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Simulation, Design and Analysis of Air-Breathing Combined-Cycle Engines for High Speed Propulsion

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VKI PHDT 2014-03, Víctor Fernández Villacé, Simulation, Design and Analysis of Air-Breathing Combined-Cycle Engines for High Speed Propulsion, ISBN 978-2-87516-067-6, 151 pgs

Simulation, Design and Analysis of Air-Breathing Combined-Cycle Engines for High Speed Propulsion

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  • Simulation, Design and Analysis of Air-Breathing Combined-Cycle Engines for High Speed Propulsion

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Simulation, Design and Analysis of Air-Breathing Combined-Cycle Engines for High Speed Propulsion  
By Víctor Fernández Villacé

PhD Thesis from the von Karman Institute/Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, November 27, 2013, ISBN 978-2-87516-067-6, 151 pgs


Abstract

Since the advent of the turbojet, the air-breathing engine with rotating machinery has demonstrated exceptional performance in the subsonic and low supersonic regimes. However, the operation at higher speeds requires further system complexity and weight, which so far has impeded the realization of these concepts. Recent technology developments, especially in lightweight materials, have restored the interest towards combined-cycle engines. The numerical simulation of these new concepts is essential at the early design stages to compute a first estimate of the engine performance in addition to addressing airframe-engine integration issues. In parallel, a different analysis methodology is required to evaluate these unconventional engines. The doctoral thesis concerns the design and analysis of the aforementioned engine concepts by means of numerical modeling and dynamic simulation with state- of-the-art tools.

A common reference is needed to evaluate the different architectures of the turbine and the rocket-based combined-cycle engines as well as the various systems within each one of them. Furthermore, the actual trend towards more electric aircraft necessitates a common metric to judge the suitability of a thrust generation process where different forms of energy coexist. In line with this, the combination of the First and the Second Laws yields the quality of the energy being transferred between the systems on an absolute reference frame. This idea, which has been since long applied to the analysis of on-ground power plants, was extended here to relate the aircraft mission with the inefficiency of every process related to the thrust generation. The methodology is illustrated with the study of a variable-combined-cycle engine for a Mach 5 cruise aircraft.

The design of a turbine-based combined-cycle booster serves to highlight the importance of the engine-airframe integration. The design is constrained by the ascent trajectory and the allocated space in the supersonic cruise aircraft.

The installed performance of the propulsive plant is then computed as a function of the ight speed and altitude and the engine control parameters: pressure ratio, air-to-fuel ratio and throat area.

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Manufacturer von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics

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