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Experimental and Computational Investigation of Low Pressure Variable-Speed Turbine Aerodynamics: Benchmark Data Set and Predictive Tool Development University of North Dakota/NASA Glenn Research Center, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

Pictured is the University of North Dakota’s compressible flow facility. Counterclockwise starting with the bottom left is Dr. Forrest Ames, and students: Juli Pearson, Nifiz Chowdhury, Preethi Gandavarapu, and Matthew Mihelish.

Dr. Gerard E. Welch, NASA Technical Monitor, Glenn Research Center



Suzen Yildirim Bora, Science PI, University of North Dakota

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

The design of variable speed power turbines (VSPT) is particularly challenging due to their highly loaded blades, and often widely varying incidence angles combined with low Reynolds number during normal operation. Moreover, the thermodynamic efficiency of gas turbines is strongly dependent on power turbine efficiency. This research aims to establish a combined experimental and computational investigation on VSPT flows. This work supports NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Fundamental Aeronautics Program in the area of Subsonic Fixed Wind and Subsonic Rotary Wing Projects. This is a collaborative project, pairing the experimental capabilities of the University of North Dakota (UND) with the computational capabilities of North Dakota State University (NDSU) to pursue VSPT research of direct interest to the Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Branch of NASA Glenn Research Center as well as to Rolls Royce of North America. The UND experimental research has acquired aerodynamic loss data in their new high-speed low Reynolds number facility. The NDSU study has addressed transition, separation, and unsteadiness using both conventional and more advanced methods in CFD. This effort has been used to further build experimental and computational methods, defined as crucial needs by NASA and the gas turbine industry for advancing understanding of complex VSPT flows to improve VSPT efficiencies. This research has also built collaborations with the US aviation gas turbine industry (Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney, GE, Honeywell, and Williams International) and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Further, the project has developed outreach activities to local Tribal Colleges and high schools to improve the demographics of underrepresented groups in engineering in order to help supply the workforce needs of the gas turbine and aerospace industries.

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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