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AERO5211: Foundations of Propulsion Systems (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AERO5211: Foundations of Propulsion Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Verstraete, Dries
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: AMME5200.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to develop and understanding of aircraft propulsion systems. Students will learn to solve problems related to the analysis and selection of various propulsion systems in use – propellers, gas turbines, etc.

The topics covered include:

Propulsion unit requirements for subsonic and supersonic flight; thrust components, efficiencies, additive drag of intakes. Piston engine components and operation. Propeller theory. Operation, components and cycle analysis of gas turbine engines; turbojets; turbofans; turboprops; ramjets. Components: compressor; fan; burner; turbine; nozzle. Efficiency of components; Off-design considerations. Future directions; minimisation of noise and pollution; scram-jets; hybrid engines.
Assumed Knowledge: Mathematics and Physics to a level of Bachelor of Science or equivalent. Good knowledge of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics.
Lecturer/s: Dr Verstraete, Dries
Timetable: AERO5211 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 13
2 Lecture 2.00 1 13
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 12
4 Independent Study 5.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: One 2hr tutorial per week

1 lab on micro gas turbine performance

1 lab on propeller performance

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students will gain skills in problem solving for aircraft propulsion systems ranging from propellers to the various types of gas-turbine engines. Design (Level 2)
Understanding the fundamentals and operation of propulsion systems in aircraft. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Solving non-linear systems of equations to determine propeller performance; Performance calculations for gas turbine engines using iterative methods Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Finding, studying and comprehending reference material. Applying reference material to current problems. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Written communication, in particular in the area of project specification and reporting skills. Communication (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 2)
1. Ability to design and select a gas turbine engine type for a given application
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
2. Ability to carry out a cycle analysis of a gas turbine engine, including ramjet & turbo-fan engines.
3. Determine the applicability of a given propeller system for a given aircraft.
4. Understand the working of various components of gas turbines and how their interaction results in the overall engine performance
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
5. Ability to solve systems of non-linear equations governing propeller performance
6. Ability to solve thermodynamic cycle calculations for both design point and off-design calculations
Information Seeking (Level 3)
7. Find relevant data to estimate performance of existing aircraft engines
Communication (Level 2)
8. Ability to write an engineering report on an experimental test
9. Ability to present and communicate engine performance and design data in a written report
10. Ability to explain engine performance and different engine types in an oral exam
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Report No 15.00 Week 5 3, 5, 9,
2 Assignment 1 No 10.00 Week 8 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9,
3 Quiz 1 No 5.00 Week 9 2, 4, 6,
4 Assignment 2 No 10.00 Week 12 1, 2, 6, 7, 9,
5 Quiz 2 No 5.00 Week 13 2, 4, 6,
6 Gas Turbine Lab Report No 5.00 Multiple Weeks 6, 8,
7 Tutorial Exercises No 5.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 4, 6,
8 Final Exam Part A: Exercises No 15.00 Exam Period 2, 4, 6,
9 Final Exam Part B: Theory No 30.00 Exam Period 2, 4, 6, 10,
Assessment Description: Report: Propeller Theory. This assignment on Propellers will be in a Report form and includes the results of the lab and the propeller performance calculations.

Assignment 1 : Gas turbine engine cycle calculation: selection and design.

Assignment 2 : Gas turbine engine off-design calculation

Quiz 1 and 2: Exercise to be solved independently during the tutorial and handed in (Open Book)

Tutorial Exercises: Solution of one tutorial question per tutorial as specified by the unit coordinator during the tutorial

Gas Turbine Lab Report: Report on the lab on the micro turbine including performance calculations and operating line. Due 1 week after the actual lab. Lab runs in multiple weeks. Students will be assigned a specific session.

Final Exam: The exam consists of 2 parts:

Part A Exercises: The student takes a two hours examination at the end of the course. This is worth 15% of the total marks. This part of the exam is open book and written.

Part B Theory: The student has an oral exam on the theory of the UoS. Each student will prepare and answer 2 questions and discuss/explain the answer to the UoS Coordinator.

It is a requirement that to pass the course you must pass the exam.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Course Overview; Review of Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics; Engine Thrust and Performance Parameters
Week 2 Propeller Principles; Froude Theory; Blade Element Theory
Week 3 Gas Turbines; Turbojet Engines
Week 4 Turbofan Engines; Afterburners; Turboprop Engines
Week 5 Turbomachinery Fundamentals & maps
Assessment Due: Report
Week 6 Gas Turbine Component Matching
Week 7 Gas Turbine Off-Design Performance
Week 8 Gas Turbine Engine Control
Assessment Due: Assignment 1
Week 9 Air Intakes
Assessment Due: Quiz 1
Week 10 Compressors; Combustion Chambers
Week 11 Combustion Chambers; Turbines
Week 12 Turbines; Novel and Advanced Engine Cycles (Geared Turbofan; Intercooled Cycles; Ramjet / Scramjet Engines; ...)
Assessment Due: Assignment 2
Week 13 Revision
Assessment Due: Quiz 2
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam Part A: Exercises
Assessment Due: Final Exam Part B: Theory

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 2) Yes 7%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 46%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 20.5%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 2%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 24.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.