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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Methodology for prediction of soot build-up in liquid film-cooled rocket engines will be incorporated into the CRUNCH CFD code, using a reduced-mechanism pyrolysis model and soot formation model developed at University of Virginia. A companion experimental program will be conducted at University of Virginia to collect data for calibration of the pyrolysis models for conditions and fuels of interest to liquid rocket engine design. The resulting capability in CRUNCH CFD will permit simulation of liquid fuel injection, film cooling and vaporization, fuel pyrolysis, soot formation, transport, and deposition on combustor walls, as part of complete combustor calculations, which CRUNCH CFD is currently capable of for both sub and super-critical applications. A demonstration calculation of the end-to-end framework, from liquid film formation to carbon build-up will be performed in Phase I. Proof-of-concept experiments will demonstrate the capability to collect data for calibration of the fuel pyrolysis and soot formation models , and characterize the carbon deposit. A Phase II effort will provide comprehensive data collection and model calibration, resulting in a state-of-the-art production CFD capability for prediction of soot formation and carbon build-up in liquid rocket engines.; BENEFIT: At the completion of Phase II, a validated soot pyrolsysis/formation model will be implemented in our commercial CRUNCH CFD code, providing a state-of-the-art production CFD soot modeling capability for liquid rocket engine analysis beyond other products currently available in the public domain. The commercial market for CRUNCH CFD enhanced with the soot pyrolysis/formation models resulting from the proposed effort can extend from liquid-rocket manufacturers, to gas-turbine and diesel/gas engine manufactures, where soot formation and carbon deposits can effect engine performance and pollutant release to the environment. This is a very large and diverse market and includes commercial launchers, jet engines, gas-turbines used for power generation, marine engines, railroad engines, trucks and automobiles, as well as heavy industrial engines. It is envisioned that the technology developed can be implemented into self-contained software modules which can be linked into government research codes and marketed to other commercial software suppliers.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: The goal of the Phase I effort is to develop a detailed and comprehensive plan that identifies specific, tangible improvements to improve the fidelity of modeling trans-critical combustors. Both hydrogen/oxygen as well as hydrocarbon (RP-1, RP-2) / oxygen systems will be considered. The focus will be on developing improved modules for equations of state for trans-critical mixtures, as well as a more general framework for flowfields that can transition from sub-to-supercritical or vice versa. These upgrades will be developed in a modular fashion to permit incorporation within in-house CFD tools used at AFRL after testing and validation in a follow-on Phase II effort. BENEFIT: This Phase I effort and the subsequent Phase II effort will further enhance our capabilities for modeling both liquid rocket as well as gas turbine engines for DoD and NASA. Within the Air Force, this effort would support the development of the Hydrocarbon Boost technology Demonstrator (HBTD). This product also impacts technology efforts for future civilian gas turbine engines that are being developed under the N+3 generation engine program by NASA; these engine designs are driven by higher efficiency and lower emission requirements. The high-fidelity models developed under this effort will support both these programs. The commercial market for our product will primarily be for diesel engines which operate at high pressures that are generally supercritical. This is a very large and diverse market and includes marine engines, railroad engines, trucks and automobiles, as well as heavy industrial engines. With rising energy costs, a primary concern for these companies is the design of newer more efficient injector systems that provide improved mixing and combustion. The ability to provide accurate performance predictions at transcritical condition would enable the product from this effort to play a design support role.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

