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Preliminary Design and Simulation of a Thermal Management System with Integrated Secondary Power Generation Capability for a Mach 8 Aircraft Concept Exploiting Liquid Hydrogen


This paper introduces the concept of a thermal management system (TMS) with integrated on-board power generation capabilities for a Mach 8 hypersonic aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen (LH2). This work, developed within the EU-funded STRATOFLY Project, aims to demonstrate an opportunity for facing the challenges of hypersonic flight for civil applications, mainly dealing with thermal and environmental control, as well as propellant distribution and on-board power generation, adopting a highly integrated plant characterized by a multi-functional architecture. The TMS concept described in this paper makes benefit of the connection between the propellant storage and distribution subsystems of the aircraft to exploit hydrogen vapors and liquid flow as the means to drive a thermodynamic cycle able, on one hand, to ensure engine feed and thermal control of the cabin environment, while providing, on the other hand, the necessary power for other on-board systems and utilities, especially during the operation of high-speed propulsion plants, which cannot host traditional generators. The system layout, inspired by concepts studied within precursor EU-funded projects, is detailed and modified in order to suggest an operable solution that can be installed on-board the reference aircraft, with focus on those interfaces impacting its performance requirements and integration features as part of the overall systems architecture of the plane. Analysis and modeling of the system is performed, and the main results in terms of performance along the reference mission profile are discussed.

Funding source: This work was carried out in the framework of the Stratospheric Flying Opportunities for High-Speed Propulsion Concepts (STRATOFLY) Project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No 769246.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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