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Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field


At the NASA Glenn Research Center, in partnership with U.S. industry, universities, and other Government institutions, we develop
critical systems technologies and capabilities that address national priorities. Our world-class research, technology, and capability
development efforts are keys to advancing space exploration of our solar system and beyond while maintaining global leadership
in aeronautics. Glenn is distinguished by its unique blend of aeronautics and space flight expertise and experience. As we move
toward a greater focus on space flight hardware development, we are benefiting from our diverse accomplishments and expertise
in aeronautics. Our work is focused on technological advancements in space flight systems development, aeropropulsion, space
propulsion, power systems, nuclear systems, communications, and human-related systems.

Glenn’s main campus is situated on 350 acres adjacent to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. It has more than 140 buildings
that include 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research and test facilities. In addition, Plum Brook Station, located 50 miles
west of Cleveland, offers four large, world-class facilities for space technology and capability development on a 6400-acre installation.
All Center capabilities are available for Government and industry programs through Interagency or Space Act Agreements.

The Glenn team consists of over 2500 civil service employees and support service contractor personnel. Scientists and engineers
comprise more than half of our workforce, while technical specialists, skilled workers, and an administrative staff support them.
We aggressively strive for technical excellence through continuing education, increased diversity in our workforce, and continuous
improvement in our management and business practices so that we can expand the boundaries of space, science, and aeronautics

The Center’s activities support all NASA missions and the major programs of our Agency. We contribute to economic growth and
national security by developing technology for safe, superior, and environmentally compatible U.S. aircraft propulsion systems.
Glenn leads NASA’s research in the fields of fluids, combustion, and reacting flow systems, including gravity variation. Glenn also
leads in the testing and evaluation of materials and structures for atmospheric and space environments by utilizing our first-rate
facilities and world-class scientists and engineers. Almost every space shuttle science mission has had an experiment managed by
Glenn, and we have conducted a wide array of experiments on the International Space Station. Glenn’s role in space flight, science,
and aeronautics research and development continues to support our Agency’s strategy and our Nation.

We hope that this information is useful to you. If additional information is desired, you are encouraged to visit Glenn’s Web site at

Woodrow Whitlow, Jr., Ph.D. Richard S. Christiansen Robert E. Fails

Director Deputy Director Associate Director


History and Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Space Flight Research and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Power and Energy-Conversion Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Power generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Energy storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Power management and distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

In-Space Propulsion and Nuclear Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Electric propulsion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Nuclear propulsion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Chemical propulsion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Fluids, Combustion, and Reacting Subsystems, Including Gravity Dependence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Cryogenic propellant management and characterization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

In situ resource utilization on the Moon and Mars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Space Communications Architectures and Subsystems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Systems Integration and Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Human Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Microgravity Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Aeronautics Research and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Advanced Turbine Engine Propulsion and Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Compressor technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Combustor technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Turbine technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Turbine Engine Noise Reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Fan technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Exhaust system technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Propulsion Control and Engine Health Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Instrumentation Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Avionics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Aircraft Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Aircraft Icing Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Modeling and Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Alternative Fuel Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Hydrogen-powered aircraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Propulsion and power systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Research and Development That Advances Both Aeronautics and Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Power and Energy-Conversion Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Diagnostics and Sensors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Avionics and Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Materials Science and Aerospace Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

High-temperature propulsion materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Advanced metallic materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Polymers and polymer matrix composites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Structural ceramics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Environmental and thermal barrier coatings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Aerospace propulsion structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Analytical, computational, and experimental mechanics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Structural mechanics and dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Mechanisms and mechanical systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Tribology and surface science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Aeronautics and Space Test Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Technology Transfer and Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Strategies and Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Honors and Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Selected R&D 100 Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

NASA Software of the Year Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Collier Trophy Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

NASA Government Invention of the Year Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Government Computer News Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Other Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Trade names or manufacturer’s names are used in this report for identification only. This usage does not constitute
an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

1941 ground-breaking ceremony for the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory.
and Overview

The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field came

The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field came into existence in 1941 as the

Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

It was later renamed the Lewis Research Center in honor of the late George Lewis, NACA’s Director

of Aeronautical Research. The name was changed to its present form in 1999 in honor of Ohio

Senator John H. Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.

2 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

into existence in 1941

The laboratory was conceived as a GLENN’S SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS

national resource capable of providing 2005
innovations in aircraft engine technol-
Workforce assignments Portion of total, percent
ogy and transitioning these innovations
to U.S. industry for use in future propul- Fluid and flight mechanics 8
sion system designs for commercial Materials and structures 11
and military applications. In the early
1960s, Glenn pioneered the use of liquid Propulsion and power 24

hydrogen for rocket and aircraft propul- Flight systems 11

sion, allowing the United States to win Measurements and instrumentation 13
the race to the Moon.
Data systems 11

Over the past 60 plus years, our scientists Facilities 14

and engineers have made major tech- Management 6
nology contributions that have expanded
horizons and opened new frontiers for Other 2

both aviation and space exploration.

These technology innovations have
enabled U.S. industry to assume a lead-
ership position in the world aerospace hazardous aerospace tests in one-of-a- communications architectures and
marketplace and have contributed to the kind facilities. subsystems; interdisciplinary bioengi-
Nation’s safety and security. neering for human systems; and test and
We have a unique blend of aeronautics evaluation for atmospheric, space, and
Glenn consists of two campuses. Scientists and space flight expertise and experi- gravitational environments.
and engineers at our main campus near ence. Scientists and engineers comprise
Cleveland, Ohio (Brook Park and Fairview 57 percent of our workforce. Of these,
Park), investigate space operations, 36 percent have master’s degrees and
aerospace technology, and technolo- 39 percent have doctoral degrees.
gies needed for space exploration: power,
propulsion, communications, fluids Our capabilities include in-space
and combustion, materials, structures, propulsion systems; nuclear systems;
mechanical components, and instru- power and energy-conversion systems;

Glenn pioneered the use of liquid hydrogen for rocket and aircraft

propulsion, allowing the United States to win the race to the Moon.

mentation and controls. Scientists and fluids, combustion, and reacting

engineers at our Plum Brook Station in systems, including gravity dependence;
Sandusky, Ohio, perform very large and aeropropulsion systems; aerospace

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 3

The Voyager 1 spacecraft begins its journey aboard a Titan III with a Centaur upper stage. Voyager was the
first probe to provide detailed images of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. It is now more than 8.8 billion miles
from the Sun and is the farthest human-made object from Earth.
Space Flight

Research and Development

Glenn successfully develops, manages, and supports flight

Glenn successfully develops, manages, and supports flight systems in four major areas of

expertise: power, propulsion, communications, and microgravity science. Our scientists and

engineers pioneered the use of liquid hydrogen for aircraft and rocket propulsion in the 1940s

and 1950s, which eventually led to our leadership of the development of the highly successful

Centaur upper stage with its liquid-hydrogen-fueled RL–10 engines. Centaur, the Nation’s

highest performing and most used upper stage, has launched spacecraft to Earth orbit, the

Moon, the planets (Voyager, Pioneer, Viking, and Cassini missions), and beyond for over

40 years. The development of the Centaur’s versatile RL–10 engines benefited from at least two

Glenn success stories: liquid hydrogen regenerative cooling and coaxial propellant injection.

6 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

systems in four major areas of expertise

Glenn’s management, development, and ion engine—the first ion engine to be

operation of expendable launch vehicles used as the primary propulsion for an
spanned 35 years and 119 launches. We interplanetary spacecraft. In addition,
developed four Centaur configurations we designed, built, qualified, delivered,
during this period: the Atlas/Centaur and operated a pulsed-plasma thruster
D1A, the Titan IIIE/Centaur D1T, and to demonstrate satellite stationkeeping
the Shuttle/Centaur G and G-Prime for the Earth-Observing 1 mission.
upper stages (where the G-Prime flew on
the Titan IV vehicle). The staff experi- For Space Station Freedom, Glenn
ence and facilities used to develop and designed the largest power system ever
manage these upper stages, along with deployed in space. The technology was
management of other boosters and transferred to industry and built for the Mir cooperative solar array (foreground) deployed
on Mir.
upper stages like Agena and Thor, have International Space Station (ISS).
continued to be used for other initia-
tives such as the testing of Boeing’s new We led a team that investigated and ally discharge if the negative margin is
Delta III cryogenic upper stage. resolved a negative margin on the large enough and lasts long enough. The
ISS solar array mast due to unantici- development of a new complex control
In electric propulsion, Glenn invented pated gas impingement loads during and structure interaction method saved
the first Hall and ion thrusters in the rendezvous and docking with the space $24.5 million in redesign costs.
late 1950s and flew the first electric shuttle. A negative margin occurs if the
propulsion spacecraft demonstrations in amount of energy provided by the solar Glenn worked with the Russian Space
the 1960s. We developed, managed, and array is insufficient to recharge the Agency and international partners to
operated the Space Electric Rocket Test battery and provide for insolation loads. develop, manufacture, test, and deliver
I and II spacecraft; and designed, built, This indicates that batteries cannot for launch the Mir Cooperative Solar
qualified, and delivered the Deep Space 1 be recharged in orbit and will eventu- Array in only 18 months, on schedule
and $1 million under budget. We also
designed, built, qualified, and delivered
the Deep Space 1 solar arrays, which
were the first successful use of photovol-
taic concentrators in space (called the
Solar Concentrator Arrays with Refractive
Linear Element Technology, SCARLET).

