- W. Anderson
Areas of research include combustion instability, ignition, cooling and heat transfer, and high pressure storage of hydrogen in metal hydride systems. Most of the research is conducted in the propulsion laboratories at the Maurice Zucrow Laboratory, and emphasizes the scale of these laboratories by conducting experiments in model test articles at realistic conditions. Many of the studies are "benchmark" experiments to obtain validation data for CFD models.
Combustion instability research is funded by NASA, AFOSR, Rolls-Royce, and includes benchmark experiments for CFD model validation, development of experimental techniques, instability mechanism studies, and development and validation of engineering level design analysis models. A novel model rocket combustor has been developed which can generate high amplitude instabilities.
Ignition research is funded by MDA, NASA and the Air Force, and is focused on "green" propulsion systems. Spark ignition work centers on the extension of Paschen's Law to higher pressures and increased reliability. Hypergolic ignition studies center on the development of an empirical database of the environmental effects on catalytically-loaded fuels.
Cooling and heat transfer research is funded by NASA, the Air Force, and Rolls-Royce. Supercritical cooling flows are studied experimentally in a super-scale high-aspect-ratio cooling channel and is coupled with computational work underway in Professor Merkle's group. The three-dimensional effects in a multi-element injector are being studied at pressures up to 80 atm in a model combustor that uses liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen as fuels. Thermal management for high-Mach vehicles via the use of endothermic fuels is being studied by measuring endotherms and coking characteristics in plug flow reactors.
The high-pressure hydrogen storage study is funded by General Motors and culminates in a demonstration of a vehicle-scale high-pressure metal hydride tank. This full-scale experiment involves fill and release rates optimized for automotive applications. Subscale tests will be used to validate the heat exchanger design analyses, empirically characterize the fill and vent processes, evaluate thermal and metal hydride particle management systems, and prove laboratory operations prior to full scale demonstration.
- G. A. Blaisdell
Current research interests involve the study of transitional and turbulent fluid flows using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as an investigative tool. This research provides opportunities to interact with the Energy signature area of the College of Engineering. Turbulent flows are important to aerodynamic drag on vehicles, the performance of various propulsion systems, and the transport of heat and chemical species in many different types of energy applications.
The current approaches used include direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large eddy simulation (LES), in which the time dependent motion of the turbulent eddies are computed. This allows turbulence to be studied in great detail. For flows of practical engineering interest, the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations are solved and the effects of turbulence are modeled.
Current projects related to the Energy signature area include a project with NASA to improve turbulent heat transfer predictions for the Space Shuttle during ascent; an analysis of the stability of liquid jets, which has applications to spray systems such as fuel injectors; and work with Rolls-Royce on the analysis and design of components of an engine for a supersonic business jet. This last project is being performed through the Purdue Rolls-Royce University Technology Center.
- S. D. Heister
- As participant in the Energy Systems Signature Area, Professor Heister is collaborating with other faculty in the College of Engineering in a number of areas. Work is ongoing in the development of programs aimed at studying the potential for coal-based fuels for gas turbine applications. Coking characteristics, endothermic potential, and combustion characteristics will be investigated by Dr. Heister and colleagues within the Energy Systems area. Bio-based fuels are also receiving study in this regard. Professor Heister's research interests are mainly in the coking/thermal stability area and in the use of the advanced fuels as coolants/thermal management systems.