The Consortium for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Application in Propulsion Technology has been created at NASA/MSFC. Its purpose is to advance the state-of-the-art of CFD technology, to validate CFD codes and models, and to demonstrate the benefits attainable through the application of CFD in component design. Three teams are currently active within the Consortium: (1) the Turbine Technology Team, (2) the Pump Stage Technology Team, and (3) the Combustion Devices Technology Team. The goals, dynamics, and activities of the Turbine Team are the subjects of this paper.
The Consortium is managed by NASA. The Turbine Team is co-coordinated by a NASA representative from the CFD area and an industry (Pratt & Whitney) representative from the area of turbine aerodynamic design. Membership of the Turbine Team includes experts in design, analysis, and testing from the government, industry, and academia. Each member brings a unique perspective, expertise, and experience to bear on the team’s goals of improving turbine efficiency and robustness while reducing the amount of developmental testing. To this end, an advanced turbine concept has been developed within the team using CFD as an integral part of the design process. This concept employs unconventionally high turning blades and is predicted to provide cost and performance benefits over traditional designs. This concept will be tested in the MSFC Turbine Airflow Facility to verify the design and to provide a unique set of data for CFD code validation. Currently, the team is developing and analyzing methods to reduce secondary and tip losses to further enhance turbine efficiency. The team has also targeted volute development as an area that could benefit from detailed CFD analysis.