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Consulting Engineer
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Dr. Costello's combination of industrial experience for a wide range of companies and academic experience in teaching and research gives him a practical approach to engineering, with a solid basis and facility with the theoretical underpinnings.
  • University of Pennsylvania, PhD in Mech Engineering, 1965
  • University of Pennsylvania, MSME, 1960
  • Villanova University, BME, 1957
Previous Positions
  • Consultant, 2009 -
  • Frederick A. Costello, Inc.: President, 1977- 2009
  • InterTechnology Solar Corporation: Vice-Pres., Eng'g, 1976-1977
  • University of Delaware: Associate Professor of M.E., 1966-1976
  • General Electric Company: Supervising Engineer, Missile and Space Division, 1960-1966
  • General Electric Company: Thermal Engineer, Missile and Space Division, 1958-1960
  • Carrier Corporation: Applications Engineer, 1957-1958
Experience Aerospace Thermal Design: Passive Spacecraft Systems: Conducted thermal-design review for Perkin Elmer's Space Telescope; supervised revisions to thermal design and supporting analyses; developed many of the improvements: methods for designing thermo-statically controlled heaters, analyzing heater systems, combining submodels into a total-vehicle model, extracting submodels from a total-vehicle model, analyzing specular sur-faces, and devising designs that compensate for thermal expansion. Designed thermal control for wavefront sensor, the most sensitive instrument on the Tele-scope. Also for Perkin Elmer, assisted on successful proposal for Solar Observatory Telescope; devised thermal-control system for MODIS-N, including 80 K radiator; and designed and supervised implementation of thermal-control system for the VUE telescope -- a successful space telescope that went from concept to hardware in six weeks to flight in only six months. For Orbital Sciences Corporation, responsible for the complete thermal design of TOMS FM-3, SWIRLS, and Space Station's SAMCA. For Hughes, designed thermal control system for three thermally sensitive DoD optical space instruments. Also evaluated methods of hardening spacecraft. Under NASA-Langley contract, developed optimization technique for spacecraft thermal systems with coatings and heaters. Designed and analyzed temperature control system for COBE calibrator (at 4 K) and sensor (at 2 K). Reviewed overall COBE spacecraft thermal design for NASA three months before shipment; NASA corrected deficiencies accordingly. For NASA, developed handbook for creating accurate thermal models. For NASA-Goddard, computed convective and radiant heating of TRMM spacecraft from orbit-correction thrusters and reviewed TRW work on hydrazine detonation on GRO and computed its cause independently. Active Aircraft and Spacecraft Systems: Developed detailed simulation model for aircraft vapor-compression environmental controls for Air Force FDL (40000 lines of FORTRAN coding plus supporting literature review of two-phase pressure-drop and heat-transfer correlations). For NASA-Goddard, developed modeling techniques and conducted laboratory breadboard experiments of pumped, two-phase heat-transport systems, components and controls. Consulted to FCD Corp on estimating pressure coefficients and heat transfer to aircraft munitions pod. For Hughes, analyzed temperature-control system for aircraft IR instrument (at 80 K), including viewing window and focal plane. Launch Vehicles: For EER, computed aerodynamic heating to Conestoga launch vehicle, including shock interaction from boosters; developed and applied method for computing aerodynamic and radiant heating in base region, and computed aerodynamic forced on articulated rocket nozzles; greatly improved the NASA-Marshall method for computing ablator performance in conjunction with SINDA program and applied it to Conestoga. Also for EER developed and applied method for computing forces on booster-nozzle actuators. For CTA, computed aerodynamic heating to ORBEX launch vehicle, including base heating, fins and protuberances; computed free-molecule heating after fairing ejection; computed convective and radiant heating from orbit-correction thrusters. Computed plume-impingement heat fluxes and structure temperatures for Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus launch vehicle. Advanced Technology: Developed award-winning method for selecting SINDA time steps for thermal simulations based on implicit integration. Also for NASA, evaluated lunar-base cooling systems. Developed earth emission, albedo design values based on spacecraft radiometer data. Under NASA SBIR Phase 2 contract, devised and developed hardware for experiment to fly on Shuttle to test FAC, Inc., invention. Under private contract, developed STIRGEN, a finite-difference model of a Stirling-cycle cryogenic regenerator. Received NASA SBIR Phase 1 contract to extend STIRGEN. Received Phase 1 and Phase 2 contracts to develop BIFAC, our commercial computer program to calculate radiant interchange among non-ideal surfaces. For commercial client, developed computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model of advanced-technology, long-life cryogenic compressors and expanders. For NASA and Network Analysis, developed SINFAC, subroutines for use in SINDA to simulate single- and two-phase cooling systems.

