Using Lagrange Equations to Study the Relative Motion of a Mechanism

The relative motion of a robotic arm formed by homogeneous bars of different lengths and masses, hinged to each other is investigated. The first bar of the mechanism is articulated on a platform, considered initially fixed on the surface of the Earth, while for the second case the platform is considered to be in rotation with respect to the Earth. For both analyzed cases the motion equations are determined using the Lagrangian formalism, applied in its traditional form, valid with respect to an inertial reference system, conventionally considered as fixed. However, in the second case, a generalized form of the formalism valid with respect to a non-inertial reference frame will also be applied. The numerical calculations were performed using a MATLAB program.

Deployment of a Biocompatible International Space Station into Geostationary Orbit

This study explores the possibility of a space station that will occupy a geostationary equatorial orbit (GEO) and create artificial gravity using centripetal acceleration. The concept of the station is to create a habitable, safe environment that can increase the possibility of space tourism by reducing the wide variation of hazards associated with space exploration. The ability to control the intensity of artificial gravity through Hall-effect thrusters will allow experiments to be carried out at different levels of artificial gravity. A feasible prototype model was built to convey the concept and to enable cost estimation. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with a 26,700 kg payload to GEO was selected to take the 675 tonne spacecraft into orbit; space station construction will require up to 30 launches, this would be reduced to 5 launches when the SpaceX BFR becomes available. The estimated total cost of implementing the Sussex Biocompatible International Space Station (BISS) is approximately $47.039 billion, which is very attractive when compared to the cost of the International Space Station, which cost $150 billion.

Simulation and Design of an Aerospace Mission Powered by “Candy” Type Fuel Engines

Sounding rockets are aerospace vehicles that were developed in the mid-20th century, and since then numerous investigations have been executed with the aim of innovate in this type of technology. However, the costs associated to the production of this type of technology are usually quite high, and therefore the challenge that exists today is to be able to reduce them. In this way, the main objective of this document is to present the design process of a Colombian aerospace mission capable to reach the thermosphere using low-cost “Candy” type solid fuel engines. This mission is the latest development of the Uniandes Aerospace Project (PUA for its Spanish acronym), which is an undergraduate and postgraduate research group at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), dedicated to incurring in this type of technology. In this way, the investigations that have been carried out on Candy-type solid fuel, which is a compound of potassium nitrate and sorbitol, have allowed the production of engines powerful enough to reach space, and which represents a unique technological advance in Latin America and an important development in experimental rocketry. In this way, following the engineering iterative design methodology was possible to design a 2-stage sounding rocket with 1 solid fuel engine in each one, which was then simulated in RockSim V9.0 software and reached an apogee of approximately 150 km above sea level. Similarly, a speed equal to 5 Mach was obtained, which after performing a finite element analysis, it was shown that the rocket is strong enough to be able to withstand such speeds. Under these premises, it was demonstrated that it is possible to build a high-power aerospace mission at low cost, using Candy-type solid fuel engines. For this reason, the feasibility of carrying out similar missions clearly depends on the ability to replicate the engines in the best way, since as mentioned above, the design of the rocket is adequate to reach supersonic speeds and reach space. Consequently, with a team of at least 3 members, the mission can be obtained in less than 3 months. Therefore, when publishing this project, it is intended to be a reference for future research in this field and benefit the industry.

Model Free Terminal Sliding Mode with Gravity Compensation: Application to an Exoskeleton-Upper Limb System

This paper deals with a robust model free terminal sliding mode with gravity compensation approach used to control an exoskeleton-upper limb system. The considered system is a 2-DoF robot in interaction with an upper limb used for rehabilitation. The aim of this paper is to control the flexion/extension movement of the shoulder and the elbow joints in presence of matched disturbances. In the first part, we present the exoskeleton-upper limb system modeling. Then, we controlled the considered system by the model free terminal sliding mode with gravity compensation. A stability study is realized. To prove the controller performance, a robustness analysis was needed. Simulation results are provided to confirm the robustness of the gravity compensation combined with to the Model free terminal sliding mode in presence of uncertainties.

