Recent work has shown that compression systems can be actively stabilized against the instability known as surge, thereby realizing a significant gain in system mass flow range. Ideally, this surge stabilization requires only a single sensor and a single actuator connected by a suitable control law. Almost all research to date has been aimed at proof of concept studies of this technique, using various actuators and sensor combinations. In contrast, the work reported here can be regarded as a step toward developing active control into a practical technique. In this context, the paper presents the first systematic definition of the influence of sensor and actuator selection on increasing the range of stabilized compressor performance. The results show that proper choice of sensor as well as actuator crucially affects the ability to stabilize these systems, and that, overall, those actuators most closely coupled to the compressor (as opposed to the plenum or throttle) appear most effective. In addition, the source of the disturbances driving the system (for example, unsteady compressor pressure rise or unsteady combustor heat release) has a strong influence on control effectiveness, as would be expected for a controls problem of this type. This paper both delineates general methodologies for the evaluation of active compressor stabilization strategies and quantifies the performance of several approaches that might be implemented in gas turbine engines.

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