At GE, supervised and technically reviewed the work of 15-engineer group responsible for developing experimental and analytical methods for predicting aerodynamic heating and heat transfer to missiles and re-entering spacecraft. Personally developed prediction methods for base heating and for effects of mass injection in boundary layer. Led development of base-heating prediction technique using numerical solution to Navier-Stokes equations.

Electronic Equipment Packaging: For TRW, analyzed and modified thermal design of over 30 electronic packages for extensive field instrumentation and data acquisition system. Packages were highly compact, with mulitple boards. Also for TRW, developed computational-fluid-dynamic model of flow and heat transfer in complex natural-convection cooling geometries, both interior and exterior to enclosure, as needed to evaluate design alternatives. Conducted laboratory test of units, verifying theoretical predictions. For various clients, designed temperature-control systems for space and ground electronics packages and computed part and junction temperatures. Ground systems included forced and natural convection, rack and desk mounted. Many systems used multi-chip modules. Some used ceramic boards. For Perkin Elmer, was responsible for thermal design of NIR, a industrial instrument requiring temperature control to within 0.1 C. Work included specifying requirements and simulating performance of feedback-control system. Under SVG contract, designed and analyzed precision (0.1 C) thermal-control system for advanced, small-feature, microchip-manufacturing machine. For FAC, Inc., developed, through analysis and experiment, new natural-convection fin design that provides the maximum heat transfer per unit volume. For TRW solved noise-generation and transmission problems in forced-convection cooling systems. For NASA built and tested single- and two-phase cooling systems using water and refrigerants, including ammonia and non-azeotropic fluids. For Perkin Elmer, computed stresses in enclosures and boards.
Energy Conservation and Alternative-Energy Systems:  Evaluated existing and new HVAC systems for residential and commercial buildings for Gas Research Institute, using DOE-2 HVAC simula-tion program. Modified DOE-2 to accept unitized heat pumps. Also for GRI, developed simulation models of advanced desiccant air-conditioning systems; compared technologies. Wrote the technical portions of Dept of Energy's Emergency Building Temperature Regu-lations. Evaluated impact of the Regulations via simulations, site inspections. Settled dispute between MMM Design and GSA on alternative HVAC systems for US Old Post Office Bldg. Evaluated cost/benefits of HVAC system at Cox School in Norfolk. Obtained, analyzed field data from commercial buildings; compared performance to DOE Building Energy Performance Standards. Simulated, evaluated potential heat-pump technologies for GRI. For GSA, simulated, evaluated desiccant cooling system for HUD building in DC. Under DOE contract, deve-loped plan for ASHRAE for analysis of effect of building dynamics on energy consumption. Analyzed for AGA and National Bureau of Standards the utility of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in energy-conserving design. In on-going work, perform detailed, on-site visits to client facilities, evaluate costs and savings of 50 building energy-conservation measures based on VBDD and DOE-2 simulations. Designed and supervised installation of energy-conversation measures on five Milford, Delaware, school buildings. Presented energy-conservation seminars to ITT and to C&P Telephone. Designed and carried out building HVAC inspection system for 3 million sq.ft. of buildings for U.S.Navy, Warminster, Pa; developed replacement/maintenance plan. Energy consultant to 8 architect-engineer companies. For NBS, developed TI-59 VBDD program for residential energy consumption, developed theory for heat-pump frosting, developed analytical model for heat-pump cyclic performance, analyzed utility of microcomputers in energy analyses. For AGA determined cause of anomalous field data on electric heat pumps. For Salt River Project evaluated electrical vs heat-driven air-conditioning systems. Developed and market VBDD program for PC for energy-conservation cost tradeoffs. Solar Heating, Cooling and Power Systems Participated in design of cascaded PV thermal system at Univ of Delaware. At ITC, supervised evaluation of liquid-piston Stir-ling