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Combustor Facilities

Major 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 … Read the rest ⇢

Combuster Facilities – CE-5B-1

Sector Combustor Studies Test Facility (Laser Diagnostics)

Combustion studies are conducted in this two-test position facility specifically in support of the NOx reduction research for the HSR program and the AST program. CE-5B-1 is large enough to test sector arrangements of injector elements, to include interactions of the elements, and single larger elements. The facility receives filtered combustion air from the 450 psig system. The air is heated in a 1100 deg F non-vitiated heater at flows up to 20 lb/s, which can be valved to either test stand. The airflow passes through the test section, is water spray quenched and then discharged to the altitude exhaust system or the atmospheric exhaust system. The facility preheater consists of a heat exchanger fired by four J-47 burner cans using natural gas for a fuel and the 40 psig combustion air. The research hardware uses ASTM Jet-A, JP-5, or JP-8 as a fuel.

CE-5B-1 Special Features

In addition to inlet and exit rakes and standard instrumentation, water-cooled gas sampling rakes are in the downstream section. Particulate measurements are taken at the exit of the combustion section. Optical accessibility of the combustor section allows never before possible nonintrusive laser-based diagnostics of the reacting and non-reacting flowfield. These include such techniques as planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging, Planar Mie scattering, Phase/Doppler particle analysis (PDPA), focused Schlieren imaging and light sheet photography. Both rigs share the gas analysis, particulate analysis, and diagnostics equipment.

CE-5B Facility Capabilities (typical of both rigs)
Parameter Operating Value
Inlet air supply pressure 450 psig
Inlet air temperature 100°F, preheated to 350-1350°F
Inlet airflowStand 1Stand 2 20 lb/s (available)
0.5 to 12.0 pps
0.5 to 5.0 pps
Exhaust Atm or 20-26 in. Hg
Rig pressure without windowsStand 1Stand 2 275 psig
400 psig
Rig pressure with windowsStand 1Stand 2 250 psig
275 psig
Rig Fuel (JP-8) flow 7 gpm @ 400-900 psig
(three legs per stand)
Window cooling GN2 (4 legs) 0.125 to 0.5 pps (each leg)
Cooling water 150 gpm @ 460 psig
250 gpm @ 395 psig
50 gpm @ 350 psig
15 gpm @ 55 psig
CE-5B-1 System Instrumentation
System Number and Type
ESP 96 Ports of + 500 PSID
Barometric Ref
Escort 240 Channels
154 Available to the Customer
Thermocouples 156 Type K
24 Type B
12 Type W
524 Type R
Gas Analyzers HC – 1000 ppm 1% & 5%
CO – 2000 ppm 5%
CO2 – 5%, 10%, 20%
O2 – 25%
NO – 100 ppm, 1000 ppm 1%
NOx –
Laser PLIF, Raman
CE-5B-2 System Instrumentation
System Number and Type
ESP 96 Ports of + 500 PSID
Barometric Ref
Escort 240 Channels
154 Available to the Customer
Thermocouples 148 Type K
24 Type B
48 Type R
Gas Analyzers HC – 1000 ppm 1% & 5%
CO – 2000 ppm 5%
CO2 – 5%, 10%, 20%
O2 – 25%
NO – 100 ppm, 1000 ppm 1%NOx –
Laser PLIF, Raman

Combuster Facilities – CE-5B-2

Flametube Combustor Studies Test Facility (Laser Diagnostics)

CE-5B-2 is one of the two test stands in the CE-5B facility and can be configured to study lean-premixed-prevaporized (LPP) and Lean-direct-injection (LDI) concepts for developing a low NOx combustor for high speed research and advanced subsonic applications. The non-windowed combustion flametube can use a three inch square cross-section or a three inch diameter round section and has six ports available for gas sampling probes. The windowed combustion flametube takes advantage of the flat walls on a three inch square cross-section to install optical windows for non-intrusive measurements. Tests are conducted with combustion air inlet pressure ranging from 10 to 15 atmospheres with preheater and exhaust conditions described for CE-5B-1.

CE-5B-2 Special Features

The same laser based non- intrusive diagnostics of reacting and non-reacting flowfields described for test position CE-5B-1 are available to this test section. A typical data acquisition system, is used for both test positions in CE-5B; in addition, most of the optical diagnostic instruments have their own data acquisition systems.

