NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Numerical Propulsion System Simulation: An OverviewThe cost of implementing new technology in aerospace propulsion systems is becoming prohibitively expensive and time consuming. One of the main contributors to the high cost and lengthy time is the need to perform many large-scale hardware tests and the inability to integrate all appropriate subsystems early in the design process. The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing the technologies required to enable simulations of full aerospace propulsion systems in sufficient detail to resolve critical design issues early in the design process before hardware is built. This concept, called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS), is focused on the integration of multiple disciplines such as aerodynamics, structures and heat transfer with computing and communication technologies to capture complex physical processes in a timely and cost-effective manner. The vision for NPSS, as illustrated, is to be a "numerical test cell" that enables full engine simulation overnight on cost-effective computing platforms. There are several key elements within NPSS that are required to achieve this capability: 1) clear data interfaces through the development and/or use of data exchange standards, 2) modular and flexible program construction through the use of object-oriented programming, 3) integrated multiple fidelity analysis (zooming) techniques that capture the appropriate physics at the appropriate fidelity for the engine systems, 4) multidisciplinary coupling techniques and finally 5) high performance parallel and distributed computing. The current state of development in these five area focuses on air breathing gas turbine engines and is reported in this paper. However, many of the technologies are generic and can be readily applied to rocket based systems and combined cycles currently being considered for low-cost access-to-space applications. Recent accomplishments include: (1) the development of an industry-standard engine cycle analysis program and plug 'n play architecture, called NPSS Version 1, (2) A full engine simulation that combines a 3D low-pressure subsystem with a 0D high pressure core simulation. This demonstrates the ability to integrate analyses at different levels of detail and to aerodynamically couple components, the fan/booster and low-pressure turbine, through a 3D computational fluid dynamics simulation. (3) Simulation of all of the turbomachinery in a modern turbofan engine on parallel computing platform for rapid and cost-effective execution. This capability can also be used to generate full compressor map, requiring both design and off-design simulation. (4) Three levels of coupling characterize the multidisciplinary analysis under NPSS: loosely coupled, process coupled and tightly coupled. The loosely coupled and process coupled approaches require a common geometry definition to link CAD to analysis tools. The tightly coupled approach is currently validating the use of arbitrary Lagrangian/Eulerian formulation for rotating turbomachinery. The validation includes both centrifugal and axial compression systems. The results of the validation will be reported in the paper. (5) The demonstration of significant computing cost/performance reduction for turbine engine applications using PC clusters. The NPSS Project is supported under the NASA High Performance Computing and Communications Program.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lytle, John K. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2000
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion and Power
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle20000064579Analytic PrimaryWelcome to the NASA High Performance Computing and Communications Computational Aerosciences (CAS) Workshop 2000
Document Inquiry