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Technical Paper

A 3D User and Maintenance Manual for UAVs and Commercial Aircrafts Based on Augmented Reality

Traditional User/Maintenance Manuals provide useful information when dealing with simple machines. However, when dealing with complex systems of systems and highly miniaturized technologies, like UAVs, or with machines with millions of parts, a commercial aircraft is a case in point, new technologies taking advantage of Augmented Reality can rapidly and effectively support the maintenance operations. This paper presents a User/Maintenance Manual based on Augmented Reality to help the operator in the detection of parts and in the sequence to be followed to assemble/disassemble systems and subsystems. The proposed system includes a handheld device and/or an head mounted display or special goggles, to be used by on-site operators, with software management providing data fusion and overlaying traditional 2D user/maintenance manual information with an augmented reality software and appropriate interface.
Technical Paper

A Mesh Based Approach for Unconventional Unmanned Airship Added Masses Computation

Added masses computation is a crucial aspect to be considered when the density of a body moving in a fluid is comparable to the density of the fluid displaced: added mass can be defined as the inertia added to a system because an accelerating or decelerating body displaces some volume of neighboring fluid as it moves through it. The motion of vehicles like airships and ships can be addressed only by keeping into account the effect of added masses, while in case of aircrafts and helicopters this contribution is usually neglected. Lighter Than Air flight simulation, unmanned airships flight control system, airships flight dynamics are typical applications in which added masses are fundamental to achieve an effective and realistic modeling. A panel based method using the mesh of an airship external shape is developed to account for the added massed.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Technical Paper

Airship and Hot Air Balloon Real Time Envelope Shape Prediction through a Cloth Simulation Technique

The flight simulation of airships and hot air balloons usually considers the envelope geometry as a fixed shape, whose volume is eventually reduced by ballonets. However, the dynamic pressure or helium leaks in airships, and the release of air to allow descent in hot air balloons can significantly change the shape of the envelope leading to potential dangerous situations. In fact, in case of semi-rigid and non-rigid airships a reduction in envelope internal pressure can reduce the envelope bending stiffness leading to the loss of the typical axial-symmetric shape. For hot air balloons thing goes even worse since the lost of internal pressure can lead to the collapsing of the balloon shape to a sort of vertically stretched geometry (similar to a torch) which is not able to sustain the attached basket and its payload.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Software Environment for UAV Missions Support

This paper describes the design and development of a virtual environment conceived to support flight operations of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) used for wind mapping in the proximity of existing or planned wind farms. The virtual environment can be used in pre-flight briefings aiming to define a trajectory from a list of waypoints, to change and eventually re-plan the mission in case of intersection with no fly zones, to simulate the mission, and to preview images/videos taken from the UAV on-board cameras. During flight, the tool can be used to compute the wind speed along the trajectory by analyzing the data streaming from the UAV. The integration of Augmented Reality (AR) techniques in the flight environment provides assistance in remotely piloted landings, and allows visualizing flight and environmental information that are critical to the mission.
Journal Article

Assessment of Advanced SGS Models for LES Analysis of ICE Wall-Bounded Flows - Part I: Basic Test Case

Large Eddy Simulation (LES) represents nowadays one of the most promising techniques for the evaluation of the dynamics and evolution of turbulent structures characterizing internal combustion engines (ICE). In the present paper, subdivided into two parts, the capabilities of the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM® v2.3.0 are assessed in order to evaluate its suitability for engine cold flow LES analyses. Firstly, the code dissipative attitude is evaluated through an inviscid vortex convection test to ensure that the levels of numerical dissipation are compatible with LES needs. Quality and completeness estimators for LES simulations are then proposed. In particular the Pope M parameter is used as a LES completeness indicator while the LSR parameter provides useful insights far calibrating the grid density. Other parameters such as the two-grid LESIQk index are also discussed.
Technical Paper

