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Latin American Space Research - Challenges and Opportunities

Abstract

The interest of Latin American countries in space research has been successfully developing for many decades. It has its roots in the first development programmes for the Brazilian and Argentinian defence industry within the import substitution strategy, and then the export-oriented strategy during the period of the military rule. The endogenous development of space technology was treated in those countries as a priority and served as a way to diffuse technology to other industries, and as a model for the other countries in the region (Peru and Venezuela), which wished to develop outer space programme by developing their own technologies within the chosen range or by partaking in broader cooperation programmes on the Latin American continent [1]. The Latin American space agencies, which already existed in many countries in the 1960s and the 1970s, were carrying out relatively costly research, treating development in this area not only as the achievement of the economic development objectives, but also as an attempt to oppose the dominance of Washington [2]. Despite of the vast funding on endogenous research in the field of space engineering being provided, until the end of the last century only the projects conducted together with the Soviet Union (Cuba) or The United States were accomplished successfully. Currently and in the nearest future, the Latin American countries are still forced to rely on external assistance with satellite launching, expertise, more advanced technologies, etc. It should be noticed that countries conducting advanced and costly space programmes: the United States, Russia, China and the European Union (especially France and – but to a substantially lesser degree – Italy) show a growing interest in cooperation with Latin America and appreciation towards their specialists, high quality research and space technologies.

Open access
Preliminary Sub-Systems Design Integrated in a Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Framework

Abstract

The aircraft design is a complex subject since several and completely different design disciplines are involved in the project. Many efforts are made to harmonize and optimize the design trying to combine all disciplines together at the same level of detail. Within the ongoing AGILE (Horizon 2020) research, an aircraft MDO (Multidisciplinary Design Optimization) process is setting up connecting several design tools and competences together. Each tool covers a different design discipline such as aerodynamics, structure, propulsion and systems. This paper focuses on the integration of the sub-system design discipline with the others in order to obtain a complete and optimized aircraft preliminary design. All design parameters used to integrate the sub-system branch with the others are discussed as for their redefinition within the different detail level of the design.

Open access
Stress Distribution Investigation at the Tapered Sandwich Endings

Abstract

One of the typical sandwich ending is tapered transition to a solid laminate, which causes significant stress distribution changes. The reviewed articles show that tapered area causes increase in the shear stress in the core, increase of the axial forces in the facesheets and local bending at the fork point, at points of the tapering angle change, and at ply drop positions. Most of the studies gave attention to the endings without reinforcing. During Erasmus+ internship at KTH 2D model of the tapered ending with reinforcing plies, various geometry and resin filler in the core tip was investigated to see the influence on the stress distribution. It was found that tension load case is not as critical as bending load case. Increasing of the solid laminate thickness, adding plies and inserting a short resin or adhesive filler into the core tip area lead to significant stress reduction, whereas in the transition point, from tapering to constant thickness sandwich, increasing radius is more efficient than reinforcing plies in regard to reduce stress concentration.

Open access
Wind Tunnel Tests of Influence of Boosters and Fins on Aerodynamic Characteristics of the Experimental Rocket Platform

Abstract

The paper presents results of wind tunnel tests of the Experimental Rocket Platform (ERP), which is developed in Institute of Aviation. It is designed as an easy accessible and affordable platform for microgravity experiments. Proposed design enables to perform experiments in microgravity for almost 150 seconds with apogee of about 100 km.

The full-scale model of the ERP has been investigated in the T-3 wind tunnel in Institute of Aviation. During the investigation, the aerodynamic loads of the rocket has been measured for the angle of attack up to 10° and the different rotation angle around the longitudinal axis (up to 90°, depending on the configuration). Three configurations has been investigated:

• without fins and boosters

• with fins and without boosters

• with fins and boosters

Additionally, the measurements of velocity field around the ERP using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) has been performed.

Based on the wind tunnel test, an influence of fins and boosters on aerodynamic characteristics of the rocket has been described. Results of the wind tunnel tests show relatively high contribution of boosters in total aerodynamic drag. Some conclusions concerning performance and stability of the rocket have been presented.

Open access
Individual Autonomous Navigation System

Abstract

The article presents the Individual Autonomous System Navigation (IANS) supporting–rescuer or firemen in terms of navigation. Basic assumptions, which such a system has to fulfill in terms of functionality and accuracy, are presented. The concept of the ISAN system is based on the implementation of inertial navigation system which the only one to permit fully autonomous functioning. Measurement sensors of the navigation system with microprocessor board are placed in the rescuer’s shoe. To limit the escalation of the navigation errors value, which in the case of inertial navigation rises exponentially, a procedure of navigation parameters upgrading at every step of the rescuer is introduced to the proposed system. This procedure guarantees the required accuracy of navigation achievement. The article describes a developed and manufactured demonstrator of the technology and presents main results of its research. The research conducted in a building consisted in walking on the same level several hundred meters in less than 10 minutes. A walking test with a change of walking height was also performed in order to estimate the accuracy of the vertical channel. Results of the demonstrator’s tests let us conclude that the error of navigation is below 1% of the travelled distance and the accuracy is linear in respect to time. The achieved accuracy is fully sufficient for a practical IANS application.

