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Technical Paper

Investigation of a Stall Deterrent System Utilizing an Acoustic Stall Sensor

A simple rugged acoustic stall sensor which has an output proportional to angle of attack near wing stall has been evaluated on a Cessna 319 aircraft. A sensor position has been found on the wing where the sensor output is only slightly affected by engine power level, yaw angle, flap position and wing roughness. The NASA LRC General Aviation Simulator has been used to evaluate the acoustic sensor output as a control signal for active stall deterrent systems. It has been found that a simple control algorithm is sufficient for stall deterrence.
Journal Article

Mechanical Design, Prototyping, and Validation of A Martian Robot Mining System

A robot mining system was developed by the State Space Robotic undergraduate student design team from Mississippi State University (MSU) for the 2016 NASA Robotic Mining Competition. The mining robot was designed to traverse the Martian chaotic terrain, excavate a minimum of 10 kg of Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a collector bin within 10 minutes as part of the competition. A Systems Engineering approach was followed in proceeding with this design project. The designed mining robot consisted of two major components: (1) mechanical system and (2) control system. This paper mainly focuses on the design and assessment process of the mechanical system but will also briefly mention the control system so as to evaluate the designed robotic system in its entirety. The final designed robot consisted of an aluminum frame driven by four motors and wheels. It utilized a scoop and lifting arm subsystem for collecting and depositing Martian regolith.
Technical Paper

Theoretical Modeling of the Mechanical Degradation of Polymer Composites due to Moisture/Water Absorption and Damage Progression

The moisture/water absorption and microvoids/cracks progression are two well-understood mechanisms that have significant degradation effects on the mechanical properties/behaviors of the polymer-based composites. To theoretically investigate the effects of above two mechanisms, we develop a simple fiber reinforced polymer composites model by employing the internal state variable (ISV) theory. The water content and the anisotropically distributed damage of the composites are considered as two ISVs (the water content is described by a scalar variable and the damage is defined as a second order tensor) whose histories are governed by two specific physically-based evolution equations. The proposed model can be easily cast into a general theoretical framework to capture more polymer composites behaviors such as viscoelasticity, viscoplasticity and the thermal effect.
Technical Paper

Design and Prototyping of Cleaning Systems for Cylinder Head and Engine Block Conveying Lines

This paper presents the design of two cleaning systems following systems engineering design approach. An in situ cleaning system was designed for removing engine oil stains and metal swarf and shavings that adhere to rollers of conveying lines which convey cylinder head as well as other heavy engine components. The other system was to clear and collect metal debris accumulated in the grooves of an engine block internal assembly line. Prototypes were fabricated for the designed cleaning equipment for further testing and assessment. In the system engineering design process, preliminary, intermediate, and detailed design were conducted following an identification of the design problem, within that process a sequence of tasks such as synthesis, analysis, prototyping, and assessment were completed.
Technical Paper

A Multiscale Study of Single Crystal Copper Plate with Octal Orientation Struck by a Nickel Projectile

A common interaction between a penetrator and a target has been the use of copper and nickel materials. However, a multiscale analysis has not been performed on such a system. Compared to steels, aluminum alloys, titanium alloys and other metallic materials, a description of the mechanical behavior of pure ductile metals such as Cu struck by a penetrator comprises nickel under the high strain rate at different multiscale still remains unknown. In this research, Modified Embedded Atom Method (MEAM) Potential is utilized to study this system and the molecular dynamics simulation is employed in order to provide structure property evolution information for plasticity and shearing mechanisms.
Technical Paper

Key Outcomes of Year One of EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future

EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future (EcoCAR) is North America's premier collegiate automotive engineering competition, challenging students with systems-level advanced powertrain design and integration. The three-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series is organized by Argonne National Laboratory, headline sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and sponsored by more than 28 industry and government leaders. Fifteen university teams from across North America are challenged to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by redesigning the vehicle powertrain without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability. During the three-year program, EcoCAR teams follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's own VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining advanced technology vehicles.
Technical Paper

Cross-Validation of an Infrared Motion Capture System and an Electromechanical Motion Capture Device

The current research conducted a cross-validation between an infrared motion capture system and an electromechanical motion capture device. No differences were found between the motion capture methods in shoulder and elbow angles. However, differences were found between the motion capture methods on distances of hand movements and actor location in space. Results of the current study indicate electromechanical motion capture devices are too inaccurate to use for validating digital human models unless the ultimate application of the model does not require millimeter accuracy or an absolute location in space. If one is primarily interested in joint angles, and distances are secondary, an electromechanical device is acceptable.
Technical Paper

A Study in Driver Performance: Alternative Human-Vehicle Interface for Brake Actuation

This study examines the performance and subject acceptance level of a hand-operated brake actuator. Using a fixed-base vehicle simulator, data for driver reaction time, stopping time, distance, deceleration, customer acceptance and mental workload were collected. Data for three prototype hand-operated brake actuators and traditional foot-operated brake were compared. An additional test, designed to evaluate anthropometrics, sensitivity, and comfort was performed during training. A user preference survey to determine handbrake acceptance was given to subjects after completing the driving test in the simulator. In certain trials, participants were given the choice of handbrake or footbrake for an unexpected stop condition. When placed into an unexpected braking situation, subjects showed faster brake-application times for operating the hand-operated brake, indicating potential for reduced braking distance.
Technical Paper

Characterization of the Effect of Material Configuration and Impact Parameters on Damage Tolerance of Sandwich Composites