CE-5B Facility Capabilities(typical of both rigs)
Parameter Operating Value
Inlet air supply pressure 450 psig
Inlet air temperature 100°F, preheated to 350-1350°F
Inlet airflowStand 1Stand 2 20 lb/s (available)
0.5 to 12.0 pps
0.5 to 5.0 pps
Exhaust Atm or 20-26 in. Hg
Rig pressure without windowsStand 1Stand 2 275 psig400 psig
Rig pressure with windowsStand 1Stand 2 250 psig275 psig
Rig Fuel (JP-8) flow 7 gpm @ 400-900 psig(three legs per stand)
Window cooling GN2 (4 legs) 0.125 to 0.5 pps (each leg)
Cooling water 150 gpm @ 460 psig
250 gpm @ 395 psig
50 gpm @ 350 psig
15 gpm @ 55 psig

Combustor Facilities – CE-9B-A

Sector Combustor Rig

This unique test rig provides turbulence-chemistry interaction data for determining experimentally the coupling of the combustion and the flow. GH2 is burned in a shear layer with optical diagnostics and dynamic data recording. At flows up to 30 lb/s, 450-psig combustion air is preheated up to 1100 ¡F by a natural gas-fired preheater. This unvitiated air is mixed in a planar shear layer (caused by velocity differences) with a hydrogen-nitrogen flow and chemically reacts, burning at temperatures approaching 4000 ¡F in the test section. All four sides of the test section have windows to allow for laser and schlieren diagnostics. The hot exhaust gas is quenched and exits into the atmospheric or altitude exhaust system. This rig provides CFD benchmark data for turbulent reacting flow up to Mach 1 speed.

CE-9B-A Special Features

CE-9B-A requires a 2200-psig GH2 trailer to supply the .125 lb/s at 500 psig GH2 that mixes in the rig with a 2300 psig GN2 supply tube trailer source. A 500-psig high-pressure water supply provides the primary quench system and a 45-psig cooling tower water supply provides secondary spray cooling. Besides standard instrumentation, laser Doppler velocimeter and schlieren imagery systems instantly measure the reaction in the test section.

CE-9B-AFacility Capabilities
Parameter Operating Value
Inlet air supply pressure 450 psig
Inlet air temperature 100°F, preheated to 1100°F
Inlet airflow 30 lb/s max
Preheater air (vitiated) 15 lb/s at 40 psig
GH2 (nozzle inlet) 6 lb/s at 450 psig
GH2 (nozzle inlet) .125 lb/s at 500 psig
Cooling water 400 gpm max
Exhaust Atm or 20-26 in. Alt
CE-9B-A System Instrumentation
System Number and Type
ESP 96 Ports of + 250 PSID
Barometric Ref
Escort 352 Channels
307 Available to the Customer
Thermocouples 120 Type K
48 Type R
12 Type E
12 Type T
Gas Analyzers HC – 1000 ppm 1% & 5%
CO – 2000 ppm 5%
CO2 – 5%, 10%, 20%O2 – 25%

Combustor Facilities – CE-9B-B

Injector Screening Test Facility

This test position in CE-9B is configured to conduct testing to evaluate ceramic matrix materials for combustors and associated systems. Eight to sixteen ceramic panels, depending on size (3.5 by 2 in. or 3.5 by 4 in.), can be tested at the same time; thickness can vary from .1 to .25 in. Air is supplied at 450 psig to a facility combustor capable of 4300°F from the 1100°F CE-9B preheater at 15 lb/s and provides up to 3500 ¡F vitiated air to the test section. The test section conditions are up to 300 psi at 8.6 lb/s with the backside of the panels air cooled. The burner uses ASTM Jet-A fuel, but can also be converted to GH2. Air exiting the test section is water-cooled and discharged through altitude or atmospheric exhaust. The research hardware is being redesigned to allow for either lean- or rich-burn combustion. The preheater, described in CE-9B-A, is shared with that rig; however, the two rigs cannot operate together.

CE-9B-B Special Features

In addition to the test panel configuration described above, round test sections of 7 in. diameter are also tested in CE-9B-B. The facility burner uses a GH2 torch ignitor. The primary quench water pumps 325 gpm at 800 psi, and the secondary quench is 50 gpm at 45 psig.

