High Pressure Laboratory: West Test Cell

Aerial view of High Pressure Laboratory The West Test Cell (Virtual Tour) of the High Pressure Laboratory contains Pulse Denotation and High Pressure Gas Turbine Combustor test rigs. Pulse Detonation Engines (PDE) are promising propulsion devices that utilize a detonation process, instead of a deflagration process, to achieve thrust. The cyclic PDE rig utilizes an automotive engine head to perform high-speed valve operations for controlling the flow of the combustible fuel and air mixture into the detonation tube. Tests with the engine shown here have been successfully performed at 5 - 50 Hz. The entire PDE assembly is mounted on a carriage that permits controlled displacement for the measurement of average thrust.

The High Pressure Gas Turbine Combustor test stand was assembled to measure NOx emissions of advanced jet fuels. The combustor can operate at 40 atmospheres with up to 1,400 deg R air supplied from the Laboratory's 1,500 psi air supply and natural gas fired heat exchanger. The rig provides optical access to the combustor.

Testing is performed remotely from the facility control room (virtual tour) via computer control. The data acquisition and control system is PC based using National Instruments hardware and Labview software. The 16 bit data system can acquire 64 channels of pressure and voltage data and 32 channels of thermocouple data at 1,000 S/s/ch. Air and fuel pressures are computer controlled through Tescom ER3000 controllers. An eight channel, one million S/s/ch, high speed data acquisition system with eight channels of ICP signal conditioning also serves the lab. Video coverage for the test cell is provided by three pan-tilt-zoom video cameras.
  • Focuses on air breathing operations
  • Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE)
  • 16-bit National Instruments data / control system
    • 64 pressure / voltage channels
    • 32 thermocouple channels
    • microsecond time resolution ignition control
  • Cyclic Pulse Detonation Engine to 50 Hz
  • 8 channel, 1 millin S/s/ch high speed data system
  • 2800 ft3 air storage at 2,800 psi
  • 1,400 0 air heat exchanger at 20 lbm/sec
  • Computer controlled propellant pressures
  • 18'' reinforced concrete test cell walls with containment
  • DVD recording capabilities with pan-tilt-zoom video system
  • Control room is remotely located from test cells

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