Researcher develops simulations to enhance an engine's stability and life span

Researcher develops simulations to enhance an engine’s stability and life span
Scramjet technology enables a vehicle to reach hypersonic speeds in flight. USC researcher Ivan Bermejo-Moreno's team is studying the airflow in these supersonic combustion engines. Credit: X-51A rendering/U.S. Air Force

In 1947, Chuck Yeager strapped himself into a rocket-powered airplane and flew faster than the speed of sound, becoming the first person to break the sound barrier. Twenty years later, William J. Knight set a world-record flight speed of Mach 6.72—or 6.72 times faster than the speed of sound, which remains unchallenged to this day for manned airplanes.

Not surprisingly, traveling at supersonic (Mach greater than 1) or hypersonic (Mach 5 or greater) speeds takes a toll on an aircraft's . By using the fast airflow to induce combustion and propel the plane, damaging vibrations are created within the engine.

Ivan Bermejo-Moreno, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has developed computer simulations of airflow within a supersonic combustion engine, known as a scramjet, to enhance its life span and structural stability.

"This research can impact the future of aerospace transportation," Bermejo-Moreno said. "The development of reliable and accurate predictive capabilities to simulate this type of flow enables us to explore the underlying controlling mechanisms and to optimally design [scramjets] at a reduced cost compared with [physical] experiments."

A turbulent summer

This past summer, Bermejo-Moreno took part in a biennial program held by Stanford University's Center for Turbulence Research (CTR), where researchers from around the world collaborated on a variety of turbulence-related projects. During the month-long program, Bermejo-Moreno was one of five participants invited to give a tutorial presentation. His talk focused on compressible, turbulent flows at high speeds, a topic his collaboration team was studying.

Working with Anne-Marie Schreyer of the Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany, CTR Senior Research Engineer Javier Urzay and CTR postdoctoral fellow Jeonglae Kim, Bermejo-Moreno and his team investigated methods to control hypersonic airflow at the inlet of a scramjet to reduce damage to the engine walls.

"At those high speeds, air and other gases can be largely affected by their compressibility and experience departures from our common experience in low-speed flows," Bermejo-Moreno said.

For example, at these speeds, regions of abrupt changes in air properties, like pressure, can develop. These thin regions, known as , interact with turbulent airflow occurring along the interior walls of the engine and create vibrations that could compromise the structural integrity.

Shock waves

By adding micro-ramps, or small protrusions along the engine wall, they could control the interaction between turbulent airflow and shock waves and minimize engine damage.

"Arrays of micro-ramps deployed along the wall to perturb the flow have been previously shown experimentally to reduce the flow separation induced by the shock waves," Bermejo-Moreno said.


Explore further

Superjet technology nears reality after Australia test

Citation: Researcher develops simulations to enhance an engine's stability and life span (2017, March 2) retrieved 19 August 2019 from https://techxplore.com/news/2017-03-simulations-stability-life-span.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
24 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Mar 02, 2017
The X-1 and the X-15 were pure rockets, not scramjets, which use air for oxidizer. The X-15 was a NASA asset, but the Air Force supported it, and we dealt with the Mothership, which took it aloft, fueling it enroute. A launch was a big deal, with all the preparations taking place before Dawn under too-bright lights.

Send me a note if you want to read what it was like.

Mar 02, 2017
Send me a note if you want to read what it was like.


Or you could just ask Google-Skippy if you want to know more and faster, eh?

Mar 02, 2017
Nope. None of those folk probably did it, but just read about it. My first one was June 8, 1966, the day the XB-70 crashed. It was a hard day.

Mar 02, 2017
""""My first one was June 8, 1966, the day the XB-70 crashed."""""

Cher I bet they was regretting bringing you in on that one, eh? Crashing your first one is not auspicious beginning.

"""""It was a hard day.""""

Gave you a ruff time about it, eh?

Mar 02, 2017
If you want top read what it was like on Pete's last hypersonic flight, go here:
https://tacairnet...ht-ever/

Those who did not participate in these experiments may not understand how dangerous they were. I got sick of the dying at Edwards, before going to the war.

Make fun of it if you want. It was NOT a joke at the time, and is still not.

Mar 02, 2017
"""""Make fun of it if you want.""""

I am not making the fun with IT. I am making the fun with YOU.

"""""It was NOT a joke at the time,"""""

They was that mad with you, eh?

""""and is still not.""""""

Non, but YOU still are.

Mar 02, 2017
Those deaths were emotional slaps of reality. We were a small group of folk in the desert, and it was all "we", and no "them". We were in the Cold War and and had hot spots as well.

It affected me personally, and I am sensitive about it. It was serious stuff.

Mar 02, 2017
""""""It affected me personally, and I am sensitive about it. It was serious stuff.""""""

Cher that was 50 years ago.

If it is still causing the mental conditions after all that time, then maybe you should be writing about it on the "Grieving-Support-Group" forum or the abnormal psychology forum or such like. Over there they would be not inclined to have fun with your "All-About-Me" antics. (Or at least not AS inclined though I suspect that even there they will get around to it.)

This is the technology news place, not the "What-I-Did-Fifty-Years-Ago" "Show and Tell" place.

Mar 02, 2017
Get over it. I offered others the opportunity to read what hypersonic flight was like at the time.

You make light of serious business and its effects on those concerned, and some of us resent it. Yeah, we talk about it, and the XV-5 and the XC-142 and F-111 #774, and the other casualties I watched in those months. It bothered all of us there.

Fifty years ago? Not relevant? That is when these records, still standing, were set. That is a main point. Nobody has done as well as we did fifty years ago.

Mar 02, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam says *** I offered others the opportunity to read what hypersonic flight was like at the time***
1- you've never been in supersonic let alone hypersonic flight

2- you were a radio repairman, not a pilot

3- if anyone wants to read about it, it is far better to Google it and learn from the REAL ENGINEERS and pilots who were there (Like GEN Yeager - not like A1C liar-kam)

per your own request to clean up the site and get rid of the sociopathic narcissistic trolls ...

Mar 02, 2017
"The X-1 and the X-15 were pure rockets, not scramjets, which use air for oxidizer'

-And neither were they starships which use antimatter for propulsion.

But george is just throwing out random idiot factoids as an excuse to introduce himself.

"Those who did not participate in these experiments may not understand how dangerous they were. I got sick of the dying at Edwards, before going to the war."

-says the sick little drama queen.

Georgette must make up facts to give himself substance (make himself REAL) which is why we all automatically assume that everything he says is garbage.

"It affected me personally, and I am sensitive about it. It was serious stuff."

-Pot tends to enhance traumatic experiences psychotically. So do psychopathic drama queens. But they do it for attention purposes.

Mar 02, 2017
"It affected me personally, and I am sensitive about it. It was serious stuff."

-George everybody knows by this time that 1) youre a psychopath and 2) psychopaths have to feign emotions in order to gain sympathy because they are incapable of actually FEELING any.

So why do you continue to play-act? We know the answer to that one too.

Mar 02, 2017
When we were at Eddie's Airplane Patch Yeager was a Colonel, and I was an A2C, Rumpy. He got his star by taking an F-100 group to Vietnam, and I got A1C in the 553rd Recon Wing for Igloo White.

You stay-at-home internet snipers can denigrate those folk who died all you want. The rest of us respect what they did.

You can resent the experience of others all you want, "otto", since you have none of your own to which you can admit.

Mar 02, 2017
So what did chuck say when you tried to impress him with your junior birdman of the month award?

I am sure he was too polite to laugh in your face.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more