Damon Weeks

Damon Weeks

Function: Research Engineer Associate

Biography:
Mr. Weeks joined CEM as a full time engineer in 1985.  He is Lead Electrical Engineer for the Electric Vehicle Program, where he assists with proposals, prepares and manages budgets and schedules, leads technical research efforts, directs CEM staff and consulting engineers, manages subcontractors and outside vendors, interfaces with sponsors, and provides technical guidance to undergraduate and graduate students.

He is currently involved in the development of a production control system for semi-active suspension vehicles. Recently, he leveraged his electric vehicle experience with instrumentation, control, and servo systems to assist in the axis drives systems designs for the both Hobby Ebberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) project and for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT main axis drives. On HETDEX, his participation included axis feedback sensor selection, amplifier selection, control software development, and system debug. On the GMT main axis drives feasibility study, he performed vender surveys and analysis which led to the selection of a custom linear PM type forcer head solution.

On CEM’s active suspension projects Mr. Weeks completes the majority of the modeling and design of control and power systems.  From the program’s conception, he had the primary responsibility for design, implementation, and testing of the controls and power electronics.  Electromagnetic suspension system demonstrations have included a full-scale M-1 tank single wheel test system, a military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), an Advanced Technology metropolitan Transit Bus (ATTB), 2.5-ton cargo capacity military truck (LMTV), and an off-road emergency vehicle.  He was awarded a patent on active suspension systems in 1999 based on this work.

Prior to his work on the HMMWV, the ATTB, and the LMTV, Mr. Weeks developed computer simulations that modeled electromagnetic performance of variable frequency alternators coupled to coaxial induction accelerator loads.  He was involved in design and optimization of these systems and their associated high power switching components.  During this period his projects included a Rising Frequency Generator, a Torpedo Launcher, and a Synchronous Passive Electromagnetic Accelerator (SPEAR) Coil gun.  In addition, he developed, tested, and refined instrumentation techniques for solid state electromagnetic launcher switching systems.

Previously, while working on the Guided Electromagnetic Defensive Interceptor (GEDI) railgun program, he identified materials and structures as critical elements of electromagnetic railguns and was awarded his first patent in 1989 for the design and fabrication techniques of a “high performance electromagnetic railgun launcher.”  A specific milestone accomplished included developing laminated railgun insulators to achieve higher arc resistance, lower friction, and greater gun stiffness.  The combination of which produced a 22% increase in achievable railgun velocities.  In addition, he developed computer models for plasma and solid armature rail guns to predict rail gun test performance.  During this period he supervised the fabrication, construction, and testing of hyper velocity railguns and ultimately became the project engineer for the GEDI project.  During this research, he completed a Master of Science in Engineering thesis entitled “Analysis of Loss Models for Plasma Armature Rail guns.”

Mr. Weeks was initially employed by UT-CEM as a graduate research assistant (GRA) from 1984 to 1985.  As a GRA, he developed high power explosive switches.

Current and Recent Projects
* Semi-Active Suspension Control System Development: Development of hardware and software control system suitable for small scale production for a tracked military vehicle
* NASA Superconducting Magnetic Bearing: Design of a high performance superconductiong magnetic bearing with advanced damping feature.
* Giant Magellan Telescope Main Axis Drives: Perform feasibility of a linear motor drive system for the main azimuth and elevation axes of the Giant Magellan Telescope.
* Offroad Emergency Vehicle Active Suspension Demonstration: Perform active suspension demonstration on a large off-road emergency vehicle
* NASA Vibration Isolation System: Development of a vibration isolation system for NASA Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) instrumentation systems.
* Aggregate Separation System: Development of a electromagnetic variable frequency and mode shape aggregate separation system.
* Future Combat System (FCS) Semi-Active Road Arm Development: Developing from the Lancer Active Suspension program, the FCS semi-active road arm development program seeks to design, fabricate, demonstrate, and manufacture semi-active suspension systems featuring Magneto Rheological (MR) fluid damping.
* Office of Naval Research (ONR) High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Active Suspension Demonstration: A second generation demonstration addresses a vehicle with twice the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of previous HMMWV demonstration, pre-production level integration, and a reduced sensor active suspension control architecture.
* Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) Active Suspension Demonstration: Leverages off Light to Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) program to demonstrate pre-production active suspension technology on a 5-ton military transport truck.
* Lancer Active Suspension Demonstration: This program provided the first demonstration of CEM active suspension technology on a tracked vehicle.  In addition, it was the first demonstration of active suspension technology on a hybrid electric vehicle.  The program successfully demonstrated Future Combat System (FCS) performance goals as well as power regeneration from active suspension and its efficient transfer back to the hybrid electric drive train.
* Office of Naval Research (ONR) High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Active Suspension Demonstration: A second generation demonstration addresses a vehicle with twice the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of previous HMMWV demonstration, pre-production level integration, and a reduced sensor active suspension control architecture.
*Light to Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) Extended Travel Active Suspension Demonstration: To demonstrate active suspension technology on a 2.5-ton military transport truck.  Demonstrate and validate Reduced Length Actuator (RLA) concept.
*FMV TGB30 Active Suspension Demonstration: To demonstrate pre-production active suspension technology on a 5-ton military transport truck.
* New Zealand LAVIII Active Suspension Demonstration: To provide the first of its kind active suspension demonstration on an armored 8x8 vehicle.