In the late 1970s, Glenn helped to

develop the Communications Technology
Satellite (CTS), the first U.S. commu-
nications satellite to operate in the
commercial Ku-band frequencies (14/12
GHz). Glenn’s high-power Ku-band
traveling-wave-tube amplifier onboard
CTS enabled small (less than 1-m-
diameter) Earth station antennas, helped
Ion thruster. set the stage for today’s direct broadcast

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field  

ACTS proved the feasibility of the
Ka-band for satellite communications
and the practical advantages of multiple
new technologies in the process. ACTS
enabled growth in the capacity and utili-
zation of the limited-frequency spectrum
and offered the first demonstration of
high-quality voice communication (with
echo cancellation) from a geosynchro-
nous satellite. Over 150 organizations
Advanced Communications Technology Satellite
in 31 states in the United States and in
six other countries used ACTS to conduct Systems and software engineers conduct final
inspections of the Combustion Module 2 flight
more than 100 experiments. hardware at Glenn before it is shipped to the launch
satellite industry, and earned NASA its site.
first Emmy. We have had a success rate greater
than 97 percent in designing, develop-
By the 1980s, communications satel- ing, managing, and supporting over 130 and mission-threatening requalification
lites were competing for limited space diverse microgravity experiments on process. In addition, our scientists and
in an increasingly crowded frequency Spacelab and Spacehab (reusable labo- engineers developed two unique facility-
spectrum. To address this problem, ratories carried in the space shuttle’s class payloads for the ISS capable of
Glenn began a research and develop- cargo bay), Mir (the Russian space supporting multiple combustion science
ment program that culminated in the station), and the ISS. For example, and fluid physics investigations: the
Advanced Communications Technology Glenn developed Combustion Modules Combustion Integrated Rack and the
Satellite (ACTS). Launched in 1993, 1 and 2, the largest payloads flown on Fluids Integrated Rack.
ACTS began a revolution in space-based, Spacelab and Spacehab. The innova-
onboard processed broadband commu- tive combination of Glenn-led hardware
nications and opened for the United analysis and rack-level tests were used
States another portion of the frequency to qualify the Combustion Module 2 Power and Energy-
spectrum—the Ka band (30/20 GHz). hardware, saving the program a costly Conversion Systems
Glenn is responsible for the research,
design, development, assembly, integra-
tion, testing, and operations of power
and energy-conversion systems for all
NASA missions in aeronautics and space.
Power system components include fuel
cells and solar cells to generate electric-
ity, batteries to store electric power, and
electrical power distribution and control
components. Our expertise is currently
supporting the development of spacecraft
electric power systems for the new Crew
Exploration Vehicle being developed to
meet the Vision for Space Exploration of
the Moon and Mars.

The primary communications link for an electronic field trip to the South American rainforest was provided Glenn is the only NASA center perform-
by Glenn’s ACTS satellite. ing all elements of space power system

  NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

demonstrated. We are developing and Energy storage
testing components to support transition Glenn conducts research and develop
to flight for Stirling power convertors in ment in energy-storage technology,
a radioisotope power system. including fuel cells, regenerative
fuel cells, batteries, and flywheels.
In photovoltaic power generation, Glenn We conducted technology advance
led efforts to analyze on-orbit the electro ment programs on the Gemini
magnetic interference effects of plasma proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell
arcing to the ISS solar arrays, leading to and on the Apollo alkaline fuel cell.
Closed-Brayton-cycle and NASA Solar Electric
Propulsion Technology Application Readiness the implementation of the ISS plasma This included developing the technology
(NSTAR) thruster installed in Glenn’s Vacuum contactor. We designed and developed the for and supporting the advanced devel
Facility 6.
Solar Array Module Plasma Interaction opment of the alkaline fuel cells that
Experiment, which was flown in the provided electric power for the Apollo
shuttle payload bay to determine arcing missions and the space shuttle. We also
development to enable space exploration, hazards on solar arrays and surround were responsible for advancing and
from low technology-readiness levels to ing structural materials. A floating qualifying the primary fuel cell power
flight hardware. potential probe was then developed and technology for the space shuttle onboard
implemented to guarantee an arc-free power system.
environment for astronauts working
Power generation outside of the ISS. Glenn is leading the development of
Glenn develops power-generation tech modular proton-exchange-membrane
nologies that enable space exploration, Our scientists and engineers authored fuel-cell-stack technology for use
including static (photovoltaic and ther design guidelines for assessing and in launch vehicles. This technology
mophotovoltaic) and dynamic (Brayton controlling spacecraft charging effects provides increased peak-to-nominal
and Stirling) power systems. Until now, in geosynchronous and low-Earth power and improved reliability. We also
space power generation has used solar orbits and are presently writing Paschen are leading the effort to evaluate and
arrays and Radioisotope Thermoelectric breakdown guidelines for missions to develop fuel-cell and regenerative-fuel
Generators, systems that have no moving the Moon and Mars. These predict the cell energy-storage systems for missions
parts. Tests conducted by Glenn’s scien length of electrical discharges that will with long eclipse periods (“nights”),
tists and engineers are proving that be produced by different combinations of during which solar cells cannot generate
Brayton and Stirling approaches, which gas mixtures, voltages, and atmospheric electricity, such as Moon and Mars
use moving parts, would be reliable over pressures. Such discharges can result in bases, unmanned aerial vehicles, and
the lifetime of a typical space mission. power loss, cross-circuit and/or short- high-altitude balloons. Totally passive
circuit phenomena, and electromagnetic (nonmoving) components are the
For example, we successfully operated noise. focus of this effort to minimize weight,
a 15-kWe closed-Brayton-cycle system improve energy density, and maximize
for 38,000 hr and demonstrated the reliability.
world’s first test of an integrated solar-
dynamic 2-kWe closed-Brayton-cycle Glenn leads the NASA Aerospace Flight
power system in a relevant space envi Battery System Program, an Agency-
ronment. In addition, we performed the wide effort aimed at ensuring the quality,
world’s first test of a closed-Brayton-cycle safety, reliability, and performance of
power system with an electric propulsion flight battery systems for NASA missions.
(ion) engine and developed and tested We evaluated flight battery technologies
the world’s highest power free-piston for the ISS and the Electric Auxiliary
Stirling engine (25 kWe). A free-piston Power Unit replacement for the space
Stirling power source with a Hall-effect Floating Potential Probe at the NASA Kennedy shuttle. In addition, we developed and
electric thruster also was successfully Space Center before launch. validated designs for nickel-hydrogen

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 9

bilities required by future NASA and
Department of Defense missions. This
collaborative effort between the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, the Air Force
Research Laboratory, and Glenn resulted
in the development of the lithium-ion
technology implemented in the batteries
for the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit
and Opportunity.

Glenn is pioneering the development of

the next generation of space-qualified
lithium-based technology: a lithium-
based polymer electrolyte secondary
battery. This concept replaces the liquid
electrolyte of the lithium-ion system
with an ultrasafe polymer electrolyte
that cannot leak or emit toxic fumes.
The Polymer Energy Rechargeable
System Program is addressing this
next-generation technology through a
combination of contracted and in-house
efforts focusing on the development and
evaluation of various polymer electro
lytes, as well as cathodes, anodes, and
related components.

