Military requirements differ significantly now than they did just a decade ago. To meet the new and ever changing demands in a timely fashion the ability to develop new weapon systems needs to be significantly reduced. The need to bring new affordable and reliable weapons systems on line rapidly requires a quick, accurate and thorough assessment of the design space. AVT recently completed several assessments of this need.
ET-054 explored the issue of affordable weapons systems and led to the formation of AVT-092, “Qualification by Analysis,” and AVT-093, “Integrated Tools and Processes for Affordable Weapons Systems.” AVT-093 focused on “the integration of tools and processes, not on the description of tools and processes.” AVT-093 also identified needs in multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) that could be addressed using the integration of tools and processes in a distributed parallel computing environment that would enable the feedback of information across different design process stages: from detailed to preliminary and preliminary to conceptual design. AVT-092 recognized that these capabilities described in AVT-093 are necessary to achieve the objective of rapid design and qualification of new vehicles.
Both teams recognized that there is a gap between the current technology and the desired end state of rapidly developing affordable weapon systems and that developments in multidisciplinary technologies are key capabilities for closing that gap. AVT-237 focused on benchmarking the use and benefits of MDO for the development of military systems. AVT-226 “Validation of Thermal Models for Air, Land, Sea and Space Vehicles” is assessing thermal model validation methodologies in order to strengthen design practices for future military platforms. Finally, the AVT-270-RWS-028 Research Workshop on Validation of Thermal Models for Military Power Systems Consideration is focused on assessing the thermal validation methodologies developed in AVT-226, identify knowledge gaps, and formulate recommendations for follow-on activities. ET-054, AVT-092, 093 and 237 were all executed within the AVT technical area of Mechanical Systems, Structures, and Materials and AVT-226 and 270 were under the AVT technical area of Propulsion and Power Systems with minimal coordination between the activities. Historically, this was not an issue because the power and propulsion system could be designed independently from the vehicle platform. With future systems, where the propulsion system is embedded and more power is demanded to support various electrical systems, the propulsion, power, thermal management and vehicle platform should be designed in an integrated fashion and must be considered at the conceptual design phase where the vehicle platform can be changed to accommodate all the requirements of the propulsion, power and thermal management subsystems. Typically, full propulsion integration and power and thermal management are not considered until late preliminary design long after the vehicle platform has been finalized. This often results in insufficient power or thermal management capacity resulting in unwanted features on the platforms outer mold line or even restrictions on the platform’s operational capabilities. This ET will create a joint team between MSM and PPS to bridge the gap between platform design and subsystem design.
The objective of this activity is to identify the current state of the art engineering practice associated with models of power, thermal, propulsion (from inlet to nozzle), and actuation subsystems that account for path and state dependencies and are suitable for a system-level, high-fidelity, multidisciplinary analysis and design optimization framework to be used by designers in the conceptual design phase of a system.