Effect of Wavy Leading-Edges on Wings in Different Planetary Atmospheres

Today we are unmarking the secrets of the universe by exploring different stars and planets and most of the space exploration is done by unmanned space robots. In addition to our planet Earth, there are pieces of evidence that show other astronomical objects in our solar system such as Venus, Mars, Saturn’s moon Titan and Uranus support the flight of fixed wing air vehicles. In this paper, we take forward the concept of presence of large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of a wing and use it as a passive flow control device that will help in improving its aerodynamic performance and maneuverability. Furthermore, in this research, aerodynamic measurements and performance analysis of wavy leading tubercles on the fixed wings at 5-degree angle of attack are carried out after determination of the flow conditions on the selected planetary bodies. Wavelength and amplitude for the sinusoidal modifications on the leading edge are analyzed and simulations are carried out for three-dimensional NACA 0012 airfoil maintaining unity AR (Aspect Ratio). Tubercles have consistently demonstrated the ability to delay and decrease the severity of stall as per the studies were done in the Earth’s atmosphere. Implementing the same design on the leading edges of Micro-Air Vehicles (MAVs) and UAVs could make these aircrafts more stable over a greater range of angles of attack in different planetary environments of our solar system.

A Conceptual Design of a Self-Centering Centre Plate

Turning maneuvers originate higher forces exerted on the rail and the loss of locomotive energy, at a rate that is function of several parameters that influence the magnitude of the developed horizontal wheel-rail forces, including the friction at the centre plate and the bogie´s yaw stiffness. However, such a friction at the contact surfaces of the centre plate is needed to mitigate the hunting phenomenon when the train moves on straight track segments. In this paper, a self-centering centre plate is proposed, consisting of a lubricated centre plate, equipped with a spring- and damper-based self-centering mechanism. Simulation results of the proposed mechanism suggest that the energy performance in turns of a train car equipped with such self-centering centre plate is comparatively better, as the peak friction forces linked to the dry friction at the contact surfaces of current centre plate designs, are avoided. The assessment of the hunting performance of the proposed device in straight track segments is proposed as the continuation of this work.

Dynamic Stall Characterization of Low Reynolds Airfoil in Mars and Titan’s Atmosphere

Exploratory missions to Mars and Titan have increased recently with various endeavors to find an alternate home to humankind. The use of surface rovers has its limitations due to rugged and uneven surfaces of these planetary bodies. The use of aerial robots requires the complete aerodynamic characterization of these vehicles in the atmospheric conditions of these planetary bodies. The dynamic stall phenomenon is extremely important for rotary wings performance under low Reynolds number that can be encountered in Martian and Titan’s atmosphere. The current research focuses on the aerodynamic characterization and exploration of the dynamic stall phenomenon of two different airfoils viz. E387 and Selig-Donovan7003 in Martian and Titan’s atmosphere at low Reynolds numbers of 10000 and 50000. The two-dimensional numerical simulations are conducted using commercially available finite volume solver with multi-species non-reacting mixture of gases as the working fluid. The k-epsilon (k-ε) turbulence model is used to capture the unsteady flow separation and the effect of turbulence. The dynamic characteristics are studied at a fixed different constant rotational extreme of angles of attack. This study of airfoils at different low Reynolds number and atmospheric conditions on Mars and Titan will be resulting in defining the aerodynamic characteristics of these airfoils for unmanned aerial missions for outer space exploration.