Regenerative Fuel Cell test rig. Glenn developed a new design and a life-
prediction method for flywheels that offer
long-term energy-storage and attitude-
cells that have been adopted for NASA wall-wicks and 26-percent potassium control capabilities. Flywheel technology
missions and employed by cell manu hydroxide, and developed standard test provides lighter weight power generation
facturers and satellite companies. Glenn procedures for evaluating separator and extended mission life when used in
developed lightweight nickel electrodes, materials for alkaline cells. combined energy-storage and attitude-
demonstrated the feasibility of bipolar control applications. Using an in-house
nickel hydrogen battery designs, initiated Currently, we are focusing on lithium- flywheel design and controls, our scien
advances including the use of catalyzed ion battery technology as a replacement tists and engineers demonstrated a
for nickel-hydrogen technology. Because single-axis combined attitude-control
of the nominal 100-percent improve- and energy-storage system.
ment in specific energy and energy
density over nickel-hydrogen cells,
Glenn-developed lithium-ion cell tech- Power management and
nologies are candidates for use on many distribution
future NASA missions. Optimized power management and
distribution (PMAD) greatly improves
A joint Department of Defense and NASA power system efficiency while reducing
program was established to develop system size and mass. All aspects of
Mars 2001 lander battery. lithium-ion batteries with the capa- PMAD system development are performed

10 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

at Glenn. This includes system studies, and other hardware, software, and inte facilities include extensive and unique
technology development, flight hardware gration issues for many programs. space-simulation chambers (high
development, and end-to-end testbed pumping speed, large diameter, solar
development. Currently, we are developing an end-to simulator, and thermal vacuum),
end PMAD testbed for the Prometheus 1 dedicated experimental test infra
As part of an ongoing effort to meet NASA system, which will incorporate Brayton structure, and dedicated experienced
needsforadvancedelectroniccomponents technologies. engineering staff.
and subsystems to permit power system
operation in harsh high-temperature We have a significant history of accom
and high-radiation environments, Glenn plishments in the field of electric
developed several power technologies, In-Space Propulsion and propulsion, beginning with the invention
including modular Power Energy Build Nuclear Systems of the electron bombardment ion engine
ing Blocks and advanced modular in 1958 by researcher Harold Kaufman.
digital control. We led the development There followed a series of successful
Electric propulsion
of high-voltage (over 270 V) and power ion engine demonstration flight experi
technologies. In addition, our scientists The objective of the electric propulsion ments: the Space Electric Rocket Test I in
and engineers developed special-purpose effort at Glenn is to develop and demon
avionics, such as the circuit-interrupt strate advanced electric propulsion
device utilized by astronauts to assemble systems that enable more ambitious
the ISS, the electrical power control NASA, U.S. Government, and commer [Glenn’s] significant history …

unit for the microgravity Fluids and cial space missions. Glenn has in-house in the field of electric propulsion

Combustion Facility for the ISS, and capabilities for the design, fabrication,
[began] with the invention of the

advanced power processors for electric and evaluation of electrostatic, electro

electron bombardment ion engine

propulsion applications—including magnetic, and electrothermal electric

Deep Space 1 and NASA’s Evolutionary propulsion systems from concep in 1958 …

Xenon Thruster (NEXT). Glenn pio tion through flight qualification. Our
neered the development and flight of
power electronics for electric propul
sion. These electronic designs have been
the basis for the majority of flight power

In addition to these activities, PMAD

system studies supported VentureStar
(a proposed commercial single-stage
to-orbit reusable launch vehicle) for
Lockheed Martin, the space station
redesign for the NASA Johnson Space
Center, the Integrated Solar Upper Stage
for the U.S. Air Force, and the High
Altitude Airship for the Missile Defense
Agency. In its ISS electric power system
role, Glenn developed the first end-to
end (source-to-load) hardware testbed
to emulate the ISS power system. This
electric power systems testbed is used to
identify and resolve fault control, stability, NEXT ion thruster array being assembled for testing.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 11

1964 and II in 1970. In 1965, a 200-kW, in comparison to chemical propulsion electric propulsion system in 2003. In the
1.5-m-diameter ion engine was tested, systems. Electric propulsion could make same year, we were selected to develop a
using mercury as the propellant. Our new missions possible: a spacecraft high-specific-impulse Hall thruster for
cost-constrained space science missions.
In 2004, we were selected to develop a
150-kW-class Hall thruster in support
Glenn was responsible for the development of the Deep Space 1 ion of NASA’s exploration vision, providing
capability for delivering payloads to the
engines [for] … the first-ever demonstration of electric propulsion as
Moon and Mars cost effectively.
the primary propulsion device for a spacecraft.

Nuclear propulsion
Glenn has been involved in nuclear
employees partnered with Hughes to could visit several destinations in a propulsion design and development
develop 5-, 8- 12-, and 30-cm engines single mission and select the most since the 1960s. We were the Agency
from 1970 until 1982. In 1987, our promising ones for extended explora leader during the Rover/Nuclear Engine
electric propulsion engineers transferred tion. For example, the Jupiter Icy Moons for Rocket Vehicle Application programs
1-kW-class arcjet technology to industry Orbiter could go into orbit around one (1961 to 1972), the special assessment
for communication satellite propulsion. moon and study it, then have enough agent for nuclear propulsion and power
propellant and capability (with nuclear systems during Exploration Studies
With a focus on the space shuttles and power) to leave orbit and travel to the (1988 to 1989) and the Space Exploration
the ISS, electric propulsion work was put next moon, orbit it, and study it for a Initiative (1990 to 1993), and the lead
on hold until interest was renewed in the long period of time. NASA center for nuclear propulsion (1991
late 1990s when one of our engineers to 1994).
suggested the use of a nontoxic gas With the increased demand for electric
(xenon) as a propellant. The vacuum propulsion, Glenn continued to lead in Glenn is currently the Agency lead for
tanks where the mercury-propellant the innovation of thruster technology, nuclear propulsion, including nuclear
tests were conducted were scrubbed out demonstrating new capabilities for future electric propulsion, nuclear thermal
and prepared for testing ion engines space missions. In 2002, a pulsed-plasma propulsion, and variants. Our scientists
designed to run on xenon. As a result, thruster, using solid Teflon (DuPont) and engineers developed state-of-the
in 1997 Boeing produced their Xenon as a fuel, was used as attitude control
Ion Propulsion Systems, XIPS–13 and and demonstrated in a flight test on the
XIPS–25, using our technology. Also, Earth Observing 1 spacecraft. Glenn was
in 1997, our engineers developed and chosen to lead the development of the
demonstrated a Hall effect thruster 5-kW NEXT ion propulsion system in
propulsion system for a Naval Research 2002, to produce a more capable thruster
Laboratory spacecraft. based on the Deep Space 1 ion engine.
Also in 2002, we were chosen to develop
In that same year, Glenn was responsible a 25-kW-class ion engine for use on
for the development of the Deep Space 1 nuclear-powered spacecraft. 4.75 m
ion engines and power processors, which (15.6 ft)
resulted in the first-ever demonstration In 2003, a Glenn-developed, 100-kW
of electric propulsion as the primary Hall effect thruster—the largest Hall
propulsion device for a spacecraft. This thruster ever built—was demonstrated at
mission, launched in 1998, was the Glenn. Because of these many successes
beginning of an upsurge in interest and the unique capabilities of electric Efficient 15-klbf/25-kWe bimodal nuclear thermal
in electric propulsion, because of its propulsion, Glenn was chosen as lead rocket engine. Despite its small size, this rocket
amazing fuel efficiency and versatility to develop the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter can provide high thrust and specific impulse.

12 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

performance and stability characteris
tics database of hydrogen/oxygen rocket
combustors in the world.

