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Technical Paper

Low Cost Reconfigurable Jig Tooling and In-Process Metrology for High Accuracy Prototype Rotorcraft Wing Assembly

2019-09-16
2019-01-1877
Reconfigurable tooling frames consisting of steel box sections and bolted friction clamps offer an opportunity to replace traditional expensive welded steel tooling. This well publicized reconfigurable reusable jig tooling has been investigated for use in the assembly of a prototype compound helicopter wing. Due to the aircraft configuration, the wing design is pinned at both ends and therefore requires a higher degree of end to end accuracy, over the 4m length, than conventional wings. During the investigation some fundamental issues are approached, including: Potential cost savings and variables which effect the business case. Achievable Jig accuracy. Potential sources of instability that may affect accuracy over time. Repeatability of measurements with various features and methods. Typical jig stability over 24hrs including effects of small temperature fluctuations. Deflections that occur due to loading.
Technical Paper

Advanced Assembly Solutions for the Airbus RACER Joined-Wing Configuration

2019-09-16
2019-01-1884
The Rapid And Cost Effective Rotorcraft (RACER) is being developed by Airbus Helicopters (AH) to demonstrate a new Vertical Take-Off and Landing configuration to fill the mobility gap between conventional helicopters and aeroplanes. RACER is a compound rotorcraft featuring wings and multiple rotors. The wing arrangement suggested by AH is defined as a staggered bi-plane joined configuration with an upper and a lower straight wing, either side of the fuselage, connected at their outboard extent to form a triangular structure. The ASTRAL consortium, consisting of the University of Nottingham and GE Aviation Systems, are responsible for the design, manufacture, assembly and testing of the wings. Producing an optimised strategy to assemble a joined-wing configuration for a passenger carrying rotorcraft is challenging and novel. The objective of this work concerns all aspects of assembling the joined-wing structure.
Technical Paper

Inner-Insulated Turbocharger Technology to Reduce Emissions and Fuel Consumption from Modern Engines

2019-09-09
2019-24-0184
Reducing emissions from light duty vehicles is critical to meet current and future air quality targets. With more focus on real world emissions from light-duty vehicles, the interactions between engine and exhaust gas aftertreatment are critical. For modern engines, most emissions are generated during the warm-up phase following a cold start. For Diesel engines this is exaggerated due to colder exhaust temperatures and larger aftertreatment systems. The De-NOx aftertreatment can be particularly problematic. Engine manufacturers are required to take measures to address these temperature issues which often result in higher fuel consumption (retarding combustion, increasing engine load or reducing the Diesel air-fuel ratio). In this paper we consider an inner-insulated turbocharger as an alternative, passive technology which aims to reduce the exhaust heat losses between the engine and the aftertreatment. Firstly, the concept and design of the inner-insulated turbocharger is presented.
Technical Paper

Mass Benefit Analysis of 4-Stroke and Wankel Range Extenders in an Electric Vehicle over a Defined Drive Cycle with Respect to Vehicle Range and Fuel Consumption

2019-04-02
2019-01-1282
The gradual push towards electric vehicles (EV) as a primary mode of transport has resulted in an increased focus on electric and hybrid powertrain research. One answer to the consumers’ concern over EV range is the implementation of small combustion engines as generators to supplement the energy stored in the vehicle battery. Since these range extender generators have the opportunity to run in a small operating window, some engine types that have historically struggled in an automotive setting have the potential to be competitive. The relative merits of two different engine options for range extended electric vehicles are simulated in vehicle across the WLTP drive cycle. The baseline electric vehicle chosen was the BMW i3 owing to its availability as an EV with and without a range extender gasoline engine.
Technical Paper

2-Stroke Engine Options for Automotive Use: A Fundamental Comparison of Different Potential Scavenging Arrangements for Medium-Duty Truck Applications

