Architecture generation and performance evaluation of aircraft thermal management systems through graph-based techniques

Daniel R. Herber, James T. Allison, Robert Buettner, Philip Abolmoali, Soumya S. Patnaik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this article, we are investigating aircraft thermal management system (TMS) architecture design problems. Here we present initial work on a conceptual-level tool that enables the generation of novel system architecture concepts through graph-based methods. Architectures are represented by a particular class of directed graphs which are generated through an enumerative procedure from a component catalog and set of network structure constraints that define the architecture feasibility. While directed labeled graphs can be used to represent the TMS architectures, evaluating their performance requires a nontrivial physics-based model derived from the graph representation. Such software tools are limited, so a custom interface between the chosen graph representation and Modelica was developed to construct the models and perform the required simulations. A case study based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with air cycle machine (ACM) based thermal management system (TMS) is shown and demonstrates that both novel and common architectures can be generated, modeled, and evaluated in this framework. The results from this work can be applied across a range of aircraft sub-systems and platforms, including manned and unmanned air vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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