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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.

Facility Overview

Lunar Operations Laboratory
Mars Curiosity Rover wheel tested in the Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) Laboratory.

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 60 test rigs. Most aspects of engine development can be studied here with numerous facilities specializing in turbomachinery, tribology, flow physics, combustion, aerochemistry, mechanical components, and heat transfer.

Fundamental and applied research is conducted in the following test facilities:

Quick Facts

With 152,235 square feet of floor space and housing more than 60 test rigs, the massive Engine Research Building (ERB) is the largest and most adaptable test facility complex at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. Almost half of the rigs support aeronautics programs in four general areas of research — turbomachinery, combustion and aerochemistry, aeropropulsion, and aerodynamic fluid flow.

Engine Research Building Rendering:

is an overview of the Engine Research Building (ERB) complex and is color-coded to identify the type of research being conducted in each facility within the complex. It also identifies the Central Process Systems capabilities of the ERB complex, which not only supports ERB facilities, but facilities throughout the lab as well.

Name Engine Research Building
Testing Capabilities Aerodynamic Flow Physics, Aeropropulsion Heat Transfer Combustion, and Aerochemistry Mechanical Components Tribology Turbomachinery
Area 152,235 ft2


Turbomachinery Facilities

Five turbomachinery facilities and laboratories are located in the ERB. Fundamental and applied research to advance compressor and turbine component technology for aeronautical gas turbine engines is conducted in the facilities. Both axial- and radial-type machinery are studied. Research is focused on improved understanding of steady and unsteady aerodynamics, flow physics, and modeling and advanced numerical flow code development and validation. Research experiments utilize advanced instrumentation systems such as hot-wire anemometry and laser diagnostics where detailed flow data is obtained on a nonintrusive basis.

Combustor Facilities

There are seven combustor and aerochemistry technology test facilities and laboratories within the ERB. Fundamental and applied research is aimed at advancing the technology of the combustion processes of aeronautical gas turbine engines and advanced space transportation concepts. Research is focused on providing improved understanding of chemical kinetics of reacting flows, heat transfer phenomena, advanced high-temperature materials, low NOx combustion, and code development and validation.

Flow Physics Facilities

Seven aerodynamic flow physics technology facilities are located in the ERB. These facilities are used to conduct research advancing the understanding of subsonic-to-supersonic flow physics phenomena fundamental to ducted wall-bound flows. Research involves the development, assessment, and application of computational fluid dynamics tools for ducted flows, and for the acquisition and analysis of experimental measurements of flows in inlets, ducts, and nozzles. Typically, testing is performed to define basic flow properties, to predict and validate component performance, and to investigate specific phenomena including shock systems, boundary layers, bleeds, diffusion, separated flows, heat transfer, cooling, spillage, acoustics, and stability.

Heat Transfer Technology

Four aeropropulsion heat transfer technology facilities are located in the ERB. These facilities provide testing capability for experiments to advance fundamental understanding of the heat transfer process and to contribute to the predictive capability for heat transfer in aeronautical and space propulsion systems. Research in these facilities centers on gas turbine-related heat transfer with special emphasis placed on gas path aero/heat transfer.

Data Acquisition

The Engine Research Building (ERB) consists of many different test cells that each perform testing in one of four broad areas: Turbomachinery, Flow Physics, Combustion, and Heat Transfer. Each test cell uses one of two standardized steady state data acquisition systems, and depending on the test cell and research requirements, may also have a scanned pressure system and/or a high speed data acquisition system.

Escort and COBRA can stand alone to meet all secure test requirements, or it can be connected to a central processing cluster, which facilitates software application development, downloading of software, uploading and storage of facility tables, post processing of data and transmitting of data to a data collector for archival storage.


Engine Research Building (ERB)
Facility Manager: Gwynn Severt

Test Facility Management Branch
Branch Chief: Michael S. McVetta

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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