA emergency conditions. This paper summarizes results of these adiabatic tests.
Technical Paper

A Look-Ahead Model Predictive Optimal Control Strategy of a Waste Heat Recovery-Organic Rankine Cycle for Automotive Application

The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) has proven to be a promising technology for Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) systems in heavy duty diesel engine applications. However, due to the highly transient heat source, controlling the working fluid flow through the ORC system is a challenge for real time application. With advanced knowledge of the heat source dynamics, there is potential to enhance power optimization from the WHR system through predictive optimal control. This paper proposes a look-ahead control strategy to explore the potential of increased power recovery from a simulated WHR system. In the look-ahead control, the future vehicle speed is predicted utilizing road topography and V2V connectivity. The forecasted vehicle speed is utilized to predict the engine speed and torque, which facilitates estimation of the engine exhaust conditions used in the ORC control model.
Technical Paper

A Method for and Issues Associated with the Determination of Space Suit Joint Requirements

In the design of a new space suit it is necessary to have requirements that define what mobility space suit joints should be capable of achieving in both a system and at the component level. NASA elected to divide mobility into its constituent parts -- range of motion (ROM) and torque -- in an effort to develop clean design requirements that limit subject performance bias and are easily verified. Unfortunately, the measurement of mobility can be difficult to obtain. Current technologies, such as the Vicon motion capture system, allow for the relatively easy benchmarking of range of motion (ROM) for a wide array of space suit systems. The ROM evaluations require subjects in the suit to accurately evaluate the ranges humans can achieve in the suit. However, when it comes to torque, there are significant challenges for both benchmarking current performance and writing requirements for future suits.
Technical Paper

A Modified Monte-Carlo Approach to Simulation-Based Vehicle Parameter Design with Multiple Performance Objectives and Multiple Scenarios

Shorter development times in the automotive industry are leading to the increased use of computer simulation in the vehicle design cycle to pre-optimize vehicle concepts. The focus of the work presented in this study is vehicle dynamic performance in different driving maneuvers. More specifically this paper presents a methodology for simulation-based parameter design of vehicles for excellent performance in multiple maneuvers. The model used in the study consists of eight degrees-of-freedom and has been validated previously. The vehicle data used is for a commercially available vehicle. A number of different driving scenarios (maneuvers) based on ISO standards for transient dynamic behavior are implemented and performance indices are calculated for each individual maneuver considered. Vehicle performance is assessed based on the performance indices.
Technical Paper

A Morphological, Combinatory Tool for Design of Low-Gap Automotive Body Panels

This paper proposes a conceptual design tool that could direct designers towards concepts that lead to reduced gaps on the exterior of an automobile. Apart from the manufacturing and assembly tolerance stack up, the design and integration method of the body panels in an automobile contribute to the gap. . A benchmark study suggested cursory concepts to avoid or minimize the gaps. The proposed design tool uses a modified morphological chart approach to populate a table with concepts obtained from the benchmark study and by other means. The design tool also incorporates decision alternatives and hence is different from a morphological chart. The design tool can be used to highlight the occurrence of a high level tolerance stack up chain on the structural/mounting members. Conceptual component architectures are arranged in such a fashion to facilitate combinations through visual means.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Journal Article

A Nonlinear Model Predictive Control Strategy with a Disturbance Observer for Spark Ignition Engines with External EGR

This research proposes a control system for Spark Ignition (SI) engines with external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) based on model predictive control and a disturbance observer. The proposed Economic Nonlinear Model Predictive Controller (E-NMPC) tries to minimize fuel consumption for a number of engine cycles into the future given an Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) tracking reference and abnormal combustion constraints like knock and combustion variability. A nonlinear optimization problem is formulated and solved in real time using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) to obtain the desired control actuator set-points. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) based observer is applied to estimate engine states, combining both air path and cylinder dynamics. The EKF engine state(s) observer is augmented with disturbance estimation to account for modeling errors and/or sensor/actuator offset.
Technical Paper

A Proposed Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Voting Architecture using Time-Triggered Ethernet

Over the last couple decades, there has been a growing interest in incorporating commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies and open standards in the design of human-rated spacecraft. This approach is intended to reduce development and upgrade costs, lower the need for new design work, eliminate reliance on individual suppliers, and minimize schedule risk. However, it has not traditionally been possible for COTS solutions to meet the high reliability and fault tolerance requirements of systems implementing critical spacecraft functions. Byzantine faults are considered particularly dangerous to such systems because of their ability to escape traditional means of fault containment and disrupt consensus between system components. In this paper, we discuss the design of a voting protocol using Time-Triggered Ethernet capable of achieving data integrity in the presence of a single Byzantine fault.
Journal Article