Recently, we developed state-of-the-art

combustion stability analysis tools, the
Rocket Combustor Interactive Design
(ROCCID) and the High Frequency
Injection Coupled Combustion Instability
Program (HICCIP), and led the revision
of the Chemical Propulsion Information
Agency standard for stability testing. This
Artist’s concept of an artificial-gravity bimodal nuclear thermal rocket crew transfer vehicle for Mars. is in line with our historic involvement in
combustion instability with the Saturn
launch vehicle F–1 engine and many of
the storable engines used in the space
art nuclear rocket engine concepts to imately 3 (300-percent increase) were program. We conducted the first laser
reduce launch mass, shorten trip time, estimated/predicted at mixture ratios ignition tests in a rocket environment,
allow power generation and bipropel- of approximately 3, and thrust augmen liquid oxygen/ethanol igniter testing
lant operations, and support artificial tation of 400 percent was predicted for for the shuttle upgrade, and the first
gravity operations. Our designs include higher mixture ratios. demonstration of the liquid hydrocarbon
the hybrid bimodal nuclear thermal combustion wave ignition system. As the
rocket, which also generates electric We were responsible for the development Agency lead for ignition technology, we
power, and the liquid-oxygen-augmented of three of the four architectures for the tested the breadboard X–33 combustion
nuclear thermal rocket with an oxygen human exploration of Mars: nuclear wave ignition system.
“afterburner” nozzle. In addition, we thermal propulsion or bimodal nuclear
developed the concept for and deter- thermal propulsion, solar electric Glenn is a leader in several chemical
mined the benefits of hybrid bimodal propulsion with chemical aerobrake, and propulsion areas. These include
nuclear thermal electric propulsion, nuclear electric propulsion.
which has short, high-thrust and long, • The development and demonstration
low-thrust operation. of alternative propellants, such as
Chemical propulsion oxygen/RP–1/aluminum metallized
Glenn demonstrated the feasibility of an Glenn played the defining role in the gelled fuels, oxygen/carbon monoxide
oxygen “afterburner” nozzle to increase use of liquid hydrogen fuel for rocket in situ propellant for Mars, and
nuclear thermal propulsion engine thrust and aircraft propulsion, the enabling oxygen/aluminum in situ propellant
via supersonic combustion in the nozzle technology that took us to the Moon. for the Moon.
through tests at Aerojet. A fuel-rich (an Our scientists and engineers developed
oxygen-to-hydrogen mixture ratio of less the most comprehensive experimental • The study of combustion chamber
than 2) liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen cooling technologies such as liquid
engine was used with a small (25:1) oxygen cooling, high-aspect-ratio
oxygen afterburner nozzle containing channel cooling, propellant coking
three oxygen injectors located azimuth- Glenn played the defining role in and material compatibility in cooling
ally around the divergent nozzle section. the use of liquid hydrogen fuel for channels, and materials technologies
The tests demonstrated approximately rocket propulsion, the enabling
for cooled combustion chambers.
50-percent thrust augmentation via
technology that took us to the
supersonic combustion at mixture ratios • Three-dimensional transient com
of 1 or less as measured on a thrust stand. bustion modeling (a world leader),
Thrust augmentation factors of approx- including the Space Shuttle Main

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 13

Engine bladed hub baffle simula
tion, and annular constant-volume
combustion-cycle-engine combustor

Glenn is a pioneer in the modeling and

testing of high-performance, high-area
ratio nozzles for space-based engines. We
were the first to test a 1000:1 area ratio
nozzle at altitude conditions, providing
data to calibrate joint Army-Navy-NASA-
Air-Force prediction procedures. For
satellite propulsion, our scientists and Full-scale demonstration of the X–33 liquid oxygen densifier.

engineers developed iridium-coated

rhenium rocket chamber technology,
allowing an increase in satellite life from nitely, using a zero-boiloff approach. cryogenic propellants. This approach
12 to 15 years and gaining $30 to $60 Through analysis, we have shown that provides more energy per unit volume
million in added revenue per satellite. this approach will reduce mass for than conventional cryogens and thereby
certain advanced mission concepts. enables lighter weight vehicle designs.
We specialize in state-of-the-art Glenn developed the first and only full-
computational fluid dynamics for Liquid-acquisition devices use surface- scale liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen
flow-field characterization and testing tension forces to transport liquid to the densification units. In addition, we
of high-performance, high-area-ratio bottom of a tank in a zero-gravity envi demonstrated liquid oxygen densifi
nozzles for space-based engines. Our ronment, leaving vapor at the top. Such cation (180,000 gal of liquid oxygen
Numerical Propulsion System Simula devices are used on current NASA and densified) and tanking at the X–33 scale.
tion (NPSS) software enables rapid, commercial satellites with propellants We also developed slush hydrogen tech
affordable computation of performance, that are storable at room temperature. nology for increased hydrogen density,
stability, cost, life, and certification Glenn is developing liquid-acquisition producing over 200,000 gal of slush
requirements. devices to enable the use of cryogens for hydrogen.
Orbital Maneuvering System/Reaction
Control System in-space propulsion To enable fast and accurate mass
systems. So far, we have conducted gauging of cryogenic propellants in
Fluids, Combustion, and component and subsystem-level charac low gravity, Glenn is developing several
Reacting Subsystems, terization for these devices. competing technologies that will be
suitable for space exploration vehicles
Including Gravity We also are developing a passive vane and long-duration missions. These
Dependence approach for liquid management that technologies will enable efficient use of
uses surface tension to position the propellant in orbit, improved operability,
Cryogenic propellant manage liquid at the tank discharge. The ability and leak detection. In addition, a unique
ment and characterization of vane devices to trap liquid can be used facility was developed at Glenn for the
Through extensive testing in the 1960s to transfer liquid as well. This approach reference characterization of gauging
and 1970s, Glenn helped to develop a to liquid transfer was demonstrated in accuracy with hydrogen, oxygen, and
multilayer insulation system that reduces the Vented Tank Resupply Experiment, other cryogens for investigating the
cryogenic propellant losses during long- which was flown on Space Transportation uncertainty of competitive gauging tech
duration missions. We are currently System (STS, or space shuttle) flight 77. nologies.
developing a hybrid active/passive cryo
genic thermal control system to store We have led the Nation in the develop To support efficient in-space propellant
cryogenic propellants in space indefi- ment of densification technologies for depot operations, Glenn characterized

14 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

fluid transfer technology and demon frequency are made assuming an empty development to excavate and transport
strated no-vent fill technology in a tank with no internal hardware. The lunar regolith and are playing key
large-scale ground test. No-vent fill is a Liquid Motion Experiment flown on STS support roles in the thermal and chemical
technique for filling liquid in low gravity flight 84 demonstrated that vane devices processing of regolith to produce oxygen,
without having to leave the tank vent alter critical frequencies for fluid-tank water, and hydrogen. Glenn-developed
open to relieve pressure. Our approach interactions. By showing that internal vibrofluidization technology will help to
uses liquid subcooling and mixing to structures such as vane liquid acquisi produce up to 10 metric tons of oxygen
condense the vapor generated by the fill tion can alter the critical frequency, we per year on the lunar surface. Linking
process back into liquid and to control highlight the need for more complex our expertise in propulsion, power,
the tank pressure within structural calculations. and reduced-gravity fluid and reacting
limits. systems, we have developed the first end-
Glenn completed detailed designs of to-end in situ resource utilization system
Recently, we developed a pulsed thrust flight experiments for propellant depot modeling tool.
propellant reorientation experiment for technology (Cryogenic Liquid Orbiting
the European Space Agency Sloshsat Depot—Storage Acquisition and Trans In a joint program with the Department
spacecraft, which was launched in fer, COLDSAT, and Cryogenic On-orbit of Energy, Glenn is leading advances in
February 2005. Heat transfer and the Nitrogen Experiment, CONE). fuel reformer technology that can also
fluid behavior associated with tank be applied to lunar and Mars processing
mixing for pressure control were demon plants. The goal is to improve catalyst
strated in the Tank Pressure Control In situ resource utilization on life by 20 to 40 percent and to reduce size
Experiment, which was flown on STS the Moon and Mars and weight 2 to 3 times. We are leading
flights 43, 52, and 84. Glenn is a key partner in the develop the development of advanced solid-oxide
ment of technology for the production of electrochemical cells with a patent-
Understanding the critical frequencies propellants and other mission consum pending process that could reduce the
is important to controlling spacecraft in ables from local materials at the Moon power required to produce oxygen on
orbit, but most calculations of the critical and Mars. We are leading technology Mars by a factor of 8. These cells can also
be used for high-temperature water elec
trolysis in lunar processing plants.

