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Facilities

NASA's Glenn Research Center's world-class facilities and expert staff help develop and verify cutting-edge technologies in the areas of aeronautics, aerospace and space. Our premier ground test facilities support powered flight through the atmosphere and beyond.


We’ve developed supersonic aircraft, walked on the moon, created a reusable space shuttle and an orbiting laboratory, and now we’re developing a spacecraft to take us to Mars. None of these mission accomplishments would have been possible without stringent and realistic testing. In this presentation from our 2017 Evening with the Stars event, NASA Glenn engineer Mary Lobo explains how we accurately simulate some of the harshest conditions found in the air and space to enable technology breakthroughs.
Credits: NASA
 

Aircraft Facilities

Twin Otter research aircraft
Twin Otter research aircraft in front of the NASA Glenn hangar.

Flight Research Building

Built in the 1940s, the Flight Research Building (Hangar) is a 65 X 250 ft. heated facility that is large enough to hold numerous aircraft of various sizes. It has been home to many unique and innovative aircraft over the years. Home to many unique and innovative aircraft, the Flight Research Building, also known as … Continued

Combustion Facilities

Advanced Subsonic Combustion Rig Control Room
Advanced Subsonic Combustion Rig Control Room.

Advanced Subsonic Combustion Rig

The Advanced Subsonic Combustion Rig (ASCR) is a unique high-pressure and high temperature combustor facility. It is significant because of its one-of-a kind ability to simulate combustor tests up to 60 atmospheres. The Advanced Subsonic Combustion Rig (ASCR) at NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) is a high-pressure, high-temperature combustion rig that simulates combustor inlet test … Continued

Lunar Operations Laboratory
Airless Spring Wheel Prototype in the Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) Laboratory.

Engine Research Building

The Engine Research Building (ERB) supports research in all aspects of engine development, providing superior testing of turbomachinery, aerodynamics flow, physics, aeropropulsion heat transfer, mechanical components, and combustor facilities. The Engine Research Building (ERB) is the largest and most adaptable test facility complex at Glenn, with 152,235 square feet of floor space housing more than … Continued

Cryogenic Facilities

Slush Rig
Technicians monitor the operation of the Slush Rig inside the Combined Effects Chamber (CEC).

Combined Effects Chamber

The design and construction of the Cryogenic Test Complex at NASA’s Plum Brook Station located in Sandusky, OH allows large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) experiments to be conducted safely.  Control systems are located in a separate, remote building. The Combined Effects Chamber (CEC) is a space-environment test chamber 25 ft in diameter with a 20 ft-diameter … Continued

Electronics Facilities

Electromagnetic Interference Laboratory test setup
Test setup in the Electromagnetic Interference Laboratory.

Electromagnetic Interference Laboratory

The Electromagnetic Interference Laboratory (EMI) offers analysis of hardware requirements and specification comparisons, electronic component testing, testing of hardware for shielding effectiveness, and final qualification testing of experiments. The Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Laboratory offers several Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) services like EMC hardware design to meet the desired requirement, specification comparisons, consultation during design development, and … Continued

Materials-Structures Facilities

Smoldering combustion gas can proof test.
Smoldering combustion gas can proof test.

Structural Static Laboratory

The Structural Static Laboratory (SSL) performs tests to verify the structural integrity of space flight and ground test hardware. It can also be used to verify the modes of failure of a design when exposed to simulated service loads. Structural testing is performed to verify the structural integrity of space flight and ground test hardware. … Continued

Structural Dynamics Lab Technicians
Technicians configure a test setup in the Structural Dynamics Lab (SDL).

Structural Dynamics Laboratory

The Structural Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) performs structural dynamic testing to verify the survivability of a component or assembly when exposed to vibration stress screening, or a controlled simulation of the actual flight or service vibration environment. The Structural Dynamics Laboratory, or SDL, performs tests to verify the survivability of a component or assembly when exposed … Continued

Microgravity Facilities

Dropping in Microgravity Environment event
Students participate in the Dropping in Microgravity Environment (DIME) event.