CFRP Crash Absorbers in Small UAV: Design and Optimization

The high number of hull losses is a main concern in the UAV field, mostly due to the high cost of on-board equipment. A crashworthiness design can be helpful to control the extent and position of crash impact damage, minimizing equipment losses. However, the wide use of composite materials has recently put the accent on the lack of data about the behavior of these structures under operative loads, such as the crash conditions. This paper presents the outcome of a set of tests carried out to achieve a controlled crush of UAV structures, and to maximize the Specific Energy Absorption. In this work, a small-scale experimental test able to characterize the energy absorption of a Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer under compression was developed introducing self-supporting sinusoidal shape specimens, which avoid the need for complex anti-buckling devices.
Technical Paper

Design, Optimization, Performances and Flight Operation of an All Composite Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide the ability to perform a variety of experimental tests of systems and unproven research technologies, including new autopilot systems and obstacle avoidance capabilities, without risking the lives of human pilots. This paper describes the activities of design, optimization, and flight operations of a UAV conceived at Clarkson University (USA) and equipped to perform wind speed measurements to support wind farmsite planning. The UAV design has been assisted and validated by the use of an automatic virtual environment for the assisted design of civil UAVs. This tool can be used as a “computing machine” for civil UAVs. The operator inputs the mission profile and other generic parameters and data about performance, aerodynamics, and weight breakdown are extracted. A mathematical model of the UAV for flight simulation and its dynamic computations, along with automatic drawing is also produced.
Technical Paper

Ducati 999 Crankcase Strength Increase by Changing the Main Bearing Type

In all Ducati L-twins the crankshaft supports are rolling bearings. Due to the higher performance, compactness and lightness, the service life of the crankcase is becoming shorter and in future can become critical in the Ducati 999, the most powerful engine of the Borgo Panigale company. The engine block sidewalls must be strengthened in order to improve the reliability of the component. This can be done by reducing the size of the main bearing housings by the adoption of the plain bearings which have smaller radial dimensions. The stress field of the Ducati 999 crankcase in the two different configurations is calculated by means of the finite element method, applying the engine load in the critical conditions.
Technical Paper

Ethanol to Gasoline Ratio Detection via Time-Frequency Analysis of Engine Acoustic Emission

In order to reduce both polluting emissions and fuel costs, many countries allow mixing ethanol to gasoline either in fixed percentages or in variable percentages. The resulting fuel is labeled E10 or E22, where the number specifies the ethanol percentage. This operation significantly changes way the stoichiometric value, which is the air-to-fuel mass ratio theoretically needed to completely burn the mixture. Ethanol concentration must be correctly estimated by the Engine Management System to optimally control exhaust emissions, fuel economy and engine performance. In fact, correct fuel quality recognition allows estimating the actual stoichiometric value, thus allowing the catalyst system to operate at maximum efficiency in any engine working point. Moreover, also other essential engine control functions should be adapted in real time by taking into account the quality of the fuel that is being used.
Technical Paper

Image Processing Based Air Vehicles Classification for UAV Sense and Avoid Systems

The maturity reached in the development of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) systems is making them more and more attractive for a vast number of civil missions. Clearly, the introduction of UAVs in the civil airspace requiring practical and effective regulation is one of the most critical issues being currently discussed. As several civil air authorities report in their regulations “Sense and Avoid” or “Detect and Avoid” capabilities are critical to the successful integration of UAV into the civil airspace. One possible approach to achieve this capability, specifically for operations beyond the Line-of-Sight, would be to equip air vehicles with a vision-based system using cameras to monitor the surrounding air space and to classify other air vehicles flying in close proximity. This paper presents an image-based application for the supervised classification of air vehicles.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Diesel Fuel Spray Breakup by Using a Hybrid Model

Diesel engine CFD simulation is challenged by the need to improve the accuracy in the spray modeling due to the strong influence played by spray dynamics on evaporation rate, flow field, combustion process and emissions. This paper aims to present a hybrid model able to describe both primary and secondary breakup of high-dense high-pressure sprays. According to this approach, the model proposed by Huh and Gosman is used to compute the atomization of the liquid jet (primary breakup) while a modified version of the TAB model of O'Rourke and Amsden is used for the secondary breakup. The atomization model considers the jet turbulence at the nozzle exit and the growth of unstable wave on the jet surface. In order to validate the hybrid model, a free non-evaporating high-pressure-driven spray at engine like conditions has been simulated. The accuracy of the breakup time evaluation has been improved by tuning the TAB constant Ck according to the Pilch's experimental correlations.
Technical Paper