Research Areas/Areas of Interest
* Specialist, Electric Vehicle Technology Development
* Active and semi-active suspensions
* Vehicle dynamic modeling
* Electromagnetic design and analysis
* Power system design and analysis
* Energy storage
* Hybrid electric vehicles

Education
* M.S. Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1990
* B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1984

Awards
* Constant Force Suspension, Near Constant Force Suspension, and Associated Control Algorithms (with Joseph H. Beno, William F. Weldon, Don A. Bresie, and Andreas M. Guenin,), U.S. Patent No. 5,999,868, December 7, 1999.
* “High Performance Electromagnetic Railgun Launcher (with Raymond C. Zowarka, III, William F. Weldon, John H. Gully, Jim L. Upshaw, Mike L. Spann, and Dennis R. Peterson), U.S. Patent No. 4,884,489, December 5, 1989.

Filed as Records of Invention
* Flywheel Motor Generator with Power Electronics for the Formula One Kinetic Energy Recovery System, (with Richard Thompson, Hamid Ouroua, Brian Murphy, Steve Manifold, Mark Flynn, and Clay Hearn), UT Tech ID OTC-5260-THO, submitted March 2007, pending

Refereed Publications
* R.J. Hayes, et al., “Design and testing of an active suspension system for a 2.5 ton military truck,” SAE 2005 World Congress, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., April 11-14, 2005 (PR 373).
* R.E. Hebner, et al., “Design and analysis of a 20 MW propulsion power train,” IMAREST Marine Engineers Review, Propulsion Supplement, publication scheduled for April 2005 (PR 341).
* R.J. Hayes, et al., “Design and performance testing of a transit bus drive train with flywheel energy storage,” International Future Transportation Technology Conference, Costa Mesa, California, U.S.A., June 23-25, 2003 (PR 336).
* J.H. Beno, et al., “Experimental comparison of losses for conventional passive and energy efficient active suspension systems,” SAE 2002 World Congress, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., March 4-7, 2002 (PR 295).
* J.R. Mock, et al., “Dual Purpose fuzzy logic controller for an active suspension system,” SAE 2002 World Congress, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., March 4-7, 2002 (PR 293).
* W. Bylsma, et al., “Electromechanical suspension performance testing,” SAE World Congress, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., March 3-5, 2001 (PR 291).
* D.A. Weeks, J.H. Beno, A.M. Guenin, and D.A. Bresie, “Electromechanical active suspension demonstration for off-road vehicles at The University of Texas Center for Electromechanics, “SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., March 6-9, 2000 (PR 286).
* D.A. Weeks, D.A. Bresie, A.M. Guenin, and J.H. Beno, “The design of an electromagnetic linear actuator for an active suspension,” 1999 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., March 1-4, 1999 (PR 269).
* D.A. Weeks, J.H. Beno, D.A. Bresie, and A. Guenin, “Control system for quarter car heavy tracked vehicle active electromagnetic suspension,” 1997 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., February 24-27, 1997 (PR 223).
* D.A. Weeks, J.H. Beno, D.A. Bresie, and A. Guenin, “Laboratory testing of an active electromagnetic near constant force suspension (NCFS), 1997 SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., February 24-27, 1997 (PR 222).
* F.B. Hoogterp, J.H. Beno, and D.A. Weeks, “An Energy Efficient Electromagnetic Active Suspension System,” SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., February 24-27, 1997 (PR 426).
* J.H. Beno, F.B. Hoogterp, and D.A. Weeks, “Active suspension system energy and power requirements for military applications,” AECV Brainstorming Meeting, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., October 17, 1995 (PR 219).