Smart Product-Service System Innovation with User Experience: A Case Study of Chunmi

The Product-Service System (PSS) has received widespread attention due to the increasing global competition in manufacturing and service markets. Today’s smart products and services are driven by Internet of things (IoT) technologies which will promote the transformation from traditional PSS to smart PSS. Although the smart PSS has some of technological achievements in businesses, it often ignores the real demands of target users when using products and services. Therefore, designers should know and learn the User Experience (UX) of smart products, services and systems. However, both of academia and industry still lack relevant development experience of smart PSS since it is an emerging field. In doing so, this is a case study of Xiaomi’s Chunmi, the largest IoT platform in the world, and addresses the two major issues: (1) why Chunmi should develop smart PSS strategies with UX; and (2) how Chunmi could successfully implement the strategic objectives of smart PSS through the design. The case study results indicated that: (1) the smart PSS can distinguish competitors by their unique UX which is difficult to duplicate; (2) early user engagement is crucial for the success of smart PSS; and (3) interaction, expectation, and enjoyment can be treated as a three-dimensional evaluation of UX design for smart PSS innovation. In conclusion, the smart PSS can gain competitive advantages through good UX design in the market.

A FE-Based Scheme for Computing Wave Interaction with Nonlinear Damage and Generation of Harmonics in Layered Composite Structures

A Finite Element (FE) based scheme is presented for quantifying guided wave interaction with Localised Nonlinear Structural Damage (LNSD) within structures of arbitrary layering and geometric complexity. The through-thickness mode-shape of the structure is obtained through a wave and finite element method. This is applied in a time domain FE simulation in order to generate time harmonic excitation for a specific wave mode. Interaction of the wave with LNSD within the system is computed through an element activation and deactivation iteration. The scheme is validated against experimental measurements and a WFE-FE methodology for calculating wave interaction with damage. Case studies for guided wave interaction with crack and delamination are presented to verify the robustness of the proposed method in classifying and identifying damage.

Seamless MATLAB® to Register-Transfer Level Design Methodology Using High-Level Synthesis

Many designers are asking for an automated path from an abstract mathematical MATLAB model to a high-quality Register-Transfer Level (RTL) hardware description. Manual transformations of MATLAB or intermediate code are needed, when the design abstraction is changed. Design conversion is problematic as it is multidimensional and it requires many different design steps to translate the mathematical representation of the desired functionality to an efficient hardware description with the same behavior and configurability. Yet, a manual model conversion is not an insurmountable task. Using currently available design tools and an appropriate design methodology, converting a MATLAB model to efficient hardware is a reasonable effort. This paper describes a simple and flexible design methodology that was developed together with several design teams.

Clean Sky 2 – Project PALACE: Aeration’s Experimental Sound Velocity Investigations for High-Speed Gerotor Simulations

A Gerotor pump is composed of an external and internal gear with conjugate cycloidal profiles. From suction to delivery ports, the fluid is transported inside cavities formed by teeth and driven by the shaft. From a geometric and conceptional side it is worth to note that the internal gear has one tooth less than the external one. Simcenter Amesim v.16 includes a new submodel for modelling the hydraulic Gerotor pumps behavior (THCDGP0). This submodel considers leakages between teeth tips using Poiseuille and Couette flows contributions. From the 3D CAD model of the studied pump, the “CAD import” tool takes out the main geometrical characteristics and the submodel THCDGP0 computes the evolution of each cavity volume and their relative position according to the suction or delivery areas. This module, based on international publications, presents robust results up to 6 000 rpm for pressure greater than atmospheric level. For higher rotational speeds or lower pressures, oil aeration and cavitation effects are significant and highly drop the pump’s performance. The liquid used in hydraulic systems always contains some gas, which is dissolved in the liquid at high pressure and tends to be released in a free form (i.e. undissolved as bubbles) when pressure drops. In addition to gas release and dissolution, the liquid itself may vaporize due to cavitation. To model the relative density of the equivalent fluid, modified Henry’s law is applied in Simcenter Amesim v.16 to predict the fraction of undissolved gas or vapor. Three parietal pressure sensors have been set up upstream from the pump to estimate the sound speed in the oil. Analytical models have been compared with the experimental sound speed to estimate the occluded gas content. Simcenter Amesim v.16 model was supplied by these previous analyses marks which have successfully improved the simulations results up to 14 000 rpm. This work provides a sound foundation for designing the next Gerotor pump generation reaching high rotation range more than 25 000 rpm. This improved module results will be compared to tests on this new pump demonstrator.

