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Technical Paper

Refrigerant Charge Management and Control for Next-Generation Aircraft Vapor Compression Systems

Vapor compression systems (VCS) offer significant benefits as the backbone for next generation aircraft thermal management systems (TMS). For a comparable lift, VCS offer higher system efficiencies, improved load temperature control, and lower transport losses than conventional air cycle systems. However, broad proliferation of VCS for many aircraft applications has been limited primarily due to maintenance and reliability concerns. In an attempt to address these and other VCS system control issues, the Air Force Research Laboratory has established a Vapor Cycle System Research Facility (VCSRF) to explore the practical application of dynamic VCS control methods for next-generation, military aircraft TMS. The total refrigerant mass contained within the closed refrigeration system (refrigerant charge) is a critical parameter to VCS operational readiness. Too much or too little refrigerant can be detrimental to system performance.
Technical Paper

In-situ Charge Determination for Vapor Cycle Systems in Aircraft

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in cooperation with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and Fairchild Controls Corporation, is operating an in-house advanced vapor compression refrigeration cycle system (VCS) test rig known as ToTEMS (Two-Phase Thermal Energy Management System). This test rig is dedicated to the study and development of VCS control and operation in support of the Energy Optimized Aircraft (EOA) initiative and the Integrated Vehicle ENergy Technology (INVENT) program. Previous papers on ToTEMS have discussed the hardware setup and some of the preliminary data collected from the system, as well as the first steps towards developing an optimum-seeking control scheme. A key goal of the ToTEMS program is to reduce the risk associated with operating VCS in the dynamic aircraft environment.
Technical Paper

Test Set-up for Electromechanical Actuation Systems for Aircraft Flight Control

An Electromechanical Actuation System (EMAS) are an important component for an all electric Aircraft. EMAS would be lighter and require less system maintenance and operational costs than hydraulic actuators, typically used in aircraft systems. Also, hydraulic actuation systems require a constant power load to maintain hydraulic pressure, whereas EMAS only use power when actuation is needed. The technical challenges facing EMAS for aircraft primary flight control includes jam tolerance, thermal management, wide temperature range, high peak electric power draw, regenerative power, installation volume limit for thin wings, etc. This paper focuses on a laboratory test setup to simulate EMAS flight control environment to test and evaluate three important performance parameters of EMAS; thermal management, transient peak power draw, and regenerative power.
Technical Paper

Cycle-Based Vapor Cycle System Control and Active Charge Management for Dynamic Airborne Applications

Numerous previous studies have highlighted the potential efficiency improvements which can be provided to aircraft thermal management systems by the incorporation of vapor cycle systems (VCS), either in place of, or in conjunction with, standard air cycle systems, for providing the needed thermal management for aircraft equipment and crews. This paper summarizes the results of a cycle-based VCS control architecture as tested using the Vapor Cycle System Research Facility (VCSRF) in the Aerospace Systems Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. VCSRF is a flexible, dynamic, multi-evaporator VCS which incorporates electronic expansion valves and a variable speed compressor allowing the flexibility to test both components and control schemes. The goal of this facility is to reduce the risk of incorporating VCS into the thermal management systems (TMS) of future advanced aircraft.
Technical Paper

Model Accuracy of Variable Fidelity Vapor Cycle System Simulations

As the cost and complexity of modern aircraft systems advance, emphasis has been placed on model-based design as a means for cost effective subsystem optimization. The success of the model-based design process is contingent on accurate prediction of the system response prior to hardware fabrication, but the level of fidelity necessary to achieve this objective is often called into question. Identifying the key benefits and limitations of model fidelity along with the key parameters that drive model accuracy will help improve the model-based design process enabling low cost, optimized solutions for current and future programs. In this effort, the accuracy and capability of a vapor cycle system (VCS) model were considered from a model fidelity and parameter accuracy standpoint. A range of model fidelity was evaluated in terms of accuracy, capability, simulation speed, and development time.
Journal Article

A First Principles Based Approach for Dynamic Modeling of Turbomachinery

As the cost and complexity of modern aircraft systems increases, emphasis has been placed on model-based design as a means for reducing development cost and optimizing performance. To facilitate this, an appropriate modeling environment is required that allows developers to rapidly explore a wider design space than can cost effectively be considered through hardware construction and testing. This wide design space can then yield solutions that are far more energy efficient than previous generation designs. In addition, non-intuitive cross-coupled subsystem behavior can also be explored to ensure integrated system stability prior to hardware fabrication and testing. In recent years, optimization of control strategies between coupled subsystems has necessitated the understanding of the integrated system dynamics.
Technical Paper

Investigation of the Effects on the Engine Drive Shaft to Increased Electrical Power in Aircraft Applications

The amount of electrical power required for future aircraft is increasing significantly. In this paper, a comprehensive model of a drive shaft with multiple degrees of freedom was developed and integrated to detailed engine and electrical network models to study the impact of higher electrical loads. The overall system model is composed of the engine, shafts, gearbox, and the electric network. The Dynamic Dual Spool High Bypass JT9D engine was chosen for this study. The engine was modeled using NASA’s T-MATS (Toolbox for the Modeling and Analysis of Thermodynamic Systems) software. In the electrical side, one generator was connected to the Low Pressure (LP) shaft and the other to the High Pressure (HP) shaft. A modified model of the shafts between the engine and the accessory gearbox was created.