In thermal management, system-level models provide an understanding of interactions between components and integration constraints — issues which are exacerbated by tighter coupling in both real life and simulation. A simple model of the steady-state thermal characteristics of the bearings in a two-spool turbofan engine has been described in previous work [1], where it was compared with a more comprehensive tribology-based simulation. Since failure is more likely to occur during transient rather than steady-state operating conditions, it is important that transient behavior is also studied. Therefore, development of models capable of capturing transient system-level performance in air vehicles is critical. In the current paper, the former simple model is used for the generation of a method to replicate the transient effects of heat loads within the lubrication system of a gas turbine engine. The simple engine model that defined the lubrication system is representative of a twin-spool, mid-size, high bypass ratio turbofan used in commercial transport. In order to demonstrate the range and versatility of the parametric heat load model, the model is now applied to the transient operation of a low-thrust unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine, similar to that found on the Global Hawk. There are five separate bearings in the oil loop model and four separate oil sump locations. Contributions to the heat load calculations are heat transfer through the bearing housings and friction caused by station temperatures and shaft speeds, respectively. The lubrication system has been simplified by applying general assumptions for a proof-of-concept of the new transient parametric model. The fuel flow rate for the fuel-cooled oil cooler (FCOC) is set via the full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) in the transient engine model which is coupled to the parametric heat load model. Initially, it is assumed that total heat transfer from the bearings to the oil correspond to oil temperature changes of 150–250°F (83–139°C). The results show that successful modeling of the transient behavior on the thermal effects in the bearings of a gas turbine engine using the MATLAB/Simulink environment have been achieved. This is a valuable addition to the previous steady-state simulation, and the combined tools may be used as part of a more sophisticated thermal management system. Because it is so simple and scalable, the tool enables thermal management issues to be addressed in the preliminary design phase of a gas turbine engine development program.

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