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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

Morphological Characterization of Gasoline Soot-in-Oil: Development of Semi-Automated 2D-TEM and Comparison with Novel High-Throughput 3D-TEM

2019-09-09
2019-24-0042
Characterization of soot nanoparticle morphology can be used to develop understanding of nanoparticle interaction with engine lubricant oil and its additives. It can be used to help direct modelling of soot-induced thickening, and in a more general sense for combatting reductions in engine efficiency that occur with soot-laden oils. Traditional 2D transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization possesses several important shortcomings related to accuracy that have prompted development of an alternative 3D characterization technique utilizing electron tomography, known as 3D-TEM. This work details progress made towards facilitating semi-automated image acquisition and processing for location of structures of interest on the TEM grid. Samples were taken from a four cylinder 1.4 L gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine operated in typically extra-urban driving conditions for 20,284 km, with automatic cylinder deactivation enabled.
Technical Paper

Soot in the Lubricating Oil: An Overlooked Concern for the Gasoline Direct Injection Engine?

2019-04-02
2019-01-0301
Formation of soot is a known phenomenon for diesel engines, however, only recently emerged for gasoline engines with the introduction of direct injection systems. Soot-in-oil samples from a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine have been analysed. The samples were collected from the oil sump after periods of use in predominantly urban driving conditions with start-stop mode activated. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed to measure the soot content in the drained oils. Soot deposition rates were similar to previously reported rates for diesel engines, i.e. 1 wt% per 15,000 km, thus indicating a similar importance. Morphology was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Images showed fractal agglomerates comprising multiple primary particles with characteristic core-shell nanostructure. Furthermore, large amorphous structures were observed. Primary particle sizes ranged from 12 to 55 nm, with a mean diameter of 30 nm and mode at 31 nm.
Technical Paper

Demonstration of Transformable Manufacturing Systems through the Evolvable Assembly Systems Project

2019-03-19
2019-01-1363
Evolvable Assembly Systems is a five year UK research council funded project into flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. The principal goal of the research programme has been to define and validate the vision and support architecture, theoretical models, methods and algorithms for Evolvable Assembly Systems as a new platform for open, adaptable, context-aware and cost effective production. The project is now coming to a close; the concepts developed during the project have been implemented on a variety of demonstrators across a number of manufacturing domains including automotive and aerospace assembly. This paper will show the progression of demonstrators and applications as they increase in complexity, specifically focussing on the Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Phase 1 technology demonstrator (FA3D).
Technical Paper

Challenges of Digital Twin in High Value Manufacturing

2018-10-30
2018-01-1928
Digital Twin (DT) is a dynamic digital representation of a real-world asset, process or system. Industry 4.0 has recognised DT as the game changer for manufacturing industries in their digital transformation journey. DT will play a significant role in improving consistency, seamless process development and the possibility of reuse in subsequent stages across the complete lifecycle of the product. As the concept of DT is novel, there are several challenges that exist related to its phase of development and implementation, especially in high value manufacturing sector. The paper presents a thematic analysis of current academic literature and industrial knowledge. Based on this, eleven key challenges of DT were identified and further discussed. This work is intended to provide an understanding of the current state of knowledge around DT and formulate the future research directions.
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

Morphological Characterisation of Diesel Soot in Oil and the Associated Extraction Dependence

2018-04-03
2018-01-0935
The size and morphology of soot particles and agglomerates extracted from lubricating oil drawn from the sump of a diesel engine have been investigated and compared using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). Samples were prepared for electron microscopy imaging by both centrifugation and solvent extraction to investigate the impact of these procedures on the morphological characteristics, such as skeleton length and width and circularity, of the obtained soot. It was shown that centrifugation increases the extent of agglomeration within the sample, with 15% of the agglomerates above 200 nm compared to only 11% in the solvent extracted soot. It was also observed that the width of centrifugation extracted soot was typically 10 nm to 20 nm larger than that of solvent extracted soot, suggesting that centrifugation forces the individual agglomerate chains together.
Journal Article