* J.H. Beno, et al., “Electromechanical suspension for combat vehicles,” SAE International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., February 27-March 2, 1995 (PR 203).
* D.A. Bresie, J.L. Bacon, K.S. Kennington, S.K. Ingram, and D.A. Weeks, “SPEAR coilgun,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 31, no. 1, January 1995, pp. 467-472 (PR 198).
* D.A. Weeks and S.B. Pratap, “Design of a rising frequency generator/coaxial accelerator,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 29, no. 1, January 1993, pp. 716-721 (PR 149).
* W.F. Weldon, J.L. Bacon, D.A. Weeks, and R.C. Zowarka Jr., “Stiff railguns,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 27, no. 1, January 1991, pp. 488-493 (PR 114).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka Jr., “Hypervelocity macroparticle accelerator experiments at CEM-UT,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 27, no. 1, January 1991, pp. 85-90 (PR 101).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka Jr., “Plasma armature railgun launcher simulations,” IEEE Transactions on Plasma, vol. 17, no. 13, June 1989, pp. 403-408 (PR 403).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka Jr., “Plasma armature railgun launcher simulations at The University of Texas at Austin,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 25, no. 1, January 1989, pp. 580-586 (PR 63).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka Jr., “Plasma armature railgun launcher simulations at The University of Texas at Austin,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 25, no. 1, January 1989, pp. 580-586 (PR 94).
* J.L. Upshaw, R.C. Zowarka Jr., R.W. Cook, and D.A. Weeks, “Design and development of extremely high velocity electromagnetic launch accelerators -- GEDI program,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 25, no. 1, January 1989, pp. 568-573 (PR 82).
* D.R. Peterson, D.A. Weeks, R.C. Zowarka, R.W. Cook, and W.F. Weldon,” Testing of a high performance, precision-bore railgun,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. Mag-22, no. 6, November 1986, pp. 1662-1668 (PR 46).

Non-refereed Publications
* J.H. Beno and D.A. Weeks, “Active suspension technology development for high performance off-road vehicles,” 4th International AECV Conference, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, September 24-26, 2001 (PN 257).
* J.H. Beno, D.A. Weeks, D.A. Bresie, and A.M. Guenin, “Comparison between active and passive suspensions in coast-down tests,” 4th International AECV Conference, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, September 24-26, 2001 (PN 256).
* D.A. Weeks, R.C. Zowarka Jr., and J.R. Uglum, “Plasma armature characterization measurements performed at The University of Texas,” Proceedings, 7th IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, Monterey, California, U.S.A., June 11-14, 1989, pp. 632-636 (PN 154).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka, Jr., “Plasma armature railgun launcher simulations,” IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, vol. 17, no. 3, June 1989, pp. 403-408 (PN 121).
* D.A. Weeks, E.P. Fahrenthold, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka, Jr., “Design and testing of a laminated frame railgun,” 5th Meeting of the Electromagnetic Launcher Association, Auburn, Alabama, U.S.A., September 28-30, 1988 (PN 122).
* D.A. Weeks, W.F. Weldon, and R.C. Zowarka, Jr., “Electromagnetic railgun launcher model testing simulation,” 3rd Meeting of the Electromagnetic Launcher Association, Tamarron, Colorado, U.S.A., March 22-23, 1987 (PN 108).
* D.A. Weeks and W.F. Weldon, “Insulator tests in a high performance, square-bore railgun,” Electromagnetic Launcher Association, Pomona, California, U.S.A., July 9-10, 1986 (PN 106).