2019-01-15
2019-01-0071
The work presented here seeks to compare different means of providing scavenging systems for an automotive 2-stroke engine. It follows on from previous work solely investigating uniflow scavenging systems, and aims to provide context for the results discovered there as well as to assess the benefits of a new scavenging system: the reverse-uniflow sleeve-valve. For the study the general performance of the engine was taken to be suitable to power a medium-duty truck, and all of the concepts discussed here were compared in terms of indicated fuel consumption for the same cylinder swept volume using a one-dimensional engine simulation package. In order to investigate the sleeve-valve designs layout drawings and analysis of the Rolls-Royce Crecy-type sleeve had to be undertaken.
Technical Paper

Testing of a Modern Wankel Rotary Engine - Part I: Experimental Plan, Development of the Software Tools and Measurement Systems

2019-01-15
2019-01-0075
Wankel rotary engines are becoming an increasingly popular area of research with regard to their use as a range extender in the next generation of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). Due to their simple design, lightness, compactness and very favourable power-to-weight ratio, they represent one of the best alternative solutions to classic reciprocating piston engines. On the other hand, current Wankel engines still need improvements in terms of specific fuel consumption and emissions. This paper describes an innovative approach for the assessment of the performance of a modern rotary engine. All the experimental activities will be carried out within the Innovate UK funded ADAPT Intelligent Powertrain project led by Westfield Sportscars Limited.
Technical Paper

Modulation Limit Based Control Strategy for More Electric Aircraft Generator System

2018-10-30
2018-01-1937
Vector based control strategies have been extensively employed for drive systems, and in recent times to the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) generator based systems. The control schemes should maintain the bus voltage and adhere to the generator system voltage and current limits throughout a wide speed range. Typically, the current limit is prioritised first due to ease of implementation and simple control structure. As a result, the voltage limit can be exceeded due to change in operating conditions or disturbance factors. In flux weakening regions, this may affect the controllability of the power converter and lead to generator system instability. In this paper, an alternative control strategy has been investigated to address this drawback. The proposed control scheme refers to the modulation index limit which is the ratio between the power converter input and output voltages as the voltage limit.
Technical Paper

Potential Improvements in Turbofan’s Performance by Electric Power Transfer

2018-10-30
2018-01-1962
Bleeding in engines is essential to mitigate the unmatched air massflow between low and High Pressure (HP) compressors at low speed settings, thus avoiding unstable operation due to surge and phenomena. However, by emerging the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) the engine is equipped with electrical machines on both high and Low Pressure (LP) spools which enables transfer of power electrically from one spool to another and hence provides the opportunity to operate engine core components closer to their optimum design point at off-design conditions. At lower power setting of the engine, HPC speed can be increased by taking power from LP shaft and feeding it to HP shaft which can lead to the removal of the bleeding system which in turn reduces weight and fuel consumption and help to overcome engine instability issues. Fuel consumption can be decreased by decreasing inconsistent thrust with the aircraft mission for flight and ground idle settings.
Technical Paper

Transient Stability Analysis of DC Solid State Power Controller (SSPC) for More Electric Aircraft

2018-10-30
2018-01-1927
The solid state power controller (SSPC) is one of the most important power electronic components of the aircraft electrical power distribution (EPS) systems. This paper presents an architecture of the DC SSPC and provides the mitigation techniques for transient voltage overshoot during its turn-off. The high source side inductance carries breaking current (9xnominal current) just before turnoff and induces large voltage transient across the semiconductor devices. Therefore, the stored inductive energy needs to be dissipated in order to prevent semiconductor switches from over-voltage/thermal breakdown. Three different transient voltage suppression (TVS) devices to reduce voltage stress across switches are included in the paper for detail study. The comprehensive comparison of the TVS devices is presented. In addition, the thermal impact of the TVS devices on the semiconductor switches is also analyzed.
Technical Paper

Integrated Design of Motor Drives Using Random Heuristic Optimization for Aerospace Applications

2017-09-19
2017-01-2030
High power density for aerospace motor drives is a key factor in the successful realization of the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) concept. An integrated system design approach offers optimization opportunities, which could lead to further improvements in power density. However this requires multi-disciplinary modelling and the handling of a complex optimization problem that is discrete and nonlinear in nature. This paper proposes a multi-level approach towards applying random heuristic optimization to the integrated motor design problem. Integrated optimizations are performed independently and sequentially at different levels assigned according to the 4-level modelling paradigm for electric systems. This paper also details a motor drive sizing procedure, which poses as the optimization problem to solve here. Finally, results comparing the proposed multi-level approach with a more traditional single-level approach is presented for a 2.5 kW actuator motor drive design.
Technical Paper