Affordable and Environmental Friendly Small Commuter Aircraft Improving European Mobility

Mobility is one of the most important societal needs for amusement, business activities and health. Thus, transport needs are continuously increasing, with the consequent traffic congestion and pollution increase. Aeronautic effort aims at smarter infrastructures use and in introducing greener concepts. A possible solution to address the abovementioned topics is the development of Small Air Transport (SAT) system, able to guarantee operability from today underused airfields in an affordable and green way, helping meanwhile travel time reduction, too. In the framework of Horizon2020, EU (European Union) has funded the Clean Sky 2 SAT TA (Transverse Activity) initiative to address market innovations able to reduce SAT operational cost and environmental impact, ensuring good levels of operational safety. Nowadays, most of the key technologies to improve passenger comfort and to reduce community noise, DOC (Direct Operating Costs) and pilot workload for SAT have reached an intermediate level of maturity TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 3/4. Thus, the key technologies must be developed, validated and integrated on dedicated ground and flying aircraft demonstrators to reach higher TRL levels (5/6). Particularly, SAT TA focuses on the integration at aircraft level of the following technologies [1]: 1)    Low-cost composite wing box and engine nacelle using OoA (Out of Autoclave) technology, LRI (Liquid Resin Infusion) and advance automation process. 2) Innovative high lift devices, allowing aircraft operations from short airfields (< 800 m). 3) Affordable small aircraft manufacturing of metallic fuselage using FSW (Friction Stir Welding) and LMD (Laser Metal Deposition). 4)       Affordable fly-by-wire architecture for small aircraft (CS23 certification rules). 5) More electric systems replacing pneumatic and hydraulic systems (high voltage EPGDS -Electrical Power Generation and Distribution System-, hybrid de-ice system, landing gear and brakes). 6) Advanced avionics for small aircraft, reducing pilot workload. 7) Advanced cabin comfort with new interiors materials and more comfortable seats. 8) New generation of turboprop engine with reduced fuel consumption, emissions, noise and maintenance costs for 19 seats aircraft. (9) Alternative diesel engine for 9 seats commuter aircraft. To address abovementioned market innovations, two different platforms have been designed: Reference and Green aircraft. Reference aircraft is a virtual aircraft designed considering 2014 technologies with an existing engine assuring requested take-off power; Green aircraft is designed integrating the technologies addressed in Clean Sky 2. Preliminary integration of the proposed technologies shows an encouraging reduction of emissions and operational costs of small: about 20% CO2 reduction, about 24% NOx reduction, about 10 db (A) noise reduction at measurement point and about 25% DOC reduction. Detailed description of the performed studies, analyses and validations for each technology as well as the expected benefit at aircraft level are reported in the present paper.

Effects of Milling Process Parameters on Cutting Forces and Surface Roughness When Finishing Ti6al4v Produced by Electron Beam Melting

Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is a metal powder bed-based Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology, which uses computer-controlled electron beams to create fully dense three-dimensional near-net-shaped parts from metal powder. It gives the ability to produce any complex parts directly from a computer-aided design (CAD) model without tools and dies, and with a variety of materials. However, the quality of the surface finish in EBM process has limitations to meeting the performance requirements of additively manufactured components. The aim of this study is to investigate the cutting forces induced during milling Ti6Al4V produced by EBM as well as the surface quality of the milled surfaces. The effects of cutting speed and radial depth of cut on the cutting forces, surface roughness, and surface morphology were investigated. The results indicated that the cutting speed was found to be proportional to the resultant cutting force at any cutting conditions while the surface roughness improved significantly with the increase in cutting speed and radial depth of cut.

