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Research Papers

Mission Analysis and Operational Optimization of Adaptive Cycle Microturbofan Engine in Surveillance and Firefighting Scenarios

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Palman

Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Laboratory,
Aerospace Engineering Department,
Technion—Israel Institute of Technology,
Technion, Haifa 3200003, Israel
e-mail: p.michael@campus.technion.ac.il

Boris Leizeronok

Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Laboratory,
Aerospace Engineering Department,
Technion—Israel Institute of Technology,
Technion, Haifa 3200003, Israel
e-mail: borisl@technion.ac.il

Beni Cukurel

Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Laboratory,
Aerospace Engineering Department,
Technion—Israel Institute of Technology,
Technion, Haifa 3200003, Israel
e-mail: beni@cukurel.org

Manuscript received June 22, 2018; final manuscript received June 25, 2018; published online September 14, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(1), 011010 (Sep 14, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1304; doi: 10.1115/1.4040734 History: Received June 22, 2018; Revised June 25, 2018

The current work focuses on mission-based evaluation of a novel engine architecture arising from the conversion of a microturbojet to a microturbofan via introduction of a variable speed fan and bypass nozzle. The solution significantly improves maximum thrust by 260%, reduces fuel consumption by as much as 60% through maintaining the core independently running at its optimum, and enables a wider operational range, all the meanwhile preserving a simple single spool configuration. Particularly, the introduction of a variable-speed fan enables real-time optimization for both high-speed cruise and low-speed loitering. In order to characterize the performance of the adaptive cycle engine with increased number of controls (engine speed, gear ratio, bypass opening), a component map-based thermodynamic study is used to contrast it against other similar propulsion systems with incrementally reduced input variables. In the following, a shortest path-based optimization is conducted over the locally minimum fuel consumption operating points, based on a set of gradient driven connectivity constraints for changes in gear ratio and bypass nozzle area. The resultant state transition graphs provide global optimum for fuel consumption at a thrust range in a given altitude and Mach flight envelope. Then, the engine model is coupled to a flight mechanics solver supplied with a conceptual design for a representative multipurpose unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Finally, the associated mission benefits are demonstrated in surveillance and firefighting scenarios.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Illustration of an adaptive cycle microturbofan equipped with coupled turbofan with: (a) fan, (b) CVT, and (c) variable bypass nozzle

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Fig. 2

Turbofan simulation flowchart

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Fig. 3

Fuel consumption versus thrust for various engine architectures at loiter condition (h=5(km),M=0.3)

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Fig. 4

Fuel consumption versus thrust for various engine architectures at take-off condition (h=0(km),M=0)

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Fig. 5

Fuel consumption versus thrust for various engine architectures at cruise condition (h=9(km),M=0.9)

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Fig. 6

Gear ratio transition for 1100–1600 N thrust

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Fig. 7

Gear ratio (a), nozzle area (b), and core speed transition (c) optimization for operation range

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Fig. 8

State-transition graph, where each state consists of a variable set in gear ratio, bypass nozzle area and core speed

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Fig. 9

Adaptive cycle microturbofan engine operating line on (a) fan bypass map, (b) fan core map, (c) compressor map, (d) turbine efficiency map, and (e) turbine pressure ratio map

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Fig. 10

Engine performance envelope across varying altitude and flight Mach number for: (a) thrust and (b) fuel consumption in fixed-gear/variable-bypass and variable-gear/variable-bypass turbofans

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Fig. 11

Validation of the operating point interpolation

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Fig. 12

Forces on the aircraft during: (a) unidirectional flight and (b) planar turn

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Fig. 13

Flight mechanics algorithm

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Fig. 14

UAV platform layout

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Fig. 15

Surveillance mission profile

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Fig. 16

Thrust profiles for surveillance mission with fixed-gear/variable-bypass and variable-gear/variable-bypass turbofans with respect to mission time in (min) and distance-to-base in (km)

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Fig. 17

Fuel consumption profiles for surveillance mission with fixed-gear/variable-bypass and variable-gear/variable-bypass turbofans with respect to mission time in (min) and mission distance-to-base in (km)

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Fig. 18

Firefighting mission profile for the surveillance and mule UAVs (higher and lower altitudes, respectively)

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Fig. 19

Thrust profiles for firefighting mission by surveillance and mule UAVs either equipped with fixed-gear/variable-bypass or variable-gear/variable-bypass turbofans with respect to mission time in (min) and distance-to-base in (km)

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Fig. 20

Fuel consumption profiles for firefighting mission by surveillance and mule UAVs either equipped with fixed-gear/variable-bypass or variable-gear/variable-bypass turbofans with respect to mission time in (min) and distance-to-base in (km)

Tables

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