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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.
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

Towards Self-Adaptive Fixturing Systems for Aircraft Wing Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2493
The aim of this work was to develop a new assembly process in conjunction with an adaptive fixturing system to improve the assembly process capability of specific aircraft wing assembly processes. The inherently complex aerospace industry requires a step change in its capability to achieve the production ramp up required to meet the global demand. This paper evaluates the capability of adaptive fixtures to identify their suitability for implementation into aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly. To understand the potential benefits of these fixtures, an examination of the current academic practices and an evaluation of the existing industrial solutions is highlighted. The proposed adaptive assembly process was developed to account for the manufacturing induced dimensional variation that causes significant issues in aircraft wing assembly. To test the effectiveness of the adaptive assembly process, an aircraft wing assembly operation was replicated on a demonstrator test rig.
Technical Paper

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

2014-09-16
2014-01-2114
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

Regeneration in Aircraft Electrical Power Systems?

2008-11-11
2008-01-2898
This paper considers a wide range of options for the allowing regeneration onto the aircraft bus for possible inclusion in future aircraft power quality specifications. For many loads, such as actuators, the size and weight of power converters could be significantly reduced if the requirement to avoid regeneration was removed from the specifications.
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

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

Permanent Magnet Starter-Generator for Aircraft Application

2014-09-16
2014-01-2157
This paper describes a high-speed electrical machine for an aircraft starter-generator. A surface mounted permanent magnet machine is designed to have minimal rotor losses and a novel cooling system for the stator. An inner stator sleeve is adopted to allow for a flooded stator whilst minimizing rotor windage losses. Different slot-pole combinations are compared in view of attaining an optimal combination that provides minimum losses whilst satisfying the electromagnetic, mechanical and thermal constraints.
Technical Paper

More Leaders and Fewer Initiatives: Key Ideas for the Future of Engineering

2015-04-14
2015-01-0411
Panel Discussions held at the SAE World Congress in both 2013 and 2014 observed that a shortage of good quality engineering talent formed a chronic and major challenge. (“Good quality” refers to applicants that would be shortlisted for interview.) While doubts have been expressed in some quarters, the shortage is confirmed by automotive sector employers and the Panel's view was that it was symptomatic of a range of issues, all of which have some bearing on the future of the profession. Initiatives to improve recruitment and retention have had varying degrees of success. Efforts need to be intensified in primary schools where negative perceptions develop and deepen. Schemes like AWIM that operate on a large scale and are designed to supplement school curricula should operate at an international level. Universities represent the entry point into the engineering profession and their role in the recruitment process as well as education and training is crucial.
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

Modeling of An 18-pulse Autotransformer Rectifier Unit with Dynamic Phasors

2012-10-22
2012-01-2159
The more-electric aircraft (MEA) is the major trend for airplanes in the next generation. Comparing with traditional airplanes, a significant increase of on-board electrical and electronic devices in MEAs has been recognized and resulted in new challenges for electrical power system (EPS) designers. The design of EPS essentially involves in extensive simulation work in order to ensure the availability, stability and performance of the EPS under all possible operation conditions. Due to the switching behavior of power electronic devices, it is very time-consuming and even impractical to simulate a large-scale EPS with some non-linear and time-varying models. The functional models in the dq0 frame have shown great performance under balanced conditions but these models become very time-consuming under unbalanced conditions, due to the second harmonics in d and q axes. The dynamic phasor (DP) technique has been proposed to solve that problem.
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.
Journal Article

Investigating the Potential to Reduce Crankshaft Main Bearing Friction During Engine Warm-up by Raising Oil Feed Temperature

2012-04-16
2012-01-1216
Reducing friction in crankshaft bearings during cold engine operation by heating the oil supply to the main gallery has been investigated through experimental investigations and computational modelling. The experimental work was undertaken on a 2.4l DI diesel engine set up with an external heat source to supply hot oil to the gallery. The aim was to raise the film temperature in the main bearings early in the warm up, producing a reduction in oil viscosity and through this, a reduction in friction losses. The effectiveness of this approach depends on the management of heat losses from the oil. Heat transfer along the oil pathway to the bearings, and within the bearings to the journals and shells, reduces the benefit of the upstream heating.
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.
Journal Article

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

2014-09-16
2014-01-2252
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

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.
Technical Paper

Functional Modeling of 18-Pulse Autotransformer Rectifier Units for Aircraft Applications

2015-09-15
2015-01-2412
This paper aims to develop a general functional model of multi-pulse Auto-Transformer Rectifier Units (ATRUs) for More-Electric Aircraft (MEA) applications. The ATRU is seen as the most reliable way readily to be applied in the MEA. Interestingly, there is no model of ATRUs suitable for unbalanced or faulty conditions at the moment. This paper is aimed to fill this gap and develop functional models suitable for both balanced and unbalanced conditions. Using the fact that the DC voltage and current are strongly related to the voltage and current vectors at the AC terminals of ATRUs, a generic functional model has been developed for both symmetric and asymmetric ATRUs. The developed functional models are validated through simulation and experiment. The efficiency of the developed model is also demonstrated by comparing with corresponding detailed switching models. The developed functional model shows significant improvement of simulation efficiency, especially under balanced conditions.
Journal Article

Flexible Tooling for Wing Box Rib Clamping and Drilling

2011-10-18
2011-01-2639
Currently the wing box rib assembly process requires the manual location and temporary fixing of components within product specific jig or fixtures for drilling. After drilling and reaming, parts are separated, cleaned, deburred prior to adding sealant, reclaiming and final bolting, but this may significantly increase cost, manufacturing lead-time, reduces flexibility and cannot usually be economically modified for use on other aircraft types. Due to potential increase in demand for the next generation single isle aircraft, existing tooling solutions have to be improved and new technologies have to be developed. This paper describes the development and testing of flexible tooling to provide clamping and support for drilling wing box ribs to mating rib posts within a restricted environment. Results are presented along with a discussion of the problems that may be encountered during clamping trials.
Technical Paper

Fixturing and Tooling for Wing Assembly with Reconfigurable Datum System Pickup

2011-10-18
2011-01-2556
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

Exhaust System Heat Transfer and Catalytic Converter Performance

1999-03-01
1999-01-0453
Three-way catalytic converters used on spark ignition engines have performance and durability characteristics which are effected by the thermal environment in which these operate. The design of the exhaust system and the location of the catalyst unit are important in controlling the range of thermal states the catalyst is exposed to. A model of system thermal behaviour has been developed to support studies of these. The exhaust system is modelled as connected pipe and junction elements with lumped thermal capacities. Heat transfer correlations for quasi-steady and transient conditions have been investigated. The catalytic converter is treated as elemental slices in series. Exothermic heat release and heat exchange between the monolith, mat, and shell are described in the model. A similar description is applied to lean NOx trap units.
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