Investigation of the Effects of Various Energy and Exergy-Based Objectives/Figures of Merit on the Optimal Design of High Performance Aircraft System


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Virginia Tech


This thesis work shows the advantages of applying exergy-based analysis and optimization methods to the synthesis/design and operation an Advanced Aircraft Fighter (AAF) with three subsystems: a Propulsion Subsystem (PS), an Environmental Control Subsystem (ECS), and an Airframe Subsys-tem - Aerodyanmics (AFS-A) is used to illustrate these advantages. Thermodynamic (both energy and exergy), aerodynamic, geometric, and physical models of the components comprising the subsystems are developed and their interactions defined. An exergy-based parametric study of the PS and its components is first performed in order to show the type of detailed information on internal system losses. This is followed by a series of constrained, system synthesis/design optimizations based on five different objective functions, which define energy-based and exergy-based measures of performance.

A first set of optimizations involving four of the objectives (two energy-based and two exergy-based) are performed with only PS and ECS degrees of freedom. Losses for the AFS-A are not incorporated into the two exergy-based objectives. The results show that as expected all four objectives globally produce the same optimum vehicle.A second set of optimizations is then performed with AFS-A degrees of freedom and again with two energy- and exergy-based objectives. However, this time one of the exergy-based objectives incorporates AFS-A losses directly into the objective. The results are that this latter objective produces a significantly better optimum vehicle. Thus, an exergy-based approach is not only able to pinpoint where the greatest inefficiencies in the system occur but produces a superior optimum vehicle as well by accounting for irreversibility losses in subsystems (e.g., the AFS-A) only indirectly tied to fuel usage.



exergy, AAF, Optimization