A Real-Time Model for Spark Ignition Engine Combustion Phasing Prediction

As engines are equipped with an increased number of control actuators to meet fuel economy targets they become more difficult to control and calibrate. The large number of control actuators encourages the investigation of physics-based control strategies to reduce calibration time and complexity. Of particular interest is spark timing control and calibration since it has a significant influence on engine efficiency, emissions, vibration and durability. Spark timing determination to achieve a desired combustion phasing is currently an empirical process that occurs during the calibration phase of engine development. This process utilizes a large number of stored surfaces and corrections to account for the wide range of operating environments and conditions that a given engine will experience. An obstacle to realizing feedforward physics-based combustion phasing control is the requirement for an accurate and fast combustion model.
Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) Research in the Context of Realizing Production Control Strategies

This paper seeks to identify key input parameters needed to achieve a production-viable control strategy for spark-assisted compression ignition (SACI) engines. SACI is a combustion strategy that uses a spark plug to initiate a deflagration flame that generates sufficient ignition energy to trigger autoignition in the remaining charge. The flame propagation phase limits the rate of cylinder pressure rise, while autoignition rapidly completes combustion. High dilution within the autoignited charge is generally required to maintain reaction rates feasible for production. However, this high dilution may not be reliably ignited by the spark plug. These competing constraints demand novel mixture preparation strategies for SACI to be feasible in production. SACI with charge stratification has demonstrated sufficiently stable flame propagation to reliably trigger autoignition across much of the engine operating map.
Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Ignition Engine Air Charge Estimation Methods

Accurate in-cylinder air charge estimation is important for engine torque determination, controlling air-to-fuel ratio, and ensuring high after-treatment efficiency. Spark ignition (SI) engine technologies like variable valve timing (VVT) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are applied to improve fuel economy and reduce pollutant emissions, but they increase the complexity of air charge estimation. Increased air-path complexity drives the need for cost effective solutions that produce high air mass prediction accuracy while minimizing sensor cost, computational effort, and calibration time. A large number of air charge estimation techniques have been developed using a range of sensors sets combined with empirical and/or physics-based models. This paper provides a technical review of research in this area, focused on SI engines.
Technical Paper

A Robust CFD Methodology for Physically Realistic and Economically Feasible Results in Racing - Part V: Exhaust-Valve Region Flow

Part V of this five-part paper investigates the flow field and the total pressure loss mechanisms for three valve lifts in the exhaust region of a V8 racecar engine using the robust, systematic computational methodology described in Part I. The replica of the engine geometry includes a cylinder, detailed combustion chamber, exhaust valve, valve seat, port, and “exhaust pipe”. A set of fully-converged and grid-independent solutions for the steady, time-averaged (or RANS), non-linear Navier-Stokes equations are obtained using dense and high quality grids, involving 2.1∼3.0 finite volumes, and unusually strict convergence criteria. Turbulence closure is attained via the realizable k-ε (RKE) model used in conjunction with the non-equilibrium wall function near-wall treatment. The validation presented in Part I showed that flow rate results from the “blind simulations” agree well with the experimental measurements.
Technical Paper

A Smart Jersey Highway Barrier with Portal for Small Animal Passage and Driver Alert

Barriers are commonly used on roadways to separate and to protect against vehicles traveling in opposing directions from possible head-on collisions. However, these barriers may interfere with wildlife passage such that animals become trapped on the road. Typically, small animals cannot find safe passage across all traffic lanes due to the presence of solid barriers and eventually die after being hit by a vehicle. The occurrence of animal-to-vehicle collisions also presents a dangerous scenario for motorists as a driver may intuitively swerve to avoid hitting the animal. In this paper, a redesigned Jersey style barrier, named the Clemson smart portal, will be presented and discussed. This roadway barrier features a portal for small animal travel, along with a mechatronic-based warning system to notify drivers of animal passage.
Technical Paper

A Study to Explore Locomotion Patterns in Partial Gravity Environments

The primary objectives of this study were to determine the factors that affect stability during locomotion in both lunar and martian gravity environments and to determine the criteria needed to enhance stability and traction. This study tested the effects of changing the speed of locomotion and the pattern of locomotion under three gravity conditions. The results showed that as the gravity level decreased, the amount of vertical and horizontal forces dropped significantly. The results also showed that there are some similarities across gravity levels with regard to changing the speed as well as the pattern of locomotion. In general, an increase in the speed resulted in an increase in the vertical and the horizontal forces. A change in the pattern of locomotion showed that even at reduced gravity, it will be more difficult to stop than compared to continue or start the motion.
Technical Paper

A Systems Approach in Developing an Ultralightweight Outside Mounted Rearview Mirror Using Discontinuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics

Fuel efficiency improvement in automobiles has been a topic of great interest over the past few years, especially with the introduction of the new CAFE 2025 standards. Although there are multiple ways of improving the fuel efficiency of an automobile, lightweighting is one of the most common approaches taken by many automotive manufacturers. Lightweighting is even more significant in electric vehicles as it directly affects the range of the vehicle. Amidst this context of lightweighting, the use of composite materials as alternatives to metals has been proven in the past to help achieve substantial weight reduction. The focus of using composites for weight reduction has however been typically limited to major structural components, such as BiW and closures, due to high material costs. Secondary structural components which contribute approximately 30% of the vehicle weight are usually neglected by these weight reduction studies.