2.2 Second Drop Tower

The 2.2 Second Drop Tower has been used for nearly 50 years by researchers from around the world to study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid dynamics and to develop technology for future space missions. The NASA Glenn 2.2 Second Drop Tower is one of two drop towers located … Continued

Drop vehicle and release mechanism
Mezzanine view of the drop vehicle and release mechanism being positioned over the vacuum chamber with a technician signaling the crane operator in the Zero Gravity Research Facility.

Zero Gravity Research Facility

The Zero Gravity Research Facility is NASA’s premier facility for ground based microgravity research, and the largest facility of its kind in the world. It provides researchers with a near weightless environment for a duration of 5.18 seconds. The Zero Gravity Research Facility is NASA’s premier facility for ground based microgravity research, and the largest … Continued

Propulsion Facilities

Environmental portrait
Environmental portrait of Rohit Shastry inside the Electric Propulsion Research Building.

Electric Propulsion Research Building

The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) has eight vacuum chambers and over half a dozen bell jars that provide the required simulated space to conduct fundamental research in space power and electric propulsion. The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) supports research and development of spacecraft power, electric propulsion, and space environmental effects. Presently, EPRB is … Continued

Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter
Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar Flares (GRIPS) Test Hardware.

In-Space Propulsion Facility

NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Facility (ISP) is the world’s only facility capable of testing full-scale upper-stage launch vehicles and rocket engines under simulated high-altitude conditions. NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Facility (ISP) is the world’s only facility capable of testing full-scale upper-stage launch vehicles and rocket engines under simulated space conditions and also conducting altitude hot fire. The … Continued

Ice Measurement Probes in Propulsion Systems Laboratory,
Ice Measurement Probes in Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL).

Propulsion Systems Laboratory

The Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) is NASA’s only ground-based test facility that provides true flight simulation for experimental research on air-breathing propulsion systems. The PSL has recently added the capability to simulate clouds of ice crystals and liquid water droplets. The Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) complex provides world-class test and evaluation capabilities in support of … Continued

Evolutionary Xenon Thruster
NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster for deep space missions.

Electric Propulsion Laboratory

The Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL) supports research and development of spacecraft power and electric propulsion systems.  The staff of EPL have been supporting electric propulsion and power system testing for over 40 years. The Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL) supports research and development of spacecraft power and electric propulsion systems. EPL features two very large space … Continued

Support Facilities

Concept art for new building.
Proposed architecture of the Research Support Building.

Research Support Building

The Research Support Building (RSB) is NASA Glenn Research Center’s second phase of the Facility Master Plan multiyear effort to revitalize the central campus and renovate or replace WWII era campus buildings. RSB will be a 60,000-square-foot multi use office building providing office space for approximately 160 permanent occupants.  The building will also be home … Continued

Vacuum Chamber Facilities

Space Power Facility (SPF) vacuum chamber dome exterior
Space Power Facility (SPF) vacuum chamber dome exterior.

Space Power Facility

The Space Power Facility (SPF) houses the world’s largest and most powerful space environment simulation facilities. The Space Simulation Vacuum Chamber is the world’s largest, measuring 30.5 m (100 ft) in diameter by 37.2 m (122 ft) high. The Reverberant Acoustic Test Facility (RATF) is the world’s most powerful spacecraft acoustic test chamber, and the … Continued

Environmental portrait
Environmental portrait of Rohit Shastry inside the Electric Propulsion Research Building.

Electric Propulsion Research Building

The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) has eight vacuum chambers and over half a dozen bell jars that provide the required simulated space to conduct fundamental research in space power and electric propulsion. The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) supports research and development of spacecraft power, electric propulsion, and space environmental effects. Presently, EPRB is … Continued

Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter
Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar Flares (GRIPS) Test Hardware.

In-Space Propulsion Facility

NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Facility (ISP) is the world’s only facility capable of testing full-scale upper-stage launch vehicles and rocket engines under simulated high-altitude conditions. NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Facility (ISP) is the world’s only facility capable of testing full-scale upper-stage launch vehicles and rocket engines under simulated space conditions and also conducting altitude hot fire. The … Continued

Ice Measurement Probes in Propulsion Systems Laboratory,
Ice Measurement Probes in Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL).