CE-9B-BFacility Capabilities
Parameter Operating Value
Inlet air supply pressure 450 psig
Inlet air temperature 100 oF, preheated to 1100 oF
Inlet airflow 15 lb/s max
Facility burner exit 300 psig, 3400 oF
Exhaust Atm or 20-26 in. Alt.
Burner fuel 3 gpm Jet-A at 900 psig
Natural gas (for preheater) 610 scfm at 40 psig
Cooling water 400gpm max; 50 gpm/45 psig
CE-9B-B System Instrumentation
System Number and Type
ESP 96 Ports of + 250 PSIDBarometric Ref
Escort 352 Channels307 Available to the Customer
Thermocouples 120 Type K48 Type R
Gas Analyzers HC – 1000 ppm 1% & 5%CO – 2000 ppm 5%CO2 – 5%, 10%, 20%O2 – 25%NO – 100 ppm, 1000 ppm 1%NOx –

Combustor Facilities – SE-5

High Pressure Gaseous Burner

The SE-5 High Pressure Gaseous Burner (HPGB) Laboratory is a gas-fueled high-pressure combustion facility with optical access. The facility provides optical access to the flame zone through four ultraviolet-grade fused silica optical windows (44-mm-thick by 85-mm clear apertures located around the periphery), enabling the calibration of nonintrusive optical diagnostics to measure chemical species and temperature. The HPGB rig in SE-5 can operate at sustained pressures up to 60 atm with a variety of gaseous fuels, liquid jet fuel, and oxidizers, including carbon monoxide, methane, oxygen-argon, and pure oxygen. The specially designed microtube array burner is mounted inside the air-cooled high-temperature liner casing within the rig. The burner was designed to provide a uniform combustion product zone downstream of the flame for calibrating the laser Raman diagnostic system. The data from the HPGB rig enables the validation of numerical codes that simulate gas turbine combustors. All aspects of the facility operation, including startup, shutdown, and automatic safety shutdowns are controlled and monitored via an icon-based touch-screen software system and a programmable logic controller (PLC) in conjunction with a cost-effective four-PC server cluster.

SE-5 Special Features

The facility is unique because it is the only continuous-flow, hydrogen capable 60 ATM rig in the world with optical access. It will provide researchers with new insights into flame conditions that simulate the environment inside the ultra-high pressure-ratio combustion chambers of tomorrow’s advanced aircraft engines.

SE-5Facility Capabilities
Parameter Operating Value
Cooling capacity 4,000,000 BTU/hr
Equivalence ratio variance 0.3 (fuel very lean) – 4 (fuel rich)
Fuel flow rate Limited by cooling capacity
Operating pressure 60 ATM max
Cooling airlfow 0.25 lbm/s max
Quenching airflow 0.20 lbm/s max
SE-5 System Instrumentation
System Number and Type
ESP None
Escort 46 Channels46 Available to the Customer
Other Information Taken by a PLC and Wonderware

Combustor Facilities – SE-11

Particulate Aerosol Laboratory

The SE-11 Particulate Aerosol Laboratory is used to study jet contrails at upper atmospheric conditions utilizing various particulate and chemical analyzers. A nitrogen system supplies an altitude chamber with cold gaseous nitrogen at temperatures corresponding to altitudes ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 feet. A burner provides exhaust emissions to a small nozzle mounted in the altitude chamber. The chamber nozzle simulates a scaled model of a jet engine exhaust nozzle. Sample emissions can be acquired before the altitude chamber and at various heights inside the chamber. Nitrogen and emissions exit the chamber and are warmed by a heat exchanger and vented to the Engine Research Building (ERB) altitude exhaust.

SE-11 Special Features

For analyzing purposes the facility uses an exhaust gas analysis bench, a Fourier transformed infrared spectrometer, a gas-chromatograph-mass spectrometer, a particulate analyzer, a thermogravimetric analyzer, and a simple chromatograph.

SE-11Facility Capabilities
Parameter Operating Value
Altitude chamber temperature Ambient to -112°F
Altitude chamber pressure 14.7 psig to full vacuum
Service air 125 psig
Exhaust to ERB altitude exhaust system
Burner Various aviation fuels
Pressure Measurements Facility: 9P tapsResearch: 3P taps
Temperature Measurements Facility: 14 Type KResearch: 2 Type K

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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