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The Hazard of Volcanic Ash IngestionA research team of U.S. Government agencies and engine manufacturers conducted an experiment to test volcanic-ash ingestion by a NASA owned engine in the same family as the PW 2000 that was donated by the U.S. Air Force. The experiment, called Vehicle Integrated Propulsions Research (VIPR) test, was conducted under the auspices of NASAs Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) Program and took place in summer of 2015 at Edwards AFB in California as an on-ground, on-wing test. The primary objectives of the volcanic ash test were to determine the effect on the engine of several hours of exposure to low to moderate ash concentrations and to evaluate the capability of engine health management technologies for detecting these effects. The target concentrations of volcanic ash tested were at 1 and 10 mgm3. A natural volcanic ash was used that is representative of distal ash clouds many 100s to 1000 km from a volcanic source. The glassy ash particles were expected to soften and become less viscous when exposed to the high temperatures of the combustion chamber, then stick to the nozzle guide vanes of the high-pressure turbine and this was observed. Numerous observations and measurements of the engines performance and degradation were made during the course of the experiment, including borescope inspections after each test run. The engine has been disassembled so that detailed inspections of the engine effects have been made. A summary of the test methodology and execution will be made along with results from the test. While not intended to be sufficient for rigorous certification of engine performance when ash is ingested, the experiment should provide useful information to aircraft manufacturers, airline operators, and military and civil regulators in their efforts to evaluate the range of risks that ash hazards pose to aviation.
Document ID
Document Type
Lekki, John
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
January 9, 2018
Publication Date
April 5, 2017
Subject Category
Aeronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting at Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute(Moscow)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 081876.01.03
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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