Multicycle Simulation of the Mixture Formation Process of a PFI Gasoline Engine

The mixture composition heavily influences the combustion process of Port Fuel Injection (PFI) engines. The local mixture air-index at the spark plug is closely related to combustion instabilities and the cycle-by-cycle Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) Coefficient of Variation (CoV) well correlates with the variability of the flame kernel development. The needs of reducing the engine emissions and consumption push the engine manufactures to implement techniques providing a better control of the mixture quality in terms of homogeneity and variability. Simulating the mixture formation of a PFI engine by means of CFD techniques is a critical issue, since involved phenomena are highly heterogeneous and a two phase flow must be considered. The aim of the paper is to present a multi-cycle methodology for the simulation of the injection and the mixture formation processes of high performance PFI engine, based on the validation of all the main physical sub-models involved.
Technical Paper

New Unconventional Airship Concept by Morphing the Lenticular Shape

The aim of this paper is to develop a new concept of unconventional airship based on morphing a lenticular shape while preserving the volumetric dimension. Lenticular shape is known to have relatively poor aerodynamic characteristics. It is also well known to have poor static and dynamic stability after the certain critical speed. The new shape presented in this paper is obtained by extending one and reducing the other direction of the original lenticular shape. The volume is kept constant through the morphing process. To improve the airship performance, four steps of morphing, starting from the lenticular shape, were obtained and compared in terms of aerodynamic characteristics, including drag, lift and pitching moment, and stability characteristics for two different operational scenarios. The comparison of the stability was carried out based on necessary deflection angle of the part of tail surface.
Technical Paper

Rapid Prototyping as a Tool to Support Wind Tunnel Testing of Unconventional Unmanned Airships

Scaled models are often used to check the aerodynamic performance of full scale aircraft and airship concepts, which have gone through a conceptual and preliminary design process. Results from these tests can be quite useful to improve the design of unconventional airships whose aerodynamics might be quite different from classical configurations. Once the airship geometry has been defined, testing is required to acquire aerodynamic data necessary to implement the mathematical model of the airship needed by the flight control system to develop full autonomous capabilities. Rapid prototyping has the great potential of playing a beneficial role in unconventional autonomous airship design similarly to the success obtained in the design process of conventional aircrafts.
Technical Paper

Superheated Sprays of Alternative Fuels for Direct Injection Engines

Alternative and oxygenated fuels are nowadays being studied in order to increase engine efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions and also to limit the automotive industry's economical dependency from crude oil. These fuels are considered more ecological compared to hydrocarbons because they are obtained using renewable sources. Fuels like anhydrous/hydrous ethanol, methanol or alcohol/gasoline blends which are injected in liquid form must vaporize quickly, especially in direct injection engines, therefore their volatility is a very important factor and strongly depends on thermodynamic conditions and chemical properties. When a multi-component fuel blend is injected into a low pressure environment below its saturation pressure, a rapid boiling of the most volatile component triggers a thermodynamic atomization mechanism. These kinds of sprays show smaller droplets and lower penetration compared to mechanical break up.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for Real-Time Simulation

This paper presents a 14 degrees of freedom vehicle model. Despite numerous software are nowadays commercially available, the model presented in this paper has been built starting from a blank sheet because the goal of the authors was to realize a model suitable for real-time simulation, compatible with the computational power of typical electronic control units, for on-board applications. In order to achieve this objective a complete vehicle dynamics simulation model has been developed in Matlab/Simulink environment: having a complete knowledge of the model's structure, it is possible to adapt its complexity to the computational power of the hardware used to run the simulation, a crucial feature to achieve real-time execution in actual ECUs.