The Turbine Research Facility (TRF) at the Air Force Research Laboratory has undergone a two-year effort to enhance and modernize multiple systems for advanced study of unsteady turbine aerodynamics and heat transfer. This paper provides an overview of several concurrent projects to upgrade a number of facility hardware and software systems. A unique scalable high speed, high channel count data acquisition architecture is developed with modern hardware and software that expands capability while maintaining compatibility and synchronization with legacy hardware. The combination of both new and existing channels with custom Matlab-based data acquisition and processing code provides accurate and efficient signal processing and display for over 750 high speed data channels. Codes are integrated with a new Turbine Design and Analysis System that provides design CFD modeling, optimization, and post-test analysis. The paper describes a new 1+ 1/2 stage cooled high pressure research turbine that has been designed, instrumented, and tested. Initial cooled vs. uncooled data comparisons are given including fast response unsteady airfoil pressure and heat flux. This work further describes significant modification to the TRF rotordynamic drive system. Analysis and mechanical re-design have been completed to mitigate vibration effects. Facility monitoring and control upgrades are implemented to improve test situational awareness and safety. Updated cryogenic cooling hardware and software improve cooling flow delivery to HPT airfoils, platforms, and blade outer air seals. Future work includes continued research turbine testing, industry test rig collaboration, new instrumentation technology, and advanced modeling and simulation development.
Modifications and Upgrades to the AFRL Turbine Research Facility
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Anthony, RJ, Clark, JP, Finnegan, JM, & Johnson, D. "Modifications and Upgrades to the AFRL Turbine Research Facility." Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition. Volume 4: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B. Copenhagen, Denmark. June 11–15, 2012. pp. 793-804. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2012-70084
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