Rory Roberts (Advisor), Mitch Wolff (Committee Member), Zifeng Yang (Committee Member)
Master of Science in Aerospace Systems Engineering (MSASE)
Next generation aircraft, more specifically NASA aircraft concepts, will include new technologies and make many advancements in fuel economy and noise. However, there are some challenges associated with the latest technologies that NASA is planning to use for the next generation aircraft. For example, these aircraft concepts require large amounts of electrical power to generate the required thrust throughout a notional flight profile. One of the new technologies is using advanced propulsion systems, such as the Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) system, which is significantly different from current aerospace high bypass turbofan based propulsion system. The TeDP propulsion system replaces the traditional turbofan engines with a series of embedded electrical fans. The blended wing body aircraft, N3-X (Boeing 777 class), that NASA proposed will have as many as 14 electric fans mounted on the upper aft surface of the aircraft wings. In addition to improved aircraft efficiency, this propulsion system change will significantly reduce noise generation, and provide the capability of short take-off and landing. A dynamic model of the ducted fan distributed propulsion system was developed and simulated for different notional flight profiles. The results show that the ducted fan distributed propulsion system dynamic model and the control system successfully generate the required thrust for the flights and capture the transient behavior of the system throughout the flight profiles. In addition, the dynamic model was used to model a 50 passenger regional aircraft. This study shows the benefit of both the TeDP system and the flexibility of the developed model. The contribution to knowledge is the evolution of the evaluation model that helps researcher's understand propulsion systems such as the TeDP system of NASA N+3 class aircraft. By identifying and understanding the principal challenges and possibilities provided by the technology, this research further contributes to defining a roadmap of the new technology propulsion system for future research.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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