Research Papers

Thermal Management of Single- and Dual-Tank Fuel-Flow Topologies Using an Optimal Control Strategy

[+] Author and Article Information
P. G. Huang

Department of Mechanical
and Materials Engineering,
Wright State University,
Dayton, OH 45435
e-mail: george.huang@wright.edu

D. B. Doman

Principal Aerospace Engineer,
Air Force Research Laboratory,
Control Design and Analysis Branch,
2210 Eighth Street, Ste. 21,
WPAFB, OH 45433-7531
e-mail: David.Doman@wpafb.af.mil

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received January 3, 2018; final manuscript received April 13, 2018; published online May 21, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 10(4), 041019 (May 21, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1003; doi: 10.1115/1.4040036 History: Received January 03, 2018; Revised April 13, 2018

The effect of fuel topology and control on thermal endurance of aircraft using fuel as a heat transfer agent was studied using an optimal dynamic solver (OPT). The dynamic optimal solutions of the differential equations governing the heat transfer of recirculated fuel flows for single- and dual-tank arrangements were obtained. The method can handle sudden jumps of operating conditions across different operating zones during mission and/or situations when control parameters have reached their physical limits. Although this method is robust in providing an optimal control strategy to prolong thermal endurance of aircrafts, it is not ideal for practical application because the method required iterative procedures to solve expensive nonlinear equations. The linear quadratic regulator (LQR), the feedback controller, can be derived by linearizing the adjoint equations at trim points to offer a simple control strategy, which can then be implemented directly in the feedback control hardware. The solutions obtained from both OPT and LQR were compared, and it was found two solutions were almost identical except in regions having sudden jump of operation conditions. Finally, a comparison between single- and dual-tank arrangements was made to demonstrate the importance of the flow topology. The study shows the dual-tank arrangement allows flexibility in how energy is managed and can release energy faster than a single-tank topology and hence provides improved aircraft thermal endurance.

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Doman, D. B. , 2018, “Fuel Flow Topology and Control for Extending Aircraft Thermal Endurance,” J. Thermophys. Heat Transfer, 32(1), pp. 35–50. [CrossRef]
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Fig. 1

Single- and dual-tank topologies

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Fig. 2

Operating conditions of a typical fighter aircraft mission

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Fig. 3

Example mission profiles of a typical fighter aircraft

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Fig. 4

The comparison of the current solution methodology OPT against the LQR method for the single-tank case

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Fig. 5

The comparison of the current solution methodology OPT against the LQR method for the dual-tank case

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Fig. 6

The optimization of fuel cycling during after-burner taking off and climbing

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Fig. 7

The optimization of fuel cycling during engagement

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Fig. 8

The zoom-in plot during engagement

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Fig. 9

A comparison of the performance between single- and dual-tank topologies



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