Adomian’s Decomposition Method to Functionally Graded Thermoelastic Materials with Power Law

This paper presents an iteration method for the numerical solutions of a one-dimensional problem of generalized thermoelasticity with one relaxation time under given initial and boundary conditions. The thermoelastic material with variable properties as a power functional graded has been considered. Adomian’s decomposition techniques have been applied to the governing equations. The numerical results have been calculated by using the iterations method with a certain algorithm. The numerical results have been represented in figures, and the figures affirm that Adomian’s decomposition method is a successful method for modeling thermoelastic problems. Moreover, the empirical parameter of the functional graded, and the lattice design parameter have significant effects on the temperature increment, the strain, the stress, the displacement.

Deep Learning Application for Object Image Recognition and Robot Automatic Grasping

Since the vision system application in industrial environment for autonomous purposes is required intensely, the image recognition technique becomes an important research topic. Here, deep learning algorithm is employed in image system to recognize the industrial object and integrate with a 7A6 Series Manipulator for object automatic gripping task. PC and Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) are chosen to construct the 3D Vision Recognition System. Depth Camera (Intel RealSense SR300) is employed to extract the image for object recognition and coordinate derivation. The YOLOv2 scheme is adopted in Convolution neural network (CNN) structure for object classification and center point prediction. Additionally, image processing strategy is used to find the object contour for calculating the object orientation angle. Then, the specified object location and orientation information are sent to robotic controller. Finally, a six-axis manipulator can grasp the specific object in a random environment based on the user command and the extracted image information. The experimental results show that YOLOv2 has been successfully employed to detect the object location and category with confidence near 0.9 and 3D position error less than 0.4 mm. It is useful for future intelligent robotic application in industrial 4.0 environment.

Railway Crane Accident: A Comparative Metallographic Test on Pins Fractured during Operation

Eventually train accidents occur on railways and for some specific cases it is necessary to use a train rescue with a crane positioned under a platform wagon. These tumbled machines are collected and sent to the machine shop or scrap yard. In one of these cranes that were being used to rescue a wagon, occurred a fall of hoist due to fracture of two large pins. The two pins were collected and sent for failure analysis. This work investigates the main cause and the secondary causes for the initiation of the fatigue crack. All standard failure analysis procedures were applied, with careful evaluation of the characteristics of the material, fractured surfaces and, mainly, metallographic tests using an optical microscope to compare the geometry of the peaks and valleys of the thread of the pins and their respective seats. By metallographic analysis, it was concluded that the fatigue cracks were started from a notch (stress concentration) in the valley of the threads of the pin applied to the right side of the crane (pin 1). In this, it was verified that the peaks of the threads of the pin seat did not have proper geometry, with sharp edges being present that caused such notches. The visual analysis showed that fracture of the pin on the left side of the crane (pin 2) was brittle type, being a consequence of the fracture of the first one. Recommendations for this and other railway cranes have been made, such as nondestructive testing, stress calculation, design review, quality control and suitability of the mechanical forming process of the seat threads and pin threads.

Classifying Turbomachinery Blade Mode Shapes Using Artificial Neural Networks

Currently, extensive signal analysis is performed in order to evaluate structural health of turbomachinery blades. This approach is affected by constraints of time and the availability of qualified personnel. Thus, new approaches to blade dynamics identification that provide faster and more accurate results are sought after. Generally, modal analysis is employed in acquiring dynamic properties of a vibrating turbomachinery blade and is widely adopted in condition monitoring of blades. The analysis provides useful information on the different modes of vibration and natural frequencies by exploring different shapes that can be taken up during vibration since all mode shapes have their corresponding natural frequencies. Experimental modal testing and finite element analysis are the traditional methods used to evaluate mode shapes with limited application to real live scenario to facilitate a robust condition monitoring scheme. For a real time mode shape evaluation, rapid evaluation and low computational cost is required and traditional techniques are unsuitable. In this study, artificial neural network is developed to evaluate the mode shape of a lab scale rotating blade assembly by using result from finite element modal analysis as training data. The network performance evaluation shows that artificial neural network (ANN) is capable of mapping the correlation between natural frequencies and mode shapes. This is achieved without the need of extensive signal analysis. The approach offers advantage from the perspective that the network is able to classify mode shapes and can be employed in real time including simplicity in implementation and accuracy of the prediction. The work paves the way for further development of robust condition monitoring system that incorporates real time mode shape evaluation.

