Research on real-time aircraft engine optimization conducted jointly by the School of Aerospace Engineering and Pratt & Whitney has resulted in a new patent.
Research coordinated by GT-AE Professor J. V. R. Prasad created a real-time linear model that is capable of assessing actual vehicle conditions to optimize performance during flight. The dynamic nature of the model provides greater accuracy in addressing the control needs of gas turbine aircraft, the backbone of commercial aviation.
“Up until now, the models have been offline, and their results, very approximate,” said Prasad, who headed up the research with his former doctoral student Gi-Yun Chung and Pratt & Whitney colleagues Manuj Dhingra and Richard Meisner.
"This allows us to see what’s happening at key stages of flight – typically take-off, cruising, and landing – where the demands on the aircraft, and its performance, can vary.”
Prasad said widespread application of this real-time modeling in commercial air flight will inevitably result in greater fuel efficiency, more accurate engine maintenance, and increased air safety.
“This allows us to look at the health of the engine while it is in use, so you can see if it’s getting close to its temperature or engine surge limits. Ideally, you want to operate within certain margins, and this allows us to control the plane so it operates optimally, without violating those limits.”
The patent represents the culmination of three years of dedicated research, supported by the Pratt & Whitney Center for Excellence. In June of last year, a paper describing the impact of that research, “Real-time Linearization of Turbofan Engine Model” was recognized with the 2013 Best Technical Paper award by the Controls Diagnostics & Instrumentation Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at its Dusseldorf, Germany conference.
Read more about that research.