engine for water pumping. Analyzed system performance and market potential for solar-thermal-electric and PV total-energy systems for Sandia Labs. Developed for Dept of Energy's Federal PV Utilization Program, under a support contract with PRC: life-cycle costing procedure; ways of identifying cost-effective applica-tions quickly; system-design procedures; and typical specifications. Presented nationwide seminar in PV system design. Developed highly acclaimed design procedure for stand-alone PV systems based on stochastic insolation model; developed handbook for NASA-Lewis with the procedure. For Solarex: designed fast-erecting and transportable struc-tures; estimated "Solar Breeder" life; presented seminar on PV pumping systems; developed design procedure for PV-driven refrigeration systems. Designed wiring system, main-tenance system for Hughes Aircraft-Solar Power (Exxon) team, including reliability analysis. Simulated, evaluated Diesel/PV/wind hybrids for EER. Design engineer of record (licensed engineer) for 15 kW grid-connected PV systems for U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, and Lisbon, Portugal. Supervised installation in Lisbon; designed and ran acceptance test. Developed and now market set of PC programs for design and simulation of PV systems.

Designed ten solar heating and cooling projects from concept to construction supervision, including 11,000 sf industrial system in Blue Earth, Minnesota, and heating/cooling commercial system in West Virginia. Supervised evaluation of over 100 potential projects for DOE. Simulated and evaluated over 100 potential projects for Dept of Labor. Tested, evaluated salt-hydrate thermal-energy storage at Univ of Delaware. Developed simulation models for solar total-energy systems for SANDIA. Developed the conceptual design for National Wildlife Federation in Vienna, Virginia, and ten buildings for Dept of Labor nationwide. Designed passive solar library for Air Force, Dover, Del. Designed and tested thermosyphon system for Dept of State. Licensed invention for solar cooling to Honeywell; consulted to Honeywell. Supervised DOE Solar-Process Heat project at ITC. Analyzed solar heating for asphalt and textile industries. Participated in collector design for ITC Solar and Natural Energy Corps. Reduced support structure cost from $8 to $3 per sq.ft.

Planning and Policy Analysis: For Univ of Delaware, developed optimization technique for selecting research projects, combining cost/benefits and risk aversion. Team leader and primary engineering analyst to quantify renewable energy resources for Portugal: solar, wind, biomass, ocean, hydro --included on-site inspections. Under DOE contract, taught quantification procedures for use in Korea and Argentina. While at ITC, supervised design and evaluation of biomass energy systems, including plant growth strategies. Developed market-penetration model for solar heating and cooling products (technical performance, supply, demand, economic environment and risk aversion). Provided technical-performance part of a similar study on solar total-energy systems. Supervised market study for worldwide use of photovoltaic systems. Under contract with HBC, forecasted trends in PV industry via engineering and market evaluation of 100 consecutive PV patents.
  • American Soc of Mechanical Engineers (for 10 years, reviewer of heat-transfer manuscripts)
  • International Solar Energy Soc (reviewer of solar-heating manuscripts)
  • Soc of Automotive Engineers (reviewer of spacecraft temperature-control manuscripts).
  • Licensed Prof. Engineer: PA and DE
Professional seminars:
  • Photovoltaic System Design
  • Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • Solar Heating and Cooling
  • Industrial Energy Conservation
  • Modern Developments in Engineering
  • Radiant Heat Transfer
Over 50 professional publications, including:
  • Difficulties with Obtuse-Angled Elements in Finite-Element Thermal Models SAE/ASME International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 1997
  • Node Geometries and Conductances in Spacecraft Thermal Models. SAE/ASME International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 1995
  • Spacecraft Thermal Environment near Earth. SAE/ASME International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 1995
  • BIFAC: A Progam for Computing Thermal Radiant Interchange among Non-Idealized Surfaces. SAE/ASME International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 1993