Evaluation of the Accuracy of Time of Arrival Source Location Algorithm of Acoustic Emission in Concrete-Mortar Structure

Acoustic Emission (AE) is one of the most effective non-destructive tests that can be used to detect the defect process as it is occurring. AE techniques can be used to monitor a wide range of structures and materials such as metals, non-metals and combinations of these when load is applied. The current work investigates the effectiveness and accuracy of TOA method in AE tests involving reinforced composite concrete-mortar structures. A series of experimental tests were performed using the Hsu-Neilson (H-N) source to study 2-D location accuracy using this method on concrete-mortar (400×400 mm) specimens. Four AE sensors (R3I – resonant frequency 30 kHz) were mounted to the mortar surface and six sources were performed at each point of preselected locations on the upper surface of the mortar. Results show that the TOA method can be used effectively to locate signals on composite concrete/mortar specimen and has high accuracy.

Automated Vehicle Traffic Control Tower: A Solution to Support the Next Level Automation

Automated vehicles (AVs) have the potential to enhance road capacity, improving road safety and traffic efficiency. Research and development on AVs have been going on for many years. However, when the complicated traffic rules and real situations interacted, AVs fail to make decisions on contradicting situations, and are not able to have control in all conditions due to highly dynamic driving scenarios. This limits AVs’ usage and restricts the full potential benefits that they can bring. Furthermore, regulations, infrastructure development, and public acceptance cannot keep up at the same pace as technology breakthroughs. Facing these challenges, this paper proposes automated vehicle traffic control tower (AVTCT) acting as a safe, efficient and integrated solution for AV control. It introduces a concept of AVTCT for control, management, decision-making, communication and interaction with various aspects in transportation. With the prototype demonstrations and simulations, AVTCT has the potential to overcome the control challenges with AVs and can facilitate AV reaching their full potential. Possible functionalities, benefits as well as challenges of AVTCT are discussed, which set the foundation for the conceptual model, simulation and real application of AVTCT.

Heat and Mass Transfer Modelling of Industrial Sludge Drying at Different Pressures and Temperatures

A two-dimensional finite volume axisymmetric model is developed to predict the simultaneous heat and mass transfers during the drying of industrial sludge. The simulations were run using COMSOL-Multiphysics 3.5a. The input parameters of the numerical model were acquired from a preliminary experimental work. Results permit to establish correlations describing the evolution of the various parameters as a function of the drying temperature and the sludge water content. The selection and coupling of the equation are validated based on the drying kinetics acquired experimentally at a temperature range of 45-65 °C and absolute pressure range of 200-1000 mbar. The model, incorporating the heat and mass transfer mechanisms at different operating conditions, shows simulated values of temperature and water content. Simulated results are found concordant with the experimental values, only at the first and last drying stages where sludge shrinkage is insignificant. Simulated and experimental results show that sludge drying is favored at high temperatures and low pressure. As experimentally observed, the drying time is reduced by 68% for drying at 65 °C compared to 45 °C under 1 atm. At 65 °C, a 200-mbar absolute pressure vacuum leads to an additional reduction in drying time estimated by 61%. However, the drying rate is underestimated in the intermediate stage. This rate underestimation could be improved in the model by considering the shrinkage phenomena that occurs during sludge drying.