We are also leading the development of

methane/oxygen propulsion, the leading
candidate for Mars in situ propulsion,
and have demonstrated the first ignition
and combustion of several other unique
in situ propellants for the Moon and

Space Communications
Architectures and
Glenn is developing architecture
technologies, communication system
technologies, and subsystem and com
ponent technologies to enable NASA’s
Research Combustion Laboratory cryogenic ignition hot-fire. future missions in science and human

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 15

of data at high rates among space assets are developing new concepts for light
and between space and ground assets. weight, cost-effective antennas, such as
We have developed automatic fade large deployable antennas, ferroelectric
compensation, bandwidth on demand, steerable phased arrays, antennas
and full-mesh (point-to-point) time- integrated with solar cells for power,
division multiple-access networking. MEMS-based reconfigurable antennas,
Glenn demonstrated satellite-Earth space-fed lens antennas, and cryogenic
interoperability (making ACTS the first receivers for the Deep Space Network.
satellite on the Internet) and tested and
analyzed inflatable space structures. Glenn led the development of the space
We analyzed the radome structure for communications architecture for the
Raytheon (now in production) and were human exploration of the Moon, provid
consulted regarding communications for ing a foundation for the many commun
inspecting the space shuttles via extrave ication architectures being defined for
hicular activities. the lunar exploration vision.
Glenn engineers and contractors deploying a
surface proximity networking relay station during
Arizona desert tests of Moon and Mars equipment. Digital techniques that Glenn has
demonstrated include onboard digi
tal processing; software-defined-radio, Systems Integration and
exploration. Both within NASA and reconfigurable transceivers; and very Analysis
outside of NASA, we developed space high speed modems. We led the Nation
communication architectures via com in developing solid-state microwave Glenn performs space flight systems inte
mercial ventures and international devices, including monolithic micro gration and analysis for a wide range of
forums, and we are a major supporter wave integrated circuits (MMICs), flight systems. Our success in this area
of extending the Internet into space. wide-band-gap semiconductor and sili began in the 1950s with our development
Technologies are being developed to con germanium power amplifiers, of the first mission analysis capability
support intelligent, autonomous com and microelectromechanical-systems for NASA: the first high-fidelity com
munications architectures that enable (MEMS-) based radiofrequency phase puter programs to design low-thrust
anytime, anywhere operations and pro shifters. trajectories for Mars missions. In the
vide end-to-end information delivery 1960s, we developed the first calculus of
from space directly to users. In communications component tech variations program to optimize Earth-
nologies, Glenn is the international to-Orbit trajectories. Recently, our
Through coordinated studies with other leader in space-qualified, high-power, scientists and engineers developed the
NASA centers, Government agencies, high-efficiency amplifiers for enabling OTIS version 3 trajectory analysis tool—
industry, and academia, our scientists high-data-rate Ka-band communication. a Government and industry standard
and engineers are designing feasible Glenn also leads in hopping spot-beam that has been distributed to more than
70 organizations.

Glenn has many trajectory, power,

Glenn is the international leader in space-qualified, high-power, high
propulsion, and communication models
that provide the foundation for design,
efficiency amplifiers for … high-data-rate Ka-band communication.
tradeoff, and analysis efforts. For
human Mars exploration, we designed
the bimodal nuclear thermal rocket and
the solar electric power with chemical
communication network architectures
antenna technology, which allows several
aerobrake options. With support from
that enable the storage, transmission,
users to transmit and receive at the same
the U.S. Air Force, we led the develop
and dynamic routing of large amounts
frequency on a time-shared basis. We
ment of space navigation architecture

16 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

for the human exploration of the Moon Glenn’s program is conducted in collab scope, three-dimensional near-field
as part of the Beacon studies. oration with the Space and Life Sciences microscope, and optical coherence
Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space tomography system; a vision research
In 2003, Glenn led one of the four Next Flight Center, which manages the NASA lab; a cell culture lab for mammalian
Generation Launch Technology archi Human Research Program. The Human cell culture with immunofluorescence
tecture definition teams and led the Research Program is a component of the staining, cryostorage, ribonucleic acid
performance discipline team for the Next Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (RNA) isolation, and gel electrophoresis
Generation Launch Technology systems at NASA Headquarters. Glenn and its capabilities; and a quail egg culture lab.
analysis project. Our scientists and strategic partners are participants in
engineers performed trajectory design, and significant contributors to the NASA Our capabilities and experience are
mission analysis, technology assess Human Research Program. We draw on complemented by the preeminent clinical
ment, cost assessment, and requirements capabilities from throughout Glenn and care, clinical research, and biomedical
tradeoffs for the Jupiter Icy Moons our region. engineering capabilities of our strategic
Orbiter. partners including the Cleveland Clinic
Our efforts capitalize on our experience Foundation, Case Western Reserve
and capabilities in computational and University, University Hospitals of
experimental fluid physics—particu Cleveland, and the National Center for
Human Research larly in reduced-gravity environments; Space Exploration Research. In fiscal
in space flight hardware development year 2002, the John Glenn Biomedical
Ensuring the health, safety, security, for physical science research payloads; Engineering Consortium was formed
and effective performance of astronauts and in finite element simulations, through a Space Act Agreement between
is critical for the human exploration sensors, instrumentation, diagnostics, Glenn and its partners. Consortium
of space. The NASA Human Research and other key research and development members have leveraged funding from
Program is addressing critical areas areas. Some of our unique capabilities other sources to benefit NASA’s program
in astronaut health, safety, and perfor include a state-of-the-art biophotonics objectives, and consortium funds have
mance that place NASA missions at risk. lab containing a two-photon micro- helped researchers at the member insti
tutions. Successful consortium projects
include noninvasive optical sensors
for the early detection of eye diseases
(currently being used by the National
Institutes of Health and other leading
medical centers) and a portable unit for
metabolic analysis (PUMA).

Glenn and the Cleveland Clinic also

have collaborated through a Space Act
Agreement to establish the Cleveland
Clinic’s Center for Space Medicine.
The agreement provides Glenn’s scien
tists and engineers access to a network
of more than 2000 Cleveland Clinic
physicians and scientists to address
the medical problems experienced by
humans during long-duration space
flight. This agreement also gives the
Cleveland Clinic access to Glenn’s
physical science expertise to support
Glenn’s enhanced Zero-G Locomotion Simulator. their research and technology projects.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 17

from Earth and (2) to develop a prob
abilistic risk-analysis model of health
care delivery during exploration-class

Microgravity Science
Fluid physics and combustion science
research have been long-standing
core competencies at Glenn because of
their critical role in the success of our
aerospace propulsion and power mission.
Our work in low-gravity research and
technology development began in the
Researcher studying microvascular remodeling for astronaut health.
early 1960s and focused on the unique
system and mission challenges intro
duced by the “zero-gravity” operating
environment. To facilitate this work,
Finally, in support of the region’s safe and productive human habitation we developed unique major low-gravity
economic development goals in the bio of space. These efforts utilize the space facilities (our 2.2 Second Drop Tower
sciences, Glenn is a technology partner environment for applied research and as and 5.2-sec Zero-Gravity Facility) during
with BioEnterprise Corporation, a North a testbed (in addition to ground-based the Apollo era. The mid-1980s saw a
east Ohio leader in growing bioscience facilities) to verify technologies and shift and major expansion of low-gravity
companies. Glenn’s recognized capabil countermeasures. Glenn has extensive efforts toward in-space research of a
ity in interdisciplinary bioengineering experience in utilizing the space envi more fundamental nature, and Glenn
for human systems includes fluid phys ronment for basic and applied research, secured a major role in this arena.
ics, fluids systems, advanced measure having developed and successfully flown
ment diagnostics and instrumentation, over 125 microgravity science payloads We have successfully conducted a
analytic and computational modeling on the space shuttle, Mir, and the ISS. broad space-based and ground-based
and analysis, optical systems, imaging microgravity research program in fluid
analysis, biomedical engineering and We focus on areas pivotal to astro physics, combustion science, materials
bioengineering, advanced materials and naut health, safety, and performance science, acceleration measurement and
processing science, materials science under two NASA projects: Exercise analysis, and bioscience and technology.
engineering, mechanics and durability, Countermeasures and Exploration This program has produced consider
power systems, electrical and electronics Medical Capability. The goal of the able new knowledge and results that
systems, communications and network Exercise Countermeasures Project is to have appeared in prestigious journals,
engineering, microelectromechanical optimize and validate exercise protocols
systems (MEMS), nanotechnology, and and equipment designs to maximize the
extensive capabilities in design and health benefits to astronauts, minimize
development engineering and engineer the time required for exercise, and
ing science support. minimize the volume and mass of
exercise hardware. The goals of the
Our skills are coupled with the clinical Exploration Medical Capability Project
research expertise of Glenn’s partners to are twofold: (1) to develop requirements Video images of ethane jet diffusion flames in
conduct applied programmatic research and designs for clinical medical systems quiescent air. Left: 1g (Earth gravity). Right: µg
and to develop technology needed for the requiring little or no real-time support (microgravity).