Variation Aware Assembly Systems for Aircraft Wings

2016-09-27
2016-01-2106
Aircraft manufacturers desire to increase production to keep up with anticipated demand. To achieve this, the aerospace industry requires a significant increase in the manufacturing and assembly performance to reach required output levels. This work therefore introduces the Variation Aware Assembly (VAA) concept and identifies its suitability for implementation into aircraft wing assembly processes. The VAA system concept focuses on achieving assemblies towards the nominal dimensions, as opposed to traditional tooling methods that aim to achieve assemblies anywhere within the tolerance band. It enables control of the variation found in Key Characteristics (KC) that will allow for an increase in the assembly quality and product performance. The concept consists of utilizing metrology data from sources both before and during the assembly process, to precisely position parts using motion controllers.
Journal Article

Evaluation of Control Methods for Thermal Roll Forming of Aerospace Composite Materials.

2016-09-27
2016-01-2118
With increased demand for composite materials in the aerospace sector there is a requirement for the development of manufacturing processes that enable larger and more complex geometries, whilst ensuring that the functionality and specific properties of the component are maintained. To achieve this, methods such as thermal roll forming are being considered. This method is relatively new to composite forming in the aerospace field, and as such there are currently issues with the formation of part defects during manufacture. Previous work has shown that precise control of the force applied to the composite surface during forming has the potential to prevent the formation of wrinkle defects. In this paper the development of various control strategies that can robustly adapt to different complex geometries are presented and compared within simulated and small scale experimental environments, on varying surface profiles.
Journal Article

Control Design for PMM-Based Generator Fed by Active Front-End Rectifier in More-Electric Aircraft

2016-09-20
2016-01-1987
The future aircraft electrical power system is expected to be more efficient, safer, simpler in servicing and easier in maintenance. As a result, many existing hydraulic and pneumatic power driven systems are being replaced by their electrical counterparts. This trend is known as a move towards the More-Electric Aircraft (MEA). As a result, a large number of new electrical loads have been introduced in order to power many primary functions including actuation, de-icing, cabin air-conditioning, and engine start. Therefore electric power generation systems have a key role in supporting this technological trend. Advances in modern power electronics allow the concept of starter/generator (S/G) which enables electrical engine start and power generation using the same electrical machine. This results in substantial improvements in power density and reduced overall weight.
Technical Paper

An Enhanced Secondary Control Approach for Voltage Restoration in the DC Distribution System

2016-09-20
2016-01-1985
The paper will deal with the problem of establishing a desirable power sharing in multi-feed electric power system for future more-electric aircraft (MEA) platforms. The MEA is one of the major trends in modern aerospace engineering aiming for reduction of the overall aircraft weight, operation cost and environmental impact. Electrical systems are employed to replace existing hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical loads. Hence the onboard installed electrical power increases significantly and this results in challenges in the design of electrical power systems (EPS). One of the key paradigms for future MEA EPS architectures assumes high-voltage dc distribution with multiple sources, possibly of different physical nature, feeding the same bus(es). In our study we investigate control approaches to guarantee that the total electric load is shared between the sources in a desirable manner. A novel communication channel based secondary control method is proposed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Position Estimation and Autonomous Control of a Quad Vehicle

2016-09-14
2016-01-1878
The major contribution of this paper is the general description of a complete integrating procedure of autonomous vehicle system. Using Robot Operating System (ROS) as the framework, process from senor integration to path planning and path tracking were performed. Based on an off-road All-Terrain Vehicle, an Extended Kalman filter based autonomous control strategy was developed on the ROS. Both the position estimation and autonomous control were performed on the ROS platform. For the position estimation phase, sensory measurements from GPS, IMU and wheel odometry were acquired and processed on ROS. In accordance with the ROS architecture, separate packages were developed for each sensor to gather and publish corresponding measurements. Furthermore, Extended Kalman filtering was performed to fuse all sensory measurements to achieve an optimizing accuracy.
Technical Paper

