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Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):S8-S15. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-8.
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This paper addresses the problem of optimal control and scheduling of Networked Control Systems over limited bandwidth deterministic networks using some insight on the interplay between the control and information theory. The motivation is related to the necessity of choice a communication sequence which maximize control signal impact on the plant behavior. The solution is obtained by decomposing the overall problem in a twofold one. The first level problem aims obtaining the periodic off-line or static scheduling function of control signals based on system properties, communication constrains, periodicity of scheduling sequence, performance criteria and maximization of the degree of reachability/observability of the periodic system. A Mixed Integer Quadratic Programming (MIQP) problem is formulated and solved obtaining a periodic and stable NCS. The solution of the second level problem is based on the structure of the static scheduling function obtained from the first level solution and the dependance of the degree of reachability/observability on the current state of the system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):S16-S23. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-7.
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We propose an information-theoretic framework for modeling complex systems as a communication network where physical devices can be organized into subsystems and subsystems are communicating through an information channel governed by the dynamics of the system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):S46-S48. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-9.
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A major factor in the continued domination of turbofan engines for economic airline propulsion, is the ability to increase bypass ratios. However, increasing fan diameters to go to ever higher bypass ratios increases nacelle weight, aerodynamic drag and duct losses. By eliminating the need for a fan duct, open rotor engines can effectively in-crease bypass ratios, resulting in a significant savings in fuel consumption.

Open rotor engines have been under intermittent development since the 1980s, sub-ject to rising and falling of fuel prices. Technical challenges that continue in their de-ployment include noise reduction, airframe integration and protection from propel-ler/fan blade failure.

Topics: Engines , Rotors , Turbofans
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):S48-S50. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-10.
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In the aviation industry, the safety of the people who fly is directly linked to the decisions that are made by the employees of the organizations that produce the airplanes and engines that power them. As a member of such an organization, Mr. Herzner experienced the gravity of making such decisions when he was involved with an airplane accident where 111 people lost their lives. That experience caused him to reflect on how and why such decisions get made. He drew some important conclusions and used them to formulate recommendations on how to make decisions which avoid such devastating consequences.

However when several recent very big events involving large organizations came into the news, he used them to benchmark his recommendations. What he found was several of those event involved unethical behavior. That was an eye-opener because he had never been involved with such behavior. That led him to modify his perspective on how decisions get made.

Using all of that, Mr. Herzner describes the principles that influence how decisions get made and makes recommendations on how organizations and the people in them can avoid what he calls the ‘doomsday event”.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):27-29. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-1.
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New products and ideas seem to be adopted at an ever-increasing rate. These technologies are reshaping the world. Mechanical Engineering magazine’s Emerging Technology Awards honor five ascending technologies this year. The editors have examined the trends in each of ASME’s five core technologies—energy, manufacturing, robotics, bioengineering, and pressure technology—and looked for recent innovations that have hit the marketplace. And from dozens of contenders, the editors have found five that seem poised to make an extraordinary impact on the coming decade.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):31. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-2.
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Vincent Schellings, a mechanical engineer who is the engineering and product development general manager for GE’s offshore wind business was tasked with managing the design and fabrication of the world’s largest wind turbine. This article looks closely the Haliade-X that is intended to produce 12 MW at full capacity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):33. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-3.
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Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft, who led a team through years of research and development to produce the HoloLens, recaps the development journey of the mixed reality headset in this article.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):35. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-4.
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It is hard to learn about social interaction when human interaction itself is problematic. It’s no surprise, then, that multiple studies have shown the great potential that robots hold for teaching children with autism. Richard Margolin knew the progress children with autism make when working with them so he launched RoboKind to develop an affordable robot for the children that needed one. This article looks at the journey of Milo, a robot with all the patience in the world.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):37. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-5.
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Bastian Schäfer, an Airbus engineer, believes the ability to 3-D print airplane parts—including the plane’s very skeleton structure—will revolutionize air travel. Schäfer is project manager on what his group calls the Bionic Partition Project. The project itself is under the purview of the Airbus Emerging Technologies and Concepts Group, led by Peter Sander. Working under Schäfer, the group has created a 3-D printed partition to separate the seating area on the A320 from the galley.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2018;140(12):39. doi:10.1115/1.2018-DEC-6.
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Water scarcity is happening in many more places around the globe. To comabt it, seawater desalination is often a technology of last resort, due to the high energy costs needed to power the industrial-sized plants. Israel’s IDE Technologies offered an alternative to thermal technology: reverse osmosis. This article delves deeper into the technology.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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