18 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

including Science, Nature, the Journal flow regimes and pressure drops for
of Fluid Mechanics, Physical Review liquid-gas two-phase flows in low- and
Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Physical reduced-gravity conditions.
Review, Physics of Fluids, and Langmuir,
and have resulted in several books. Some • Pool boiling experiments conducted on
of the major milestones follow: the space shuttles that showed, for the
first time, the feasibility of sustaining
• The first-ever demonstration of sus steady-state pool boiling in micrograv Two-phase liquid-gas flows. From top to bottom:
tained combustion in microgravity ity under certain conditions. normal gravity, lunar gravity, and microgravity.

in the absence of any forced flow,

a finding that many considered The program has to its credit more than
to be impossible. This has major 130 flight experiments and packages
implications on fire safety in space. (including sounding rockets). For those
flown after the Challenger disaster,
• The generation of unique benchmark 94 percent have had full mission success
data using aircraft and drop tower and 98 percent have had at least partial
facilities and predictive modeling of mission success. We have five hardware

Pool boiling in microgravity.

packages on the ISS today, with either our

Space Acceleration Measurement System
(SAMS) or Microgravity Acceleration
Measurement System (MAMS) being in
continuous operation since June 2001.
SAMS and MAMS provide experiment
ers with critical information about the
acceleration environment on the ISS and
other microgravity platforms.

The Vision for Space Exploration has

placed increased emphasis on technolo
gies needed to enable exploration. This
has resulted in a new focus for both
space-flight- and ground-based research
in spacecraft fire safety (flammability,
detection, and suppression); chemical
reacting systems and flows in explo
ration life support and in situ resource
utilization; and thermal and fluid
management processes (such as boiling
and condensation; multiphase flow of
vapor-liquid, solid-liquid, and solid-gas
mixtures; and propellant management
capillary-dominated fluid behavior and
Loading an experiment module into Glenn’s 5.2-sec Zero-Gravity Facility. flows).

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 19

Glenn was the first to demonstrate more than a 50-percent reduction in jet engine exhaust noise using chevron
nozzles in model-scale tests. Chevrons have subsequently been commercialized and tested on aircraft, as shown
here on a GE90 engine on Boeing’s 777 aircraft. (Copyright Boeing; used with permission.)

Research and Development

Glenn develops advanced technologies for reduced noise and

Glenn develops advanced technologies such as ultra-low-emission combustors, chevron nozzles,

and aspirated fans to improve the performance of and reduce the emissions and noise from aircraft


During the Middle East oil crisis, we developed a new generation of high-speed propellers for

commercial aircraft that demonstrated the potential to reduce passenger aircraft fuel consumption

by 25 percent. Glenn then led the Energy Efficient Engine Project that developed and demonstrated

technologies to significantly reduce the emissions from and improve the fuel economy of jet

aircraft engines. The Energy Efficient Engine Project demonstrated a 15-percent reduction in

fuel consumption relative to the best commercial aircraft engines in service at the time. These

accomplishments enabled the development of the GE90 jet engine, the world’s most powerful

aircraft engine, which powers Boeing’s newest intercontinental aircraft, the Boeing 777.

22 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

emissions and improved efficiency

Over the last 35 years, the maximum range, and with progressively lower Compressor technology
thrust of commercial aircraft engines specific fuel consumption, emissions, NASA’s compressor programs date back to
has been increased from 40,000 lbf and noise. a NACA transonic flow stage that won the
to over 100,000 lbf, while specific fuel Goddard Award in 1967. Modern high-
consumption at cruise has been signif Modern high-efficiency turbofans ensure efficiency turbofans require an efficient
icantly decreased. Glenn research and high efficiency by delivering limited (compact, higher work) compressor to
development has played an important airflow to the engine core, by achieving deliver higher pressure (hotter) air to
role in these advancements. high combustion efficiency, and by the combustor, without stall or surge,
enabling large airflows through the fan at lower leakage, without airfoil rubs
and low-pressure turbine. or seal failures. In the past 40 years,

Advanced Turbine Engine

Propulsion and Power
Glenn’s expertise in this area includes
fundamental research, design, develop
ment, and testing of advanced concepts,
components, and integrated systems
for jet aircraft engines and alternative
aircraft propulsion systems. Our scien
tists and engineers have played critical
roles in many NASA programs.

Over the last 30 years, NASA-sponsored

technology has enabled the design and
development of modern, high-efficiency
turbofans with progressively higher
thrust for greater aircraft capacity and

Project Manager Dr. Chowen Wey (woman in

center with light hat) discusses the day’s test plans
with Aircraft Particle Emissions eXperiment (APEX)
team members. Pictured far left is the assembly
and probe stand that measures emissions data. Glenn’s large-size, low-speed compressor facility for fundamental turbomachinery research.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 23

compressor operating pressure ratio has and optimization of complex three- Combustor technology
been increased from 15 to 55. dimensional compressor airfoils, Modern high-efficiency turbofans require
including a stable higher inlet temperature and
In support of NASA’s compressor research, pressure combustor with a lower pattern
Glenn contributed first-generation • Swept blades to reduce shock loss factor (less radial temperature variation)
computer programs for guiding the • Leaned-back impellers to reduce thermal stresses on the turbine.
aerodynamic design and visualizing • Bowed stators to reduce end-wall In the last 40 years, emissions of nitrogen
flows for NASA’s Energy Efficient Engine losses oxides (NOx) have been decreased from
and Engine Component Improvement • Contoured blade roots to prevent flow 10 percent (for conventional technol
programs (1975 to 1985). These computer separation ogy) to almost 60 percent (advanced
programs enabled the design of more • Blunt blade leading edges to reduce technology) below International Civil
fuel efficient compressors with less tip erosion Aviation Organization 1996 regulation
and end-wall pressure losses, higher • Splitters for higher turning levels, while turbine inlet temperatures
operating pressure ratios, and fewer • Tandem airfoils have increased from 2000 °F to goals of
blades, and they helped to reduce perfor • Advanced casing treatments to 3100 °F in the recent UEET Project.
mance deterioration, surface erosion, increase stall margin and counter
and damage from bird strikes. inlet flow distortion NASA programs have contributed to lower
• Higher operating pressures combustor emissions with advanced fuel
In the 1990s, we contributed to NASA’s • Higher rotation rates injectors and active controls, and durable
Advanced Subsonic Technology and • Higher loading with fewer airfoils on combustor liners for hotter corrosive
General Aviation Programs by providing fewer stages environments.
industry with access to NASA’s second- • Reduced vibration and solutions to
generation multi-blade-row performance several performance failures Glenn technologies continue to reduce
prediction computer program, APNASA, • Improved seal performance NOx emissions while increasing the
for analyzing highly three-dimensional
flows around complex airfoils with
viscoelastic damping and provided
access to the Turbomachinery Aeroelastic
Analysis (TURBO–AE) computer pro
gram to analyze unsteady effects, such
as stall-flutter and forced response to

In recent years, our compressor research

ers have contributed to Ultra-Efficient
Engine Technology (UEET) programs
by designing and performing engine
demonstrations of active and passive
controls to enhance stability, improve
stall margin, and even recover from
stall, and by designing and demon
strating closed-loop fiber-optic controls
to manage surge from inlet distortion
at high angles of attack in military

Our performance-prediction computer Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) proof-of-concept compressor, a two-stage highly loaded
programs have enabled the design compressor.

24 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

engines and developed lean premixed, NASA’s Energy Efficient Engine Project
prevaporized combustors for high mach provided first-generation aerodynamic
number flight. design tools that enabled the design of
highly three-dimensional cambered
In the area of combustor structures, we airfoils to optimize turbine loading and
developed durable high-temperature efficiency. Glenn also sponsored the
combustor liners and developed and development and verification of simpli
tested ceramic liners for high-energy fied computer programs for turbine blade
density slurry fuels, segmented finwall design including aerodynamic shape and
Sector test in Glenn’s Advanced Subsonic
Combustor Rig. liners of turbine alloys, and shingled heat transfer. These tools enabled the
liners. After conducting early studies ofdesign of higher work, higher efficiency
ceramic liners for missiles, we developedturbines, including Pratt & Whitney’s
and tested 2200 °F ceramic matrix first single-stage, high-pressure turbine,
durability and stability of modern
composites for liners, and thermal and with fewer airfoils and higher tip speed.
combustors. In support of combustor

technology, we designed low-emission

combustors, including upgrades with

low-smoke and lower NOx for the Pratt Glenn developed the National Combustor Code (NCC) computer

& Whitney JT8D engine. To reduce

program … [that with] APNASA … enabled performance prediction

emissions in large aircraft engines, we

developed dual annular combustors for a complete gas turbine engine.