The development of a high fidelity, generalized computational framework with the necessary physical submodels incorporated for the analysis of multiphase, combusting, internal and external ballistic flows is proposed. The focus in Phase I will be developing a framework based on an existing unstructured multi-element, fully implicit, CFD code to provide an end-to-end analysis capability for internal ballistic flowfield systems. The key issue that will be addressed in Phase I will be the modeling of the densely packed propellant grains as they move and interact during the ballistic cycle. In the proposed framework the propellant grains will be modeled individually within the unstructured grid as discreet objects. As the grains undergo shape changes due to combustion, they will be translating, rotating, and colliding within the expanding volume as the projectile proceeds through the barrel. In Phase I we will scope out methodology to efficiently model a densely packed propellant bed within an unstructured grid topology emphasizing the application of the Cutcell method with adaptive mesh refinement developed by Professor Menon at Georgia Institute of Technology who will be CRAFT Techs research institution partner for this effort.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:The increased sound produced by tactical aircraft has become more problematic with the enhanced performance requirements that are being set forth for the next generation war fighter. Given the complexity of the engine and the flow that it produces, accurate predictions of the full-scale exhaust stream and far-field acoustics are still challenging topics, despite over 60 years of jet noise and jet flow research. In particular, trade-off decisions between thrust and noise over a broad range of engine operating conditions continues to be a challenging task. The problem is exacerbated by the additional complexities of having multi-stream nozzles comprising complex geometries. The proposed research aims to eliminate this void by developing a robust and reliable analysis tool capable of predicting the sound performance from a multi-stream and heated supersonic nozzle. The engineering tool that will be developed in the proposed research will leverage order reduction and data fusion techniques to blend the strengths of both laboratory scale experiments and analytical modeling to provide fast answers for critical decisions to be made in the design room.BENEFIT:A successful completion of the research program will see the integration of an experiment-based predictive methodology with engine cycle assessment tools that will have the capability of providing valuable acoustics and performance related information to the aircraft systems design engineers. This methodology will be jointly marketed by CRAFT Tech and their team to prime contractors in order to study its effectiveness on aircraft configurations of interest to the Air Force, particularly supersonic fighters and attack aircraft. However, the effectiveness of the technology is not restricted to military applications; it can be easily extended to the commercial aircraft industry to generate performance characteristics maps over a wide range of engine operating conditions. As noise requirements for commercial aircraft engines becomes increasingly more stringent leading to the development of new engine technologies to meet these revised standards, the technology developed in this SBIR program, in conjunction with experimental measurements, can be used for the identification of an optimal region of engine operating conditions that provides optimal acoustic performance at minimal thrust and performance penalties. Our team can provide the functional predictive acoustics methodology developed during this program in a suitable configuration so as to couple with a desired engine cycle assessment tool.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 744.78K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Next generation liquid rocket systems, envision novel designs for cryogenic turbopumps that exhibit high suction performance with low inlet pressures, operate at high tip speeds to reduce size and weight, and can be throttled over a wide range of low, off-design flow conditions where the inlet flow quality is poor with large backflow. These are extremely demanding flow regimes which make the inducer susceptible to a range of cavitation instabilities that can lead to performance loss and potentially catastrophic damage due to large dynamic pressure loads. To mitigate these instabilities design strategies that employ cavitation suppression devices have to be explored to achieve robust performance over a wide operating range. The innovation proposed here is the development of a novel cavitation suppression concept that will be tested and the test data used to validate and mature the simulation framework, CRUNCH CFD as a design support tool. The resulting products at the end of the Phase II effort will be both a practical cavitation suppression device that is demonstrated to function for the flow regimes of interest, and a well-validated analysis tool, CRUNCH CFD, that can be used to predict performance and optimize designs of these devices. BENEFIT: This framework can be used as a design support tool for upper stage engines in the Next Generation Engine (NGE) program and would help reduce design cycle times. It would also support technology development efforts for NASAs SLS program where new boosters that have a heavy lift capability will be designed. It is anticipated that this product will be of interest as a design support tool to the aerospace industry. In addition, a broader market exists, comprising industrial pump designers who would be interested in using this product for designing high-energy systems such as boiler feed pumps and fuel injection pumps. In these applications, the pumps are required to perform at off-design conditions over extended time periods. They typically are required to be certified for a specified durable life operation (e.g. 40,000 hours) and have stringent vibration level requirements, making it critical that cavitation effects be eliminated or mitigated.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 743.05K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: The need for evaluation of aerodynamic loads on internal weapons bay doors comes from the US Air Force's requirement to open doors on many of its aircraft during flight. This ranges from an aircraft's low-speed opening of landing gear doors and speed brakes to opening weapons bay doors in supersonic flight. This sets up a situation for unsteady aerodynamic loading of these surfaces due to the potential for unsteady flow oscillations in and around the exposed bay that is known to exhibit strong tonal content under many of the flight conditions at which the U.S. Air Force operates its aircraft. These weapons bay tones and the oscillatory nature of the separated flow on the doors have the potential to excite structural modes of the doors, aircraft surfaces, or externally carried munitions and fuel tanks and can lead to buffet, flutter, or fatigue induced failures. Part of the aircraft flight certification for all operational and developmental aircraft includes assessments of the aircraft store compatibility, which is made more difficult in view of the fluid structure interactions that must be taken into account. During an aircraft development and demonstration program, a validated Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) model provides a means of generating data to support assessments regarding the design of the structure, provide flight certification, etc. BENEFIT: A high-fidelity Unified Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) Modeling and Testing capability for evaluation of dynamic loads on payload bay doors will result from the SBIR program. CRAFT Tech will market this unique capability to prime contractors and manufacturers of large commercial airliners/military transports/bombers and tactical fighter to study loads on weapons bay doors, the wheel bay doors and other near vicinity surfaces/components. This technology is obviously relevant to small passenger and/or regional jets, as well for loads associated with wheel wells, etc. The SBIR product is well-suited for supporting the design of a new generation of launch vehicles that is placing a premium on robust and accurate predictions of aero-acoustic and buffet loads experienced at launch. They are also very applicable to large-scale commercial pumps that are extremely prone to performance loss and/or structural failure caused by cavitation-induced severe dynamic loading.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2016

