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Aerospace, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Earth environment contains a large number of artificially made objects, such as operational [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Fidelity Approach for Aerodynamic Performance Computations of Formation Flight
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper introduces a multi-fidelity computational framework for the analysis of aerodynamic performance of flight formation. The Vortex Lattice and Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes methods form the basis of the framework, as low- and high-fidelity, respectively. Initially, the computational framework is validated for an
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This paper introduces a multi-fidelity computational framework for the analysis of aerodynamic performance of flight formation. The Vortex Lattice and Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes methods form the basis of the framework, as low- and high-fidelity, respectively. Initially, the computational framework is validated for an isolated wing, and then two rectangular NACA23012 wings are considered for assessing the aerodynamic performance of this formation; the optimal relative position is through the multi-fidelity framework based on the total drag reduction. The performance estimates are in good agreement with experimental measurements of the same configuration. Total aerodynamic performance of formation flight is also assessed with respect to attitude variations of the lifting bodies involved. The framework is also employed to determine the optimal position of blended-wing-body unmanned aerial vehicles in tandem formation flight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Aerodynamic Modeling of Aerospace Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Bio-Sourced Epoxies for Bio-Composites
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
In the air and ground transportation sectors, new environmental regulations and societal concerns have triggered a search for new products and processes that complement resources and the environment. To address these issues, this article reports on current R&D efforts to develop bio-sourced materials
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In the air and ground transportation sectors, new environmental regulations and societal concerns have triggered a search for new products and processes that complement resources and the environment. To address these issues, this article reports on current R&D efforts to develop bio-sourced materials by an international joint project. Novel bio-sourced epoxies and biocomposites were developed, characterized, modified and evaluated in terms of the mechanical property levels. Quasi-structural composite parts were finally trial-manufactured and demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle ReDSHIFT: A Global Approach to Space Debris Mitigation
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
The H2020 ReDSHIFT project aims at finding passive means to mitigate the proliferation of space debris. This goal is pursued by a twofold research activity based on theoretical astrodynamics, computer simulations and the analysis of legal aspects of space debris, coupled with an
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The H2020 ReDSHIFT project aims at finding passive means to mitigate the proliferation of space debris. This goal is pursued by a twofold research activity based on theoretical astrodynamics, computer simulations and the analysis of legal aspects of space debris, coupled with an experimental activity on advanced additive manufacturing (3D printing) applied to the production of a novel small satellite. Several different aspects related to the design and production of a debris compliant spacecraft are treated, including shielding, area augmentation devices for deorbiting (solar and drag sails) and design for demise. A strong testing activity, mainly based on design for demise wind tunnel experiments and hypervelocity impacts is performed as well. The main results obtained so far in the project are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Debris: Impact and Remediation)
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Open AccessArticle Design of Power, Propulsion, and Thermal Sub-Systems for a 3U CubeSat Measuring Earth’s Radiation Imbalance
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
The paper presents the development of the power, propulsion, and thermal systems for a 3U CubeSat orbiting Earth at a radius of 600 km measuring the radiation imbalance using the RAVAN (Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned NanoTubes) payload developed by NASA (National Aeronautics
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The paper presents the development of the power, propulsion, and thermal systems for a 3U CubeSat orbiting Earth at a radius of 600 km measuring the radiation imbalance using the RAVAN (Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned NanoTubes) payload developed by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). The propulsion system was selected as a Mars-Space PPTCUP -Pulsed Plasma Thruster for CubeSat Propulsion, micro-pulsed plasma thruster with satisfactory capability to provide enough impulse to overcome the generated force due to drag to maintain an altitude of 600 km and bring the CubeSat down to a graveyard orbit of 513 km. Thermal analysis for hot case found that the integration of a black high-emissivity paint and MLI was required to prevent excessive heating within the structure. Furthermore, the power system analysis successfully defined electrical consumption scenarios for the CubeSat’s 600 km orbit. The analysis concluded that a singular 7 W solar panel mounted on a sun-facing side of the CubeSat using a sun sensor could satisfactorily power the electrical system throughout the hot phase and charge the craft’s battery enough to ensure constant electrical operation during the cold phase, even with the additional integration of an active thermal heater. However, when the inevitable end-of-life degradation of the solar cell was factored into the analysis, an approximate power deficit of 2 kJ was found. This was supplemented by additional solar cell integrated into the antenna housing face. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Risk Perception Factors and Behaviours amongst and within Professionals and Trainees in the Aviation Engineering Domain