Open access
Infrared Signature Suppression Systems in Modern Military Helicopters

Abstract

Helicopters play an important role in air-to-ground fire covering and the short-distance air-to-air fights, as well as the anti-tank missions and battlefield force transferring. The detection and survivability of helicopters on a battlefield significantly depends on their infrared emissions level, as well as the methods, equipment and systems used by potential enemy. The automatic detection systems, recognition and identification of flying objects use among other the thermo-detection methods, which rely on detecting the infrared radiation emitted by the tracked object. Furthermore, due to low-altitude and relatively low flight speed, today’s combat assets like missile weapons equipped with infrared guidance systems are one of the most important threats to the helicopters performing combat missions. Especially meaningful in a helicopter aviation is infrared emission by exhaust gases, egressed to the surroundings. Due to high temperature, exhaust gases are a major factor in detectability of a helicopter performing air combat operations. In order to increase the combat effectiveness and survivability of military helicopters, several different types of the infrared suppressor (IRS) have been developed. This paper reviews contemporary developments in this discipline, with particular examples of the infrared signature suppression systems.

Open access
Manufacturing and Testing of Carbon Composite Samples Intended for Aviation

Abstract

The paper presents the manufacturing technology and quality control of samples made of composite materials intended, inter alia, for aircraft elements. The samples are made from carbon fiber reinforced prepreg in a polymer matrix which is commonly used in the aerospace industry. The authors described the dimensional requirements for samples made of composite materials for strength testing, and the main stages of production which have a direct impact on the quality of composite samples. Also presented is the technological process of producing flat carbon composite panels for composite samples, cutting the produced panels with a CNC plotter, cutting the samples on a conventional milling machine, and surface treatment of the samples on a surface grinder. The machining parameters that were experientially found to be optimal for the milling and grinding of carbon samples are specified as well. Finally, the method of quality control of the ready composite samples is described and solutions are presented to improve the production of high-quality samples.

Open access
Measuring and Testing the Parameters of a Battery Pack Designed for Powering Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Various Temperatures

Abstract

This paper describes results of tests dedicated to studying – in simulated environmental conditions – operation of a battery pack designed for powering unmanned aircraft systems. In particular, the tests concerned determining the electrical parameters of battery packs, with and without radiators, during their operation in changing environmental conditions and resistance to large temperature fluctuations. Amicell, a high density lithium polymer battery manufactured by the Israeli Amit Industries ltd., was selected for testing. The test results present characteristics of the batteries tested in different temperatures and allow for designing and trying out proper battery protections against environmental conditions, with the intention to attain continuous and correct operation. The tests have been carried out in the accredited Environmental Test Laboratory which is part of the Department of Avionics of the Institute of Aviation in Poland.

Open access
Particle-In-Cell Electrostatic Numerical Algorithm

Abstract

Existing global models of interaction between the solar wind (SW) and the local interstellar medium (LISM) describe the heliosphere that arises as a result of this interaction. There is a strong motivation to develop a kinetic model using the Particle-in-Cell (PIC) method to describe phenomena which appear in the heliosphere. This is however a long term scientific goal. This paper describes an electrostatic Particle-in-Cell numerical model developed in the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw, which includes mechanical and charge exchange collisions between particles in the probabilistic manner using Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method. This is the first step into developing simulations of the heliosphere incorporating kinetic effects in collisionless plasmas. In this paper we focus only on presenting the work, which have been done on the numerical PIC algorithm.

Open access
Temperature Measurements in the Detonation Chamber Supplied by Air from Centrifugal Compressor and Gaseous Hydrogen

Abstract

In this paper, the experimental results of a detonation chamber fed by air from a centrifugal compressor are presented. The detonation chamber was equipped with many different sensors, mostly thermocouples, which were placed in 11 different positions. The distribution of temperature changes along the chamber and radial temperature profile at the outlet are provided. The results here confirm the existence of high mixture stratification. Such mixture stratifications and temperature profiles may be used as an additional chamber wall cooling method. The experiments performed, address key issues regarding the chamber choking problem caused by turbines. The relationship between the turbine performance and detonation chamber are crucial for proper control of turbine jet engine.

Open access