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Army and NASA Lewis specialists perform in-house experimental and computational work on axial, centrifugal and multi-stage compression systems. The in-house program goal is to provide technical support to engine manufacturers and Army RDEC's in their efforts to develop and field advanced engines.
Experimental rig-test activities are carried out to answer specific design questions as well as to build databases that can be used to assess the predictive capability analytical tools. Three facilities are available for high-speed compressor research. A fourth (large-low-speed) facility is used for basic flow physics research in both a centrifugal compressor and a four stage axial compressor. Laser Anemometer systems are available in each facility.
Laser Anemometry is regularly used to map-out the flow fields in high and low speed compressors. The impeller and diffuser regions of a high speed centrifugal compressor are currently being mapped. The test results will provide insight into impeller-diffuser interactions and the flow structure within the impeller.
The Lewis-developed Average Passage Code has been used in the design of a high pressure ratio two-stage axial compressor. Testing of the initial design was completed in 1994 and a follow-on test of a forward-swept rotor is planned for 1995. This combination of computational and experimental work has contributed to technology that will transition to the JTAGG demonstrator engine program, as well as to other IHPTET programs.
Analytical, computational, and experimental efforts have also been combined in the Wave Rotor program. A single Wave Rotor does the work of both a compressor and turbine and permits higher combustor temperatures to be used without the need for advanced turbine materials. While the idea of using such devices to enhance engine performance has been around since the early 1940's, no proven design methodology was ever developed that could be applied to a range of engine cycles and operating conditions. In-house experiments have been used in conjunction with code development work to develop such design methods. A study to evaluate the Allison 250 series engine as a potential platform for a Wave Rotor demonstration was completed.
POC: Gary Skoch
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Updated: March 12, 2004