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Abstract
In the aviation sector, the variability in the appreciation of safety risk perception factors and responses to risk behaviours has not been sufficiently studied for engineers and technicians. Through a questionnaire survey, this study investigated differences amongst professionals and trainees across eleven risk
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In the aviation sector, the variability in the appreciation of safety risk perception factors and responses to risk behaviours has not been sufficiently studied for engineers and technicians. Through a questionnaire survey, this study investigated differences amongst professionals and trainees across eleven risk perception factors and five indicative risk behaviour scenarios. The findings indicated significant differences between the two groups in four factors and three scenarios as well as within groups. Moreover, age, years of work and study and educational level were other factors accounting for such differences within each group of professionals and trainees. The results showing these significant differences are aligned with relevant research about pilots and indicate that the appreciation of risk perception factors by aviation engineers and the development of their risk behaviours deserves more attention. Our findings cannot be generalised due to the small sample and its distribution across the demographic variables. However, the results of this study suggest the need tailoring risk communication and training to address the different degrees to which influences of risk perception factors are comprehended, and risk behaviours emerge in aviation engineering trainees and professionals. Further research could focus on the development of a respective uniform framework and tool for the specific workforce group and could administer surveys to more extensive and more representative samples by including open-ended questions and broader social, organisational and systemic factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Civil and Military Airworthiness: Recent Developments and Challenges)
Open AccessEditorial Aerospace Best Paper Awards 2017
Received: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Open AccessReview Shock-Wave Structure of Supersonic Jet Flows
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
In the present paper, we give a brief overview of the studies of supersonic jet flows which were performed recently with the aim of gaining experimental data on the formation of the shock-wave structure and jet mixing layer in such flows. Considerable attention
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In the present paper, we give a brief overview of the studies of supersonic jet flows which were performed recently with the aim of gaining experimental data on the formation of the shock-wave structure and jet mixing layer in such flows. Considerable attention is paid to a detailed description of discharge conditions for supersonic jets, to enable the use of measured data for making a comparison with numerical calculations. Data on the 3D flow structure in the mixing layer of the initial length of a supersonic jet are reported. Scientific interest in this phenomenon is due to its practical significance in studying the possibility of intensifying the mixing process as well as in studying the sound-generation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Under-Expanded Jets)
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Management at the Airport Transit View
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Air traffic networks, where airports are the nodes that interconnect the entire system, have a time-varying and stochastic nature. An incident in the airport environment may easily propagate through the network and generate system-level effects. This paper analyses the aircraft flow through the
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Air traffic networks, where airports are the nodes that interconnect the entire system, have a time-varying and stochastic nature. An incident in the airport environment may easily propagate through the network and generate system-level effects. This paper analyses the aircraft flow through the Airport Transit View framework, focusing on the airspace/airside integrated operations. In this analysis, we use a dynamic spatial boundary associated with the Extended Terminal Manoeuvring Area concept. Aircraft operations are characterised by different temporal milestones, which arise from the combination of a Business Process Model for the aircraft flow and the Airport Collaborative Decision-Making methodology. Relationships between factors influencing aircraft processes are evaluated to create a probabilistic graphical model, using a Bayesian network approach. This model manages uncertainty and increases predictability, hence improving the system’s robustness. The methodology is validated through a case study at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, through the collection of nearly 34,000 turnaround operations. We present several lessons learned regarding delay propagation, time saturation, uncertainty precursors and system recovery. The contribution of the paper is two-fold: it presents a novel methodological approach for tackling uncertainty when linking inbound and outbound flights and it also provides insight on the interdependencies among factors driving performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Air Transportation—Operations and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of the Back Plate Inner Diameter on the Frictional Heat Input and General Performance of Brush Seals
