Engineering

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  • (2022) Zhao, Runqing
    Thesis
    Emerging modes of air transport such as autonomous airport shuttle and air taxi are potentially efficient alternatives to current transport practices such as bus and train. This thesis examines bus shuttle service within an airport and air metro as two examples of network design. Within an airport, the bus shuttle serves passengers between the terminals, train stations, parking lots, hotels, and shopping areas. Air metro is a type of pre-planned service in urban air mobility that accommodates passengers for intra- or inter-city trips. The problems are to optimise the service, and the outputs including the optimal fleet size, dispatch pattern and schedule. Based on the proposed time-space networks, the service network design problems are formulated as mixed integer linear programs. The heterogeneous multi-type bus fleet case and stochastic demand case are extended for the airport shuttle case, while a rolling horizon optimisation is adopted for the air metro case. In the autonomous airport inter-terminal bus shuttle case, a Monte Carlo simulation-based approach is proposed to solve the case with demand stochasticity, which is then further embedded into an "effective" passenger demand framework. The "effective" demand is the summation of mean demand value and a safety margin. By comparing the proposed airport shuttle service to the current one, it is found that the proposed service can save approximately 27% of the total system cost. The results for stochastic problem suggest estimating the safety margin to be 0.3675 times of the standard deviation brings the best performance. For the second case, the service network design is extended with a pilot scheduling layer and simulation is undertaken to compare the autonomous (pilot-less) and piloted service design. The results suggest that an autonomous air metro service would be preferable if the price of an autonomous aircraft is less than 1.6 times the price of a human-driven one. The results for rolling horizon optimisation suggest to confirm the actual demand at least 45 minutes prior to departure. Based on data from the Sydney (Australia) region, the thesis provides information directly relevant for the service network design of emerging modes of air transport in the city.

  • (2021) Alohali, Ruaa Tawfiq A
    Thesis
    The Arabian basin was subject to several tectonic events, including Lower Cambrian Najd rifting, the Carboniferous Hercynian Orogeny, Triassic Zagros rifting, and the Early/Cretaceous and Late/Tertiary Alpine orogenic events. These events reactivated Precambrian basement structures and affected the structural configuration of the overlying Paleozoic cover succession. In addition to a 2D seismic array and several drill well logs, a newly acquired, processed 3D seismic image of the subsurface in part of the basin covering an area of approximately 1051 km2 has been provided to improve the understanding of the regional tectonic evolution associated with these deformation events. In this study, a manual interpretation is presented of six main horizons from the Late Ordovician to the Middle Triassic. Faults and folds were also mapped to further constrain the stratigraphic and structural framework. Collectively, this data is used to build a geological model of the region and develop a timeline of geological events. Results show that a lower Paleozoic sedimentary succession between the Late Silurian to the Early Permian was subject to localised tilting, uplift, and erosion during the Carboniferous Hercynian Orogeny, forming a regional unconformity. Subsequent deposition occurred from the Paleozoic to the Mesozoic, producing a relatively thick, conformable, upper succession. The juxtaposition of the Silurian rocks and Permian formations allows a direct fluid flow between the two intervals. Seismic analysis also indicated two major fault generations. A younger NNW-striking fault set with a component of reverse, east-side-up displacement affected the Lower Triassic succession and is most likely related to the Cretaceous and Tertiary Alpine Events that reactivated the Najd fault system. These fault structures allow vertical migration that could act as conduits to form structural traps. Manual mapping of fault structures in the study area required significant time and effort. To simplify and accelerate the manual faults interpretation in the study area, a fault segmentation method was developed using a Convolutional Neural Network. This method was implemented using the 3D seismic data acquired from the Arabian Basin. The network was trained, validated, and tested with samples that included a seismic cube and fault images that were labelled manually corresponding to the seismic cube. The model successfully identified faults with an accuracy of 96% and an error rate of 0.12 on the training dataset. To achieve a more robust model, the prediction results were further enhanced using postprocessing by linking discontinued segments of the same fault and thus, reducing the number of detected faults. This method improved the accuracy of the prediction results of the proposed model using the test dataset by 77.5%. Additionally, an efficient framework was introduced to correlate the predictions and the ground truth by measuring their average distance value. This technique was also applied to the F3 Netherlands survey, which showed promising results in another region with complex fault geometries. As a result of the automated technique developed here, fault detection and diagnosis were achieved efficiently with structures similar to the trained dataset and has a huge potential in improving exploration targets that are structurally controlled by faults.

  • (2022) Al-Farsi, Mohammed Said Saleh
    Thesis
    Multijunction solar cells based on silicon are predicted to achieve an efficiency of 40-45% for a top cell with a band gap of 1.6-1.9 eV. However, there are currently no known materials with suitable band gaps able to deliver high efficiencies. Two classes of materials that have been proposed for top cells are alloys of CuGaSe2 and alloyed oxide perovskites. CuGaSe2 has a suitable band gap (1.68 eV) for a top cell on silicon, but the maximum efficiency achieved is only 11%, while that of the closely-related CuInGaSe2 (band gap 1.14 eV) is 23.35%. The low efficiency of CuGaSe2 has been attributed to anti-site defects. Therefore, suppressing this defect formation is critical to achieving higher efficiencies. On the other hand, most oxide perovskites have band gaps that are too high (>2 eV) to be used as top cells on silicon, hence strategies such as alloying are required to lower their band gaps. In this work, the effects of alloying CuGaSe2 with Ag, Na, K, Al, In, La and S were investigated using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. The band gaps of the alloyed compounds and formation energies of anti-site defects were calculated to find alloying elements that can increase the defect formation energy but maintain the band gap. CuGaSe2 alloyed with Al at 50at% showed the highest increase (compared to unalloyed CuGaSe2) in the defect formation energy (by ~0.20 eV) followed by Na (~0.15 eV) and S (~0.10 eV), both at 50at%. However, the band gap of the Al alloy (~2.15 eV) is too high for a top cell, while those of Na (~1.95 eV) and S (~1.91 eV) are slightly above the upper limit. Thus, alloying with these elements is not an ideal route towards significantly increasing the formation energy of anti-site defects while maintaining the band gap of CuGaSe2. However, some of the factors that influence the defect formation energy are identified, potentially leading to design rules for future work. Defect formation energies were found to be higher in structures with more positively charged Ga and negatively charged Se atoms. Analysis of bond lengths revealed a positive correlation between shorter Ga and Se bonds and higher defect formation energies. Band gaps of various alloyed oxide perovskites were calculated using DFT. BiFeO3 was alloyed with Y and Sb; LaFeO3 with Cr and Sb and YFeO3 with Bi and Sb. YFeO3 alloyed with Sb at 50at%, was found to have a band gap of 1.4-2.1 eV (depending on the basis set used) which is in the range for a top cell.