Development of a Low Cost Production Automotive Engine for Range Extender Application for Electric Vehicles

2016-04-05
2016-01-1055
Range Extended Electric Vehicles (REEVs) are gaining popularity due to their simplicity, reduced emissions and fuel consumption when compared to parallel or series/parallel hybrid vehicles. The range extender internal combustion engine (ICE) can be optimised to a number of steady state points which offers significant improvement in overall exhaust emissions. One of the key challenges in such vehicles is to reduce the overall powertrain costs, and OEMs providing REEVs such as the BMW i3 have included the range extender as an optional extra due to increasing costs on the overall vehicle price. This paper discusses the development of a low cost Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) of c.25 kW for a range extender application utilising a 624 cc two cylinder automotive gasoline engine. Changes to the base engine are limited to those required for range extender development purposes and include prototype control system, electronic throttle, redesigned manifolds and calibration on European grade fuel.
Technical Paper

A Study on Dynamic Torque Cancellation in a Range Extender Unit

2016-04-05
2016-01-1231
A range extended electric vehicle (REEV) has the benefit of zero pipeline emission for most of the daily commute driving using the full electric mode while maintaining the capability for a long-range trip without the requirement of stop-and-charge. This capability is provided by the on-board auxiliary power unit (APU) which is used to maintain the battery state of charge at a minimum limit. Due to the limited APU package size, a small capacity engine with low-cylindercount is normally used which inherently exposes more severe torque pulsation, that arises from a low firing frequency. By using vector control, it is feasible to vary the generator in-cycle torque to counteract the engine torque oscillation dynamically. This allows for a smoother operation of the APU with the possibility of reducing the size of the engine flywheel. In this paper, a series of motor/generator control torque patterns were applied with the aim of cancelling the engine in-cycle torque pulses.
Journal Article

Reconfigurable Assembly System Design Methodology: A Wing Assembly Case Study

2015-09-15
2015-01-2594
Current assembly systems that deal with large, complex structures present a number of challenges with regard to improving operational performance. Specifically, aerospace assembly systems comprise a vast array of interrelated elements interacting in a myriad of ways, resulting in a deeply complex process that requires a multi-disciplined team of engineers. The current approach to ramp-up production rate involves building additional main assembly fixtures which require large investment and lead times up to 24 months. Within Airbus Operations Ltd there is a requirement to improve the capacity and flexibility of assembly systems, thereby reducing non-recurring costs and time-to-market. Recent trends to improve manufacturing agility advocate Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) as a viable solution. Yet, adding reconfigurability to assembly systems further increases both the operational and design complexity.
Technical Paper

Comparative Study of Power Sharing Strategies for the DC Electrical Power System in the MEA

2015-09-15
2015-01-2410
In this paper, the load sharing principles in dc-distribution electric power systems (EPS) for future more-electric aircraft (MEA) are investigated. The study is conducted using a potential MEA EPS architecture with multiple sources feeding into the main dc bus. Corresponding reduced-order EPS models are established. The influence of the cable impedance on the load sharing accuracy is analyzed and sharing error is quantized in mathematical equations. In addition, source/load impedance of the droop-controlled system has been derived leading to the discussion of the stability issues in multi-feed dc EPS under different droop control strategies. The influence of load sharing ratio on the EPS stability margins has been investigated. The theoretical findings were supported by time-domain simulations in Matlab/SimPower.
Technical Paper

Impact of Electric Loads on Engine Shaft Dynamics within More Electric Aircraft

2015-09-15
2015-01-2409
This paper considers the electromechanical interconnection between the electrical power system of the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) and the shaft connecting the engine to the generator. In order to investigate the coupling between these two systems the effect of an electric load impact on the mechanical system of the MEA will be analysed. In the MEA, many functions traditionally powered by pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical systems will be replaced by the electrical systems. Thus the electrical power rating will be considerably higher than that of a traditional aircraft. With the increase of electrical power, the impact of electrical load on the mechanical system, especially the engine shaft, will become significant. This paper focuses on the study of the interaction between the electrical and mechanical system.
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