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
Reducing losses in the secondary air system of gas and steam turbines can significantly increase the efficiency of such machines. Meanwhile, brush seals are a widely used alternative to labyrinth seals. Their most valuable advantage over other sealing concepts is the very small
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Reducing losses in the secondary air system of gas and steam turbines can significantly increase the efficiency of such machines. Meanwhile, brush seals are a widely used alternative to labyrinth seals. Their most valuable advantage over other sealing concepts is the very small gap between the sealing package and the rotor and thus reduced leakage mass flow. This small gap can be achieved due to the great radial flexibility without running the risk of severe detrimental deterioration in case of rubbing. Rubbing between rotor and seal during operation might occur as a result of e.g., an unequal thermal expansion of the rotor and stator or a rotor elongation due to centrifugal forces or manoeuvre forces. Thanks to the flexible structure of the brush seal, the contact forces during a rubbing event are reduced; however, the frictional heat input can still be considerable. Particularly in aircraft engines with their thin and lightweight rotor structures, the permissible material stresses can easily be exceeded by an increased heat input and thus harm the engine’s integrity. The geometry of the seal has a decisive influence on the resulting contact forces and consequently the heat input. This paper is a contribution to further understand the influence of the geometrical parameters of the brush seal on the heat input and the leakage during the rubbing of the seal on the rotor. In this paper, a total of three seals with varied back plate inner diameter are examined in more detail. The experimental tests were carried out on the brush seal test rig of the Institute of Thermal Turbomachinery (ITS) under machine-relevant conditions. These are represented by pressure differences of 1 to 7 bar, surface speeds of 30 to 180 m/s and radial interferences of 0.1 to 0.4 mm. For a better interpretation, the results were compared with those obtained at the static test rig of the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery (IFAS) at the Technical University of Braunschweig. The stiffness, the blow-down and the axial behaviour of the seals as a function of the differential pressure can be examined at this test rig. It could be shown that the back plate inner diameter has a decisive influence on the overall operating behaviour of a brush seal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Air Systems in Gas Turbine Engines)
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Open AccessArticle The Random Walk of Cars and Their Collision Probabilities with Planets
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
On 6 February 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster on a Mars-crossing orbit. We perform N-body simulations to determine the fate of the object over the next 15 Myr. The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth. While
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On 6 February 2018, SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster on a Mars-crossing orbit. We perform N-body simulations to determine the fate of the object over the next 15 Myr. The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth. While a precise orbit can not be predicted beyond the next several centuries due to these repeated chaotic scatterings, one can reliably predict the long-term outcomes by statistically analyzing a large suite of possible trajectories with slightly perturbed initial conditions. Repeated gravitational scatterings with Earth lead to a random walk. Collisions with the Earth, Venus and the Sun represent primary sinks for the Roadster’s orbital evolution. Collisions with Mercury and Mars, or ejections from the Solar System by Jupiter, are highly unlikely. We calculate a dynamical half-life of the Tesla of approximately 15 Myr, with some 22%, 12% and 12% of Roadster orbit realizations impacting the Earth, Venus, and the Sun within one half-life, respectively. Because the eccentricities and inclinations in our ensemble increase over time due to mean-motion and secular resonances, the impact rates with the terrestrial planets decrease beyond a few million years, whereas the impact rate on the Sun remains roughly constant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Debris: Impact and Remediation)
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Open AccessEditorial Aerospace Mission Outcome: Predictive Modeling
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 19 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Reliability Analysis of Aerospace Electronics)
Open AccessArticle The Legal Framework for Space Debris Remediation as a Tool for Sustainability in Outer Space
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
The growth of orbital space debris is both a consequence of and a potential hindrance to space activities. The risks posed by space debris propagation in the most used orbital regions highlight the need to adequately address the challenges posed to the sustainability
