Analysis and Design Tools for Combustion Instabilities

Period of Performance: 10/05/2000 - 10/04/2001


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Aerosoft, Inc.
2000 Kraft Drive Suite 1400
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored Programs 0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Institution POC


The price paid for efficient, low-emission military and industrial gas-turbine engines is an increasing susceptibility to combustion instabilities. In response to this problem, AeroSoft, in cooperation with Virginia Tech, proposes the application of computational analysis and design tools to study and control thermo-acoustic combustion instabilities in full-scale combustors. The GASP and SENSE commercial CFD software packages will be adapted to flow and sensitivity studies of combustion instabilities revealed through test data from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) combustor test section. If successful, time-dependent flow-field sensitivities to critical parameters such as air flow, fuel flow, and actuator placement will provide invaluable information for use in active combustion control. With this flow and sensitivity analysis, the determination of the significant dimensional groupings relevant to combustion instabilities will be possible. Potential commercial applications directly related to the proposal topic include the analysis and design of industrial gas turbines, internal combustion engines, jet engines, and rocket motors. Time accurate sensitivity analysis for the fluid dynamic equations may be applied to an unlimted range of time-dependent design problems such as flutter, fatigue and aerodynamic divergence.