Fuel-cooled thermal management, including endothermic cracking and reforming of hydrocarbon fuels, is an enabling technology for advanced aero engines and offers potential for cycle improvements and pollutant emissions control in gas-turbine engine applications. The successful implementation of this technology is, however, predicated on the use of conventional multi-component hydrocarbon fuels and an understanding of the combustion characteristics of the reformed fuel mixture. The objective of this research is to develop and demonstrate the technologies necessary for utilizing conventional multi-component hydrocarbon fuels for fuel-cooled thermal management, including the development of the endothermic potential of JP-7 and JP-8+100, a demonstration of the combustion of supercritical/endothermic fuel mixtures, and conceptual design of a fuel-air heat exchanger. The ability to achieve high heat sinks with existing jet fuels (e.g., JP-7 and JP-8+100) was demonstrated with a bench-scale test rig operating under flow conditions and passage geometries simulative of practical heat exchangers for aircraft and missile applications. Key measurements included fuel heat sink, reaction products, and extent of conversion. Full-scale sector rig tests were conducted to characterize the combustion and emissions of supercritical jet fuel, and demonstrate the safety and operability of the fuel system, including a fuel-air heat exchanger.

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