with the introduction of full-authority

digital engine controls to reduce NOx by
35 to 40 percent, twin annular premixed
swirlers to reduce NOx by 50 percent, and environmental barrier coatings to enable For NASA’s Advanced Subsonic Tech
lean direct injectors with fuel staging to 2400 °F operation and the potential for nology, General Aviation Propulsion,
reduce NOx by 50 percent and air staging 2700 °F. and UEET programs, Glenn provided
to reduce NOx by 70 percent. Our scientists access to NASA’s second-generation
and engineers designed and performed Glenn developed the National Combustor APNASA multi-blade-row analysis and
component testing of rich-quench lean Code (NCC) computer program in 1998. TURBO–AE unsteady effects computer
combustors, including shorter rich- When linked with our turbomachin programs, enabling the first three-
quench lean combustors with fuel-air ery performance prediction program, dimensional analysis of an entire
management to reduce NOx by 50 and APNASA, the NCC program enabled high-pressure/low-pressure turbine sys
70 percent. We also advanced combus performance prediction for a complete tem, including cooling, leakage, and
tion core competencies: such as laser gas turbine engine. unsteady effects.
diagnostics, fuel reformer technology,
chemical kinetics, ceramic MEMS multi- Our scientists and engineers developed
injectors, and combustion instability Turbine technology three-dimensional design tools for
control. These are critical technologies The modern high-bypass-ratio turbofan the design of blade-coolant passages.
to achieve the aggressive low-NOx goals. requires high work turbines with high- Unsteady analyses were developed to
temperature materials and effective optimize rotor-stator spacing and to
Glenn developed active pattern factor internal cooling to withstand the very reduce the effect of unsteady forces on
controls and active combustor stability high gas temperatures in the engine. the turbines. These analyses were used
control with wireless sensors and active Over the last 40 years, turbine inlet to model the migration of combustor hot
feedback. For specialized applications, temperature has been increased from streaks through the turbines to predict
we created and tested three-dimensional 2000 °F to over 3000 °F, contributing to blade heat loads. All of these improved
models of slinger combustors with inher the more than doubling of engine thrust capabilities added to the understand
ently low emissions for small gas turbine from 40,000 lbf to over 100,000 lbf. ing of turbine aerodynamics and heat

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 25

transfer, resulting in improved turbine namic and aeroacoustic fan designs,
design methods. … technologies developed under
including wide-chord fans for lower
NASA programs provide ... quiet,
noise, low-tip-speed fans with optimized
Modern high-bypass-ratio turbofan efficient fans that reduce specific

rotor-stator spacing, fans with swept and

designs require low-pressure turbines leaned airfoils for low shock loss and less
fuel consumption by up to

with increased efficiency. Higher work broadband noise, and fans with trailing-
14 percent, with more than 6 dB

turbines, operating at slower rotational edge blowing and suction-side bleed for
speeds, are required by larger fans. of potential noise reduction …
wake control.
Alternatively, geared turbines require
very high specific work designs. Fan aerodynamic performance has been
enhanced by using twisted blading for
NASA programs contributed to first- have to be designed for lower noise. Over higher efficiency and by using fans with
generation three-dimensional aerody the last 40 years, the bypass ratio has tandem staging and splittered rotors for
namic designs for higher efficiency, low- been increased to 9, and it is envisioned higher turning. Fan operability has been
pressure turbines to harness the exit to increase to between 10 and 20 by 2015 improved through the development of
swirl of the high-pressure turbine. These and to 25 by 2025. The technologies shroudless fans with less stall-flutter and
programs also contributed to second- developed under NASA programs provide forced response, advanced casing treat
generation aerodynamic designs that a new generation of quiet, efficient fans ments for improved stall margin, and
addressed multi-blade-row and unsteady that reduce specific fuel consumption by active controls for stall management and
effects. Included in these designs are up to 14 percent, with more than 6 dB stability enhancement.
counterrotating low-pressure turbines of potential noise reduction as demon
with and without first-stage vanes strated by various industry partners in
and closely coupled turbines (without both rig and full-engine tests. Exhaust system technology
a midframe) for substantial weight Modern high-bypass-ratio turbofan
savings. Glenn programs have contributed to engines require a quiet, fuel-efficient
first- and second-generation aerody exhaust of lightweight, high-temperature
NASA supported the development of
uncooled and cooled low-pressure
turbines, turbine tip clearance controls
to reduce fuel burn, turbine flow controls
using suction and blowing, turbine health
monitoring, and turbine seals including
ceramic-coated labyrinth seals, braided
rope seals, brush seals, feather seals, and
finger seals.

Turbine Engine Noise


Fan technology
Modern high-bypass-ratio designs
require a larger, more efficient fan to
deliver higher bypass and thrust-to
weight ratios. The larger fans have to be
lighter weight and more robust, and they
Fan trailing-edge blowing model in Glenn’s 9- by 15-Foot Low-Speed Wind Tunnel.

26 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

lenges through the concept of an ership in applying robust multivariable
intelligent engine. The key enabling tech control technologies to aircraft propul
nologies are active control for increased sion systems.
component efficiency, advanced diag
nostics and prognostics integrated with In the late 1990s, in collaboration with
intelligent engine control to enhance the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
component life and propulsion system and Pratt & Whitney, Glenn tested High
Chevron nozzle.
safety, and distributed control with smart Stability Engine Control on the F–15
sensors and actuators in an adaptive aircraft, demonstrating that inlet distor
fault-tolerant architecture. tion impact on stall margins can be
accommodated through active control.
materials. In exhaust system technology, In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Glenn This technology will enable the safe
Glenn has contributed to the develop developed technologies for advanced operation of aircraft engines with reduced
ment of daisy-lobed exhaust mixers for fault detection and isolation in aircraft stall margins, thus increasing efficiency
reduced noise and fuel burn, and to engines and demonstrated these technol and lowering emissions. Glenn also
mixers with chevrons and tabs for signif ogies on F–100 engine tests. This effort developed the High Reliability Engine
icant jet noise reduction. Exhaust mixers contributed to enhancements in aircraft Control concept, which uses autoassocia
have been developed to significantly engine reliability and safety, since the tive neural networks to create estimates
reduce infrared signature for military technologies form the basis of the fault of engine sensors that can be used
applications. In addition, silicon- diagnostics systems on current commer to reliably control the engine in
carbide-reinforced titanium-aluminide cial engines. case of hardware sensor failures. In
nozzle materials have been developed for engine-control hardware-in-the-loop
high-temperature strength and extreme In the late 1980s and early 1990s, simulations, this technology was demon
oxidation resistance, and gamma Glenn developed a fundamentally new strated to allow engine operation with
titanium-aluminide nozzle materials integrated aircraft/propulsion-control a D10 status (i.e., the engine could be
have been developed for light weight and system design method called Integrated operated safely for 10 days beyond sensor
high temperatures. Methodology for Propulsion and Air failure before sensor replacement needed
frame Control (IMPAC). This method is to be scheduled).
applicable to aircraft that have a high
degree of coupling between the flight Glenn is the recognized international
Propulsion Control and the propulsion system, such as leader in aircraft engine stall control
and Engine Health short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing and and combustion instability control,
With the increased emphasis on aircraft
safety, enhanced performance, and
affordability, and with the need to reduce Glenn is the recognized international leader in aircraft engine stall

the environmental impact of aircraft, control and combustion instability control, … critical technologies to

there are many new challenges being enable low-emission … high-efficiency propulsion systems.

faced by the designers of aircraft propul

sion systems.

Glenn, in collaboration with industry,

academia, and other Government hypersonic aircraft. IMPAC was success which are both critical technologies
agencies, has been at the forefront of fully demonstrated on an advanced to enable low-emission operation of
developing advanced controls and health shor t-takeoff-a nd-ver tical-landing high-efficiency propulsion systems. In
management technologies for aircraft configuration in fixed-base piloted 2001, in collaboration with GE Aircraft
engines that will help meet these chal simulations, establishing Glenn’s lead Engines, our scientists and engineers

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 27

Liquid-fueled combustor rig used for successful
demonstration of combustion instability suppres
sion control in an enginelike environment

coupled with crew error, have resulted in

aircraft accidents and incidents.

