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Performance Assessment of an Integrated Environmental Control System of Civil Hypersonic Vehicles


This paper discloses the architecture and related performance of an environment control system designed to be integrated within a complex multi-functional thermal and energy management system that manages the heat loads and generation of electric power in a hypersonic vehicle by benefitting from the presence of cryogenic liquid hydrogen onboard. A bleed-less architecture implementing an open-loop cycle with a boot-strap sub-freezing air cycle machine is suggested. Hydrogen boil-off reveals to be a viable cold source for the heat exchangers of the system as well as for the convective insulation layer designed around the cabin walls. Including a 2 mm boil-off convective layer into the cabin cross-section proves to be far more effective than a more traditional air convective layer of approximately 60 mm. The application to STRATOFLY MR3, a Mach 8 waverider cruiser using liquid hydrogen as propellant, confirmed that presence of cryogenic tanks provides up to a 70% reduction in heat fluxes entering the cabin generated outside of it but inside the vehicle, by the propulsive system and other onboard systems. The effectiveness of the architecture was confirmed for all Mach numbers (from 0.3 to 8) and all flight altitudes (from sea level to 35 km).

Funding source: This research was funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 769246 within the Stratospheric Flying Opportunities for High-Speed Propulsion Concepts (STRATOFLY) Project.
Countries: Italy

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