A series of carefully selected tests were used to isolate the coupled influence of various combinations of the number of facesheet plies, impact energies, and impactor diameters on the damage formation and residual strength degradation of sandwich composites due to normal impact. The diameter of the planar damage area associated with Through Transmission Ultrasonic C-scan and the compression after impact measurements were used to describe the extent of the internal damage and residual strength degradation of test panels, respectively. Standard analysis of variance techniques were used to assess the significance of the regression models, individual terms, and the model lack-of-fit. In addition, the inherent variability associated with given types of experimental measurements was evaluated.
Technical Paper

Belt Wet Friction and Noise Study

Serpentine belt system has been widely used to drive automotive accessories like power steering pump, alternator, and A/C compressor from a crankshaft pulley. Overload under severe conditions can lead to excessive slippage in the belt pulley interface in poorly designed accessory systems. This can lead to undesirable noise that increases warranty cost substantially. The mechanisms and data of these tribology performance, noise features and system response are of utmost interest to the accessory drive designers. As accessories belt systems are usually used in ambient condition, the presence of water on belt is unavoidable under the raining weather conditions. The presence of water in interface induces larger slippage as the water film in interface changes the friction mechanisms in rubber belt-pulley interface from coulomb friction to friction with mixed lubrication that has negative slope of coefficient of friction (cof) - velocity.
Technical Paper

Phenomenological Modeling of Low-Temperature Advanced Low Pilot-Ignited Natural Gas Combustion

Recently [1, 2, 3 and 4], the novel Advanced (injection) Low Pilot-Ignited Natural Gas (ALPING) low-temperature combustion (LTC) concept was demonstrated to yield very low NOx emissions (<0.2 g/kWh) with high fuel conversion efficiencies (>40%). In the ALPING-LTC concept, very small diesel pilot sprays (contributing ∼2-3 percent of total fuel energy) are injected early in the compression stroke (60°BTDC) to ignite lean, homogeneous natural gas-air mixtures. To simulate ALPING-LTC, a phenomenological thermodynamic model was developed. The cylinder contents were divided into an unburned zone containing fresh natural gas-air mixture, several packets containing diesel and entrained natural gas-air mixture, a flame zone, and a burned zone. The simulation explicitly accounted for pilot injection, spray entrainment, diesel ignition (with the Shell autoignition model), spray combustion of diesel and entrained natural gas, and premixed turbulent combustion of the natural gas-air mixture.
Technical Paper

Multi-Objective Design Optimization Using a Damage Material Model Applied to Light Weighting a Formula SAE Car Suspension Component

The Mississippi State University Formula SAE race car upright was optimized using radial basis function metamodels and an internal state variable (ISV) plasticity damage material model. The weight reduction of the upright was part of a goal to reduce the weight of the vehicle by 25 percent. Using an optimization routine provided an upright design that is lighter that helps to improve vehicle fuel economy, acceleration, and handling. Finite element (FE) models of the upright were produced using quadratic tetrahedral elements. Using tetrahedral elements provided a quick way to produce the multiple FE models of the upright required for the multi-objective optimization. A design of experiments was used to determine how many simulations were required for the optimization. The loads for the simulations included braking, acceleration, and corning loads seen by the car under track conditions.
Journal Article

LiDAR Data Segmentation in Off-Road Environment Using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)

Recent developments in the area of autonomous vehicle navigation have emphasized algorithm development for the characterization of LiDAR 3D point-cloud data. The LiDAR sensor data provides a detailed understanding of the environment surrounding the vehicle for safe navigation. However, LiDAR point cloud datasets need point-level labels which require a significant amount of annotation effort. We present a framework which generates simulated labeled point cloud data. The simulated LiDAR data was generated by a physics-based platform, the Mississippi State University Autonomous Vehicle Simulator (MAVS). In this work, we use the simulation framework and labeled LiDAR data to develop and test algorithms for autonomous ground vehicle off-road navigation. The MAVS framework generates 3D point clouds for off-road environments that include trails and trees.
Technical Paper

Design of a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle with CAVs Capability for the MaaS Market

There is significant potential for connected and autonomous vehicles to impact vehicle efficiency, fuel economy, and emissions, especially for hybrid-electric vehicles. These improvements could have large-scale impact on oil consumption and air-quality if deployed in large Mobility-as-a-Service or ride-sharing fleets. As part of the US Department of Energy's current Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVCT), EcoCAR: The Mobility Challenge, Mississippi State University’s EcoCAR Team is redesigning and doing the development work necessary to convert a conventional gasoline spark-ignited 2019 Chevy Blazer into a hybrid-electric vehicle with SAE Level 2 autonomy. The target consumer segments for this effort are the Mobility-as-a-Service fleet owners, operators and riders. To accomplish this conversion, the MSU team is implementing a P4 mild hybridization strategy that is expected to result in a 30% increase in fuel economy over the stock Blazer.
Technical Paper

Understanding How Rain Affects Semantic Segmentation Algorithm Performance

Research interests in autonomous driving have increased significantly in recent years. Several methods are being suggested for performance optimization of autonomous vehicles. However, weather conditions such as rain, snow, and fog may hinder the performance of autonomous algorithms. It is therefore of great importance to study how the performance/efficiency of the underlying scene understanding algorithms vary with such adverse scenarios. Semantic segmentation is one of the most widely used scene-understanding techniques applied to autonomous driving. In this work, we study the performance degradation of several semantic segmentation algorithms caused by rain for off-road driving scenes. Given the limited availability of datasets for real-world off-road driving scenarios that include rain, we utilize two types of synthetic datasets.