The SCO2 Brayton cycle is gaining interest across a variety of power generation applications due to its potential for providing higher efficiencies. The range of industrial applications include: industrial waste and heat recovery, coal and nuclear power plants, and renewable energy sources such as solar thermal and fuel cells. All of these cycle loops require compressors that operate near the critical point of CO2, with transients that pass through sub-critical to super-critical regimes. However compressor design at these conditions presents many challenges due to the lack of design and simulation tools that account for the correct fluid property variations in this regime. Our proposed work here addresses this deficiency. Statement of How this Problem or Situation is Being Addressed: The design of compressors for SCO2 power cycles presents many challenges since they operate with fluid inlet conditions very close to the critical point. Accurate performance prediction at these conditions require the formulation to handle the rapid variation of thermodynamic properties near the critical point. Furthermore phase change models within a real fluid framework are necessary to model condensation. The issue is further complicated by the fact that the properties of CO2 mixtures with contaminants such as water are not as well understood and equations of state are very poorly characterized. All these issues will be addressed within the context of a high fidelity numerical framework in our effort here. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The SCO2 Brayton cycle is gaining interest across a variety of power generation applications including nuclear, fossil fuel, waste heat as well as solar thermal and fuel cells due to its potential for providing efficiencies up to 5% points higher than a steam Rankine cycle. However the design of compressors for these systems is complex. Our proposed work here would provide a high-fidelity design tool that would permit accurate performance predictions in this thermodynamic regime and enable the commercialization of optimal compressor designs for these more efficient power generation systems. Key Words: Compressors, Supercritical CO2, Brayton Cycle, Critical Point Thermodynamics, Equation of State


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 899.91K | Year: 2014

The Acoustically Synchronized Store Ejection/Release Technology (ASSERT) test process was developed by CRAFT Tech. This research has produced a capability to conduct small scale dynamic drop tests instrumented with stereo-photogrammetry to track store motion and synchronize this with unsteady weapons bay flowfield measurements. An advanced pneumatic ejection system has been developed which supports the telemetry system requirements, and is capable of imparting predetermined pitch and ejection forces, and enables synchronized data collection. This capability can be used to support current and future weapons separation flight test activities for the F-35 Lightning II. In addition, coupling the time of release of the weapon with the dynamic pressure sensors in the bay has led to a"do no harm"control concept that will allow the store release to be synchronized with the unsteady weapons bay flowfield to reduce the risk of the separating weapon contacting the aircraft. The ASSERT test process will produce store separation trajectory data using light Mach scaled store models, although heavy scaling can be used when conditions permit.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 995.44K | Year: 2015

Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc. (CRAFT Tech) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have teamed up to provide DTRA with an innovative approach to develop new combined effects explosives (CEX) formulations. CEX represent a class of recently-developed aluminized explosives seeking to provide the performance of both (i) high-energy explosives and (ii) high-blast explosives in a single explosive fill. Given the critical role played by fast aluminum (and other metallic additives) reactions in the very early stages of CEX detonation and the strong sensitivity of CEX performance to variations in CEX ingredients, the development of a validated high-fidelity CEX design tool capable of accounting for size effects and finite-rate chemistry effects is proposed. This approach combines advanced modeling capabilities and time-resolved small-scale testing in order to identify and tune the dominant design variables leading to an optimal CEX formulation. By relying on validated first-principles numerical simulations that describe detonation, anaerobic reaction and aerobic reaction, the proposed CEX design tool is capable of providing a level of understanding of the complex detonation event that is not attainable with currently available simplified modeling approaches.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015

The innovation proposed is the unification of existing and operational high fidelity simulation software tools into an integrated framework with which to predict aero-heating, ablation, thermal response, and structural integrity for re-entry vehicles (RV) under a full range of trajectory conditions from rarefied to continuum. Virtually all software components necessary to achieve this goal are available within the CRAFT Tech suite of simulation tools which have a range of modern day capabilities and features. Many of the capabilities have already been directly applied to reentry flows, such as ablation and regression modeling, transition to turbulence modeling, advanced chemistry and ionization modeling, non-local thermodynamic equilibrium modeling, and a hybrid coupled continuum-rarefied simulation framework for steady and unsteady flows. Other features, such as aero/thermo/structural coupling, also exist but have not been directly applied to reentry type flows so the Phase I effort will demonstrate them in both the rarefied and continuum regimes. Our hybrid continuum-rarefied framework presently contains only information exchange from continuum to rarefied regions. For reentry applications, especially for non-traditionally shaped vehicles, this assumption is no longer valid, so a proposed developmental task will implement a rarefied to continuum information exchange within our existing hybrid continuum-rarefied solver framework. Finally, a plan of action for the Phase II effort will be elaborated to define a common Application Program Interface to couple the various existing components, including software packages outside the CRAFT Tech toolset, into a single unified framework.

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