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Overview of the Turbine Based Combined Cycle DisciplineThe NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Hypersonics project is focused on technologies for combined cycle, airbreathing propulsions systems to enable reusable launch systems for access to space. Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) propulsion systems offer specific impulse (Isp) improvements over rocket-based propulsion systems in the subsonic takeoff and return mission segments and offer improved safety. The potential to realize more aircraft-like operations with expanded launch site capability and reduced system maintenance are additional benefits. The most critical TBCC enabling technologies as identified in the National Aeronautics Institute (NAI) study were: 1) mode transition from the low speed propulsion system to the high speed propulsion system, 2) high Mach turbine engine development, 3) transonic aero-propulsion performance, 4) low-Mach-number dual-mode scramjet operation, 5) innovative 3-D flowpath concepts and 6) innovative turbine based combined cycle integration. To address several of these key TBCC challenges, NASA s Hypersonics project (TBCC Discipline) initiated an experimental mode transition task that includes an analytic research endeavor to assess the state-of-the-art of propulsion system performance and design codes. This initiative includes inlet fluid and turbine performance codes and engineering-level algorithms. This effort has been focused on the Combined Cycle Engine Large-Scale Inlet Mode Transition Experiment (CCE LIMX) which is a fully integrated TBCC propulsion system with flow path sizing consistent with previous NASA and DoD proposed Hypersonic experimental flight test plans. This experiment is being tested in the NASA-GRC 10 x 10 Supersonic Wind Tunnel (SWT) Facility. The goal of this activity is to address key hypersonic combined-cycle-engine issues: (1) dual integrated inlet operability and performance issues unstart constraints, distortion constraints, bleed requirements, controls, and operability margins, (2) mode-transition constraints imposed by the turbine and the ramjet/scramjet flow paths (imposed variable geometry requirements), (3) turbine engine transients (and associated time scales) during transition, (4) high-altitude turbine engine re-light, and (5) the operating constraints of a Mach 3-7 combustor (specific to the TBCC). The model will be tested in several test phases to develop a unique TBCC database to assess and validate design and analysis tools and address operability, integration, and interaction issues for this class of advanced propulsion systems. The test article and all support equipment is complete and available at the facility. The test article installation and facility build-up in preparation for the inlet performance and operability characterization is near completion and testing is planned to commence in FY11.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Thomas, Scott R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Walker, James F.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Pittman, James L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
September 29, 2009
Subject Category
Aeronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2009 Annual Meeting
Location: Atlanta, GA
Country: United States
Start Date: September 29, 2009
End Date: October 1, 2009
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 599489.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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