Glenn researchers fabricate microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in this clean room. The air quality, In addition to the collaborative efforts
humidity, and temperature are controlled to prevent contamination of sensitive material like MEMS. with industry, we have developed an
advanced approach to fault detection and
isolation that will reliably distinguish
demonstrated successful active stall strations, an intelligent life-extending between sensor failures and component
control on an advanced multistage, control that optimizes the engine accel faults even as engine performance
highly loaded compressor design using eration schedule was shown to result degrades because of aging. Current
air injection in the compressor inlet in 25-percent less thermomechanical research includes adaptive propulsion
based on online stall precursor identi- fatigue damage to life-critical parts for control for reducing pilot workload by
fication from pressure measurements typical engine operation. This tech accommodating the effects of throttle-
at the compressor exit. This technology nology led to efforts within the aircraft to-thrust response changes due to engine
will enable efficient operation of highly engine industry to mature the life- performance degradation with usage, as
loaded turbomachinery without compro- extending control technology. well as for enhancing aviation security
mising safety. In addition, combustion by safely accommodating the effects of
instability modeling and control tech- Under the NASA Aviation Safety and damage to an aircraft or engine from a
nologies were developed, and the Security Program, our scientists and hit by a shoulder-fired missile.
feasibility of suppressing thermoacoustic engineers are working in close collabo
instabilities in lean-burning combus- ration with industry partners to develop Underpinning the controls and health
tors was demonstrated. This was the first and apply model-based controls and management activities just described is
such demonstration on a combustion rig diagnostics technology to prevent or the development of diagnostic systems.
that exhibited all the characteristics of mitigate safety-significant propulsion Glenn developed a posttest diagnos
an engine combustor. Controlling such system malfunctions—such as engine tic system for the Space Shuttle Main
instabilities will enable low-emission surge and stall, asymmetric thrust, and Engine that reduced test data analysis
combustors to operate safely over the in-flight engine shutdowns—that, when time from 1 week to 2 days. In addition,
whole flight envelope.

Glenn also pioneered the concept of

life-extending control, which allows Glenn … pioneered the concept of life-extending control, which
designers to enhance the on-wing life allows designers to enhance the on-wing life of aircraft engines while
of aircraft engines while achieving
achieving the performance required by Federal Aviation
the performance required by Federal
Aviation Administration regulations. In Administration regulations.
control hardware in-the-loop demon-

28 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

a Web-based system was developed for number of sensors to detect and isolate flight tested it on the space shuttles,
the X–33, and its benefits in detecting component and system faults. Hyper-X, and Helios vehicles.
and diagnosing engine anomalies from
sensor data were demonstrated in testing Finally, silicon-carbide-based electronic
on the Rocketdyne X–33 Aerospike components have been developed
engine. [For] propulsion systems control and demonstrated that can withstand
temperatures up to 600 °C. These elec
and health management … Glenn
Our scientists and engineers demon tronics have inherent high-radiation
designed and developed a MEMS-
strated fault diagnostics in real time tolerance and operate at temperatures
on flightlike hardware under the multi based hydrogen-leak detection 2 times higher than for traditional
center Propulsion Integrated Vehicle sensor and flight tested it on the silicon electronic devices and with effi
Health Management Technology Exper space shuttles, Hyper-X, and ciencies up to 10 times higher than
iment (PITEX) and used data from Helios vehicles. for traditional silicon power-switching
sources such as sensors and onboard devices.
component models for data fusion in
support of propulsion health monitor
ing. Optimal sensor selection technology The development of sensors and high-
for the RS–83 and RS–84 rocket engine temperature electronics is also a key to Instrumentation Systems
propulsion systems was developed under propulsion systems control and health
the Next Generation Launch Technology management. For this work, Glenn Measurement systems and research
Program. This technology allows the designed and developed a MEMS-based diagnostic methods are key compo
choice of the right type and minimal hydrogen-leak detection sensor and nents of experimental aerodynamics
research and nondestructive evalua
tion methods. For more than 30 years,
Glenn has developed and demonstrated
optical flow and temperature measure
ment techniques—including laser
velocimetry, planar particle imaging
velocimetry, and Rayleigh scatter
ing—for collecting flow information
in the high-temperature environment
of aircraft engine turbomachinery and
combustion components and turbulent
exhaust jets.

We also advanced the state-of-the-art

in pressure-sensitive paint techniques.
Our scientists and engineers pioneered
the development and application of
pressure-sensitive paint technology to
collect pressure distribution data on
ice formation on aerofoils in our Icing
Research Tunnel, significantly reducing
the amount of time needed to determine
the effect of ice formation on flow over
wings. We also developed nondestructive
Particle image velocimetry uses light reflected from seed particles in the flow to measure velocities of the air evaluation methods and physics-based
exhausting through nozzles. models for structural inspection, health

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 29

monitoring, and life estimation of
aircraft engine components. These tech
niques, which include acoustic emission,
eddy-current, piezopatch, and ultrasonic
guided techniques, can also be used for
the health monitoring and life estima
tion of nuclear pressure vessels.

Glenn provides electrical and elec
tronic development engineering support
to space and aeronautics projects
and research activities in the areas of
avionics systems; hybrid power systems;
radiofrequency/communications sys
NASA Learjet deicing.
tems; electrical power system distribu
tion and control; and electromagnetic
interference/electromagnetic compati
bility design, analysis, consultation, and
failure resolution. research to identify and create system- powered commercial aircraft, helicop
level products for NASA aeronautics and ters, and military planes. Ice-formation
space missions. Analytical capabilities studies have been conducted utilizing
include orbital coverage analysis, link our Icing Research Tunnel and our
Aircraft Communications performance analysis, network analysis, LEWICE computer program, which
interference analysis, and technol models ice accretion on aircraft under
We provide communications system ogy assessment. Major research areas various meteorological conditions.
performance analysis, simulation, and include laboratory system integration,
system-level experiments, and perfor Our Icing Research Tunnel, the largest
mance measurement. U.S. wind tunnel that can duplicate
aircraft icing conditions, and icing
research flights conducted by our
research aircraft have also been used
Aircraft Icing Research to develop aircraft deicing mechanisms,
pilot advisory manuals, and video and
NACA and NASA have been involved in Web-based training programs to mitigate
icing research since the 1930s, first at aircraft crashes due to ice buildup on
the NASA Langley Research Center and aircraft surfaces.
then at Glenn (1940s). In support of
icing research, Glenn developed ground
deicing techniques for large transports
and investigated the flight icing diffi Modeling and Simulation
culties of smaller airplanes, which
Pilot performing an approach to landing using the
was driven by the boom in commuter NASA has kept abreast of the computer
Ice Contamination Effects Flight Training Device, aviation. We also developed ways to revolution by investing in mainframe
with an instructor observing pilot reactions. prevent ice formation on turbine- computers (Glenn’s Research Analysis

30 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

• NPSS, Numerical Propulsion System
Simulation—This software allows
multifidelity analysis in designing
aircraft engines, offering key
technological advances to increasing
the competitiveness of the U.S. aero
space industry. GE Aircraft Engines
estimates a 55-percent reduction in
engine analysis time using this new
Glenn’s Graphics and Visualization Laboratory. Aerodynamic pressure contours from an APNASA
software. NPSS is an emerging U.S.
simulation of a compressor for the GE90 turbofan
standard for aerospace simulations engine that powers the Boeing 777 airplane.
and is built and maintained with the
Center), supercomputers (Glenn’s Cray full interaction of every major aircraft
1S and NASA Ames Research Center’s engine manufacturer in the United
National Aerodynamic Simulator), dis States. nonaerospace engineers and designers
tributed computing networks, parallel with a detailed understanding of
computers (e.g., Glenn’s IBM SP2–1), • APNASA,Average-PassageTurboma complex combusting flow fields. It
and parallel computing clusters (e.g., chineryAerodynamicsPrediction— is often used to complement, and
the Silicon Graphics Origin) to enable This code simulates the time-averaged sometimes substitute for, the rig test.
the analysis of highly complex system three-dimensional flow field within This leads to reduced costs, deepened
insight, and improved foresight. NCC
features high-fidelity representation of
complex geometry, advanced models
… GE Aircraft Engines estimates a 55-percent reduction in engine
for liquid and gaseous turbulent
analysis time using … [Glenn’s NPSS] software.
combustion, and massively parallel
computing. Scientists and engineers
at Glenn have been using NCC to
provide analysis and design support
designs and the performance of entire a typical passage of a blade row for various aerospace propulsion
aircraft engine flow paths. embedded within a multistage technology projects such as fuel
compressor or turbine. The flow field injectors for emissions reduction,
In support of modeling and simulation, within each blade row is calculated revolutionary turbine accelerators,
Glenn developed computer programs to using information from the neighbor rocket-based combined-cycle engines,
provide computer-