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Technical Paper

Variation Aware Assembly Systems for Aircraft Wings

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.
Technical Paper

Stability Study of DC Electric Power System with Paralleled Generators for More-Electric Aircraft

Many More-Electric Aircraft (MEA) Electric Power System (EPS) architecture paradigms are being studied in order to provide the on-board electrical loads with high-quality supply and to ensure safe operation. EPS with dc distribution appears to be more promising due to higher efficiency, higher reliability, easier integration and lower overall weight. Another advantage of dc systems is the ease of sources paralleling, together with the optimization of load power sharing, this can lead to further EPS weight reduction. The DC bus can be fed by multiple sources such as generators, batteries and other energy storage devices. Many loads in MEA EPS are tightly controlled by power electronic converters and often behave as constant power loads (CPL). These are known as main contributors to the degradation of EPS stability margins. Therefore, stability study is one of the key topics in the assessment of potential EPS architecture candidates.
Technical Paper

Potential Improvements in Turbofan’s Performance by Electric Power Transfer

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.
Journal Article

Implementing Determinate Assembly for the Leading Edge Sub-Assembly of Aircraft Wing Manufacture

The replacement for the current single-aisle aircraft will need to be manufactured at a rate significantly higher that of current production. One way that production rate can be increased is by reducing the processing time for assembly operations. This paper presents research that was applied to the build philosophy of the leading edge of a laminar flow European wing demonstrator. The paper describes the implementation of determinate assembly for the rib to bracket assembly interface. By optimising the diametric and the positional tolerances of the holes on the two bracket types and ribs, determinate assembly was successfully implemented. The bracket to rib interface is now secured with no tooling or post processes other than inserting and tightening the fastener. This will reduce the tooling costs and eliminates the need for local drilling, de-burring and re-assembly of the bracket to rib interface, reducing the cycle time of the operation.
Technical Paper

Fixturing and Tooling for Wing Assembly with Reconfigurable Datum System Pickup

The aerospace manufacturing sector is continuously seeking automation due to increased demand for the next generation single-isle aircraft. In order to reduce weight and fuel consumption aircraft manufacturers have increasingly started to use more composites as part of the structure. The manufacture and assembly of composites poses different constraints and challenges compared to the more traditional aircraft build consisting of metal components. In order to overcome these problems and to achieve the desired production rate existing manufacturing technologies have to be improved. New technologies and build concepts have to be developed in order to achieve the rate and ramp up of production and cost saving. This paper investigates how to achieve the rib hole key characteristic (KC) in a composite wing box assembly process. When the rib hole KC is out of tolerances, possibly, the KC can be achieved by imposing it by means of adjustable tooling and fixturing elements.
Technical Paper

Design and Modeling of a 45kW, Switched Reluctance Starter-Generator for a Regional Jet Application

A 45kW, switched reluctance type, starter-generator, having a 1:4 constant power speed range has been designed as a possible candidate for a regional jet application. In the first section of this paper, a review of the major starter-generator topologies considered for the aerospace application is provided, highlighting the advantages of choosing the Switched reluctance topology for such a safety critical application. Following this, the required torque speed characteristic of the machine, along with the imposed physical constraints, in terms of cooling and outer dimensions, are also detailed. Section III provides a description of the Electromagnetic design, and challenges encountered in meeting both the low speed, peak torque node, at 8000rpm, and the high speed, high power node, at 32000rpm. The induced mechanical stresses in the rotor at such high speeds have also been evaluated and used as a material selection criterion for such a design as presented in section III.
Technical Paper

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

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

An Integrated System’s Approach Towards Aero Engine Subsystems Design

This paper proposes an integrated system’s approach towards design of aero-engine subsystems - seals, bearing chamber, generator and power system. In a conventional design approach, the design of the overall system is typically broken-down into subsystems. Therefore, the focus is not on the mutual interaction between different components or subsystems, resulting in a lack of characterization of the overall system performance at the design phase. A systems design approach adopts a much broader outlook, focusing on the overall optimization of the system performance. This paper is divided into two parts. The first part presents an integrated approach for modelling the electrical, mechanical and hydraulic subsystems of aero engines, in order to analyze the fluid dynamics interactions and reduce the transversal shaft vibrations. For this, an in-line starter/generator and an air-riding seal are studied.
Technical Paper

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

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.