Propulsion Systems Laboratory

The Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) is NASA’s only ground-based test facility that provides true flight simulation for experimental research on air-breathing propulsion systems. The PSL has recently added the capability to simulate clouds of ice crystals and liquid water droplets. The Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) complex provides world-class test and evaluation capabilities in support of … Continued

Evolutionary Xenon Thruster
NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster for deep space missions.

Electric Propulsion Laboratory

The Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL) supports research and development of spacecraft power and electric propulsion systems.  The staff of EPL have been supporting electric propulsion and power system testing for over 40 years. The Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL) supports research and development of spacecraft power and electric propulsion systems. EPL features two very large space … Continued

Wind Tunnels

Common Research Model
Common Research Model, CRM, in the Icing Research Tunnel

Icing Research Tunnel

NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Icing Research Tunnel supports the development of tools and methods for simulating the growth of ice on aircraft surfaces as well as the development and certification of ice protection systems. The Icing Research Tunnel (IRT) is the longest running, second largest icing facility in the world and has been in operation … Continued

Boundary Layer Ingesting Inlet Distortion Tolerant Fan
Boundary Layer Ingesting Inlet Distortion Tolerant Fan, Raised Floor Calibration Hardware.

8×6 Supersonic Wind Tunnel

The 8- by 6-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel (8×6) operates either in an aerodynamic closed-loop cycle, testing aerodynamic performance models, or in a propulsion open-loop cycle that tests live fuel burning engines and models. The 8×6 is a world-class facility that provides researchers with the opportunity to explore higher speed regions of flight. It is NASA’s … Continued

Exhaust Nozzle Plume Effects on Sonic Boom Hardware
Advanced nozzle concepts at NASA's Glenn Research Center, exhaust nozzle plume effects on sonic boom hardware in the 1- by 1-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel (1x1).

1×1 Supersonic Wind Tunnel

The 1- by 1-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel (1×1) specializes in conducting fundamental research in supersonic and hypersonic fluid mechanics, supersonic-vehicle-focused research and detailed benchmark quality experiments for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code validation. The 1×1, located in the Engine Research Building (ERB), is one of the most active test facilities at  NASA’s Glenn Research Center in … Continued

Tunnel Flex Wall System
The 10- by 10-Foot Abe Silverstein Supersonic Wind Tunnel (10×10) flex wall system.

10×10 Abe Silverstein Supersonic Wind Tunnel

The 10- by 10-Foot Abe Silverstein Supersonic Wind Tunnel (10×10) is the largest and fastest wind tunnel facility at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and is specifically designed to test supersonic propulsion components from inlets and nozzles to full-scale jet and rocket engines. The Unitary Plan Act, passed by Congress in 1949, was a coordinated national … Continued

Hypersonic Tunnel Facility
Direct connect configuration of the interior of the Hypersonic Tunnel Facility (HTF).

Hypersonic Tunnel Facility

The Hypersonic Tunnel Facility (HTF) at NASA’s Plum Brook Station located in Sandusky, OH, originally designed to test nuclear thermal rocket nozzles, is a hypersonic (Mach 5, 6, and 7) blowdown, nonvitiated freejet facility that tests large-scale hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems. Designed to conduct research, development, and acceptance testing of hypersonic airbreathing propulsion systems, the … Continued

Blade Assembly Test Hardware
General Electric Open Rotor Historic Baseline Blade Assembly Test Hardware in the 9- by 15-Foot Low-Speed Wind Tunnel (9×15).

9×15 Low-Speed Wind Tunnel

The 9- by 15-Foot Low-Speed Wind Tunnel (9×15) is the most utilized low-speed propulsion acoustic facility in the world. It is the only national facility that can simulate takeoff, approach, and landing in a continuous subsonic environment. The 9×15 is a significant asset to the nation and the aero-propulsion community because of its unique ability to … Continued

Using Our Facilities

NASA’s Glenn Research Center provides ground test facilities to industry, government, and academia. If you are considering testing in one of our facilities or would like further information about a specific facility or capability, please let us know.

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