The Application of New Approaches to the Analysis of Deposits from the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester (JFTOT)

2017-10-08
2017-01-2293
Studies of diesel system deposits continue to be the subject of interest and publications worldwide. The introduction of high pressure common rail systems resulting in high fuel temperatures in the system with the concomitant use of fuels of varying solubilizing ability (e.g. ULSD and FAME blends) have seen deposits formed at the tip of the injector and on various internal injector components. Though deposit control additives (DCAs) have been successfully deployed to mitigate the deposit formation, work is still required to understand the nature and composition of these deposits. The study of both tip and internal diesel injector deposits (IDID) has seen the development of a number of bench techniques in an attempt to mimic field injector deposits in the laboratory. One of the most used of these is the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester or JFTOT (ASTM D3241).
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

Cyclically Resolved Flame and Flow Imaging in an SI Engine Operating with Future Ethanol Fuels

2017-03-28
2017-01-0655
This work was concerned with study of the in-cylinder flow field and flame development in a spark ignition research engine equipped with Bowditch piston optical access. High-speed natural light (chemiluminescence) imaging and simultaneous in-cylinder pressure data measurement and analysis were used to understand the fundamentals of flame propagation for a variety of ethanol fuels blended with either gasoline or iso-octane. PIV was undertaken on the same engine in a motoring operation at a horizontal imaging plane close to TDC (10 mm below the fire face) throughout the compression stroke (30°,40°,90° and 180°bTDC) for a low load engine operating condition at 1500rpm/0.5 bar inlet plenum pressure. Up to 1500 cycles were considered to determine the ensemble average flow-field and turbulent kinetic energy. Finally, comparisons were made between the flame and flow experiments to understand the apparent interactions.
Technical Paper

Design of a Reconfigurable Assembly Cell for Multiple Aerostructures

2016-09-27
2016-01-2105
This paper presents novel development of a reconfigurable assembly cell which assembles multiple aerostructure products. Most aerostructure assembly systems are designed to produce one variant only. For multiple variants, each assembly typically has a dedicated assembly cell, despite most assemblies requiring a process of drilling and fastening to similar tolerances. Assembly systems that produce more than one variant do exist but have long changeover or involve extensive retrofitting. Quick assembly of multiple products using one assembly system offers significant cost savings from reductions in capital expenditure and lead time. Recent trends advocate Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) as a solution; designed to have exactly the functionality necessary to produce a group of similar components. A state-of-the-art review finds significant benefits in deploying RAS for a group of aerostructures variants.
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

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

Comparison of Methods for Modelling Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Energy Distributions in a Vehicle Floor Structure

2016-06-15
2016-01-1853
Car floor structures typically contain a number of smaller-scale features which make them challenging for vibro-acoustic modelling beyond the low frequency regime. The floor structure considered here consists of a thin shell floor panel connected to a number of rails through spot welds leading to an interesting multi-scale modelling problem. Structures of this type are arguably best modelled using hybrid methods, where a Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) description of the larger thin shell regions is combined with a finite element model (FEM) for the stiffer rails. In this way the modal peaks from the stiff regions are included in the overall prediction, which a pure SEA treatment would not capture. However, in the SEA regions, spot welds, geometrically dependent features and directivity of the wave field are all omitted. In this work we present an SEA/FEM hybrid model of a car floor and discuss an alternative model for the SEA subsystem using Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM).
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.
Journal Article

Structural Quality Inspection Based on a RGB-D Sensor: Supporting Manual-to-Automated Assembly Operations

2015-09-15
2015-01-2499
The assembly and manufacture of aerospace structures, in particular legacy products, relies in many cases on the skill, or rather the craftsmanship, of a human operator. Compounded by low volume rates, the implementation of a fully automated production facility may not be cost effective. A more efficient solution may be a mixture of both manual and automated operations but herein lies an issue of human error when stepping through the build from a manual operation to an automated one. Hence the requirement for an advanced automated assembly system to contain functionality for inline structural quality checking. Machine vision, used most extensively in manufacturing, is an obvious choice, but existing solutions tend to be application specific with a closed software development architecture.
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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