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The growth of orbital space debris is both a consequence of and a potential hindrance to space activities. The risks posed by space debris propagation in the most used orbital regions highlight the need to adequately address the challenges posed to the sustainability in outer space. The preservation of the access to and usability of outer space in the long-term requires that action is taken which has to be the result of both mitigation and remediation measures for existing and future space missions. As the enforcement of such technical measures will depend on adequate regulation, they need to be approached also from a legal perspective. The deficiencies in law for space debris remediation mechanisms originate from the fact that although technical concepts have been developed, the legal framework for space activities does not impose any legal obligations for debris removal and on-orbit servicing. Nevertheless, an overview of the relevant legal framework shows that there is a legal basis for the protection of the outer space environment which can, as has already been the case with space debris mitigation guidelines, be substantiated in more concrete terms by the formulation of voluntary, non-binding instruments and included in national legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Debris: Impact and Remediation)
Open AccessArticle Faster Command Input Using the Multimodal Controller Working Position “TriControl”
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
TriControl is a controller working position (CWP) prototype developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) to enable more natural, efficient, and faster command inputs. The prototype integrates three input modalities: speech recognition, eye tracking, and multi-touch sensing. Air traffic controllers may use all three
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TriControl is a controller working position (CWP) prototype developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) to enable more natural, efficient, and faster command inputs. The prototype integrates three input modalities: speech recognition, eye tracking, and multi-touch sensing. Air traffic controllers may use all three modalities simultaneously to build commands that will be forwarded to the pilot and to the air traffic management (ATM) system. This paper evaluates possible speed improvements of TriControl compared to conventional systems involving voice transmission and manual data entry. 26 air traffic controllers participated in one of two air traffic control simulation sub-studies, one with each input system. Results show potential of a 15% speed gain for multimodal controller command input in contrast to conventional inputs. Thus, the use and combination of modern human machine interface (HMI) technologies at the CWP can increase controller productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Air Transportation—Operations and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation of Random Events for Air Traffic Applications
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
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Abstract
Resilience to uncertainties must be ensured in air traffic management. Unexpected events can either be disruptive, like thunderstorms or the famous volcano ash cloud resulting from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, or simply due to imprecise measurements or incomplete knowledge of the environment.
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Resilience to uncertainties must be ensured in air traffic management. Unexpected events can either be disruptive, like thunderstorms or the famous volcano ash cloud resulting from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, or simply due to imprecise measurements or incomplete knowledge of the environment. While human operators are able to cope with such situations, it is generally not the case for automated decision support tools. Important examples originate from the numerous attempts made to design algorithms able to solve conflicts between aircraft occurring during flights. The STARGATE (STochastic AppRoach for naviGATion functions in uncertain Environment) project was initiated in order to study the feasibility of inherently robust automated planning algorithms that will not fail when submitted to random perturbations. A mandatory first step is the ability to simulate the usual stochastic phenomenons impairing the system: delays due to airport platforms or air traffic control (ATC) and uncertainties on the wind velocity. The work presented here will detail algorithms suitable for the simulation task. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Air Transportation—Operations and Management)
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Open AccessArticle A Dual Mode Propulsion System for Small Satellite Applications
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
This study focused on the development of a chemical micropropulsion system suitable for primary propulsion and/or attitude control for a nanosatellite. Due to the limitations and expense of current micropropulsion technologies, few nanosatellites with propulsion have been launched to date; however, the availability
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This study focused on the development of a chemical micropropulsion system suitable for primary propulsion and/or attitude control for a nanosatellite. Due to the limitations and expense of current micropropulsion technologies, few nanosatellites with propulsion have been launched to date; however, the availability of such a propulsion system would allow for new nanosatellite mission concepts, such as deep space exploration, maneuvering in low gravity environments and formation flying. This work describes the design of “dual mode” monopropellant/bipropellant microthruster prototype that employs a novel homogeneous catalysis scheme. Results from prototype testing are reported that validate the concept. The micropropulsion system is designed to be fabricated using a combination of additively-manufactured and commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts along with non-toxic fuels, thus making it a low-cost and environmentally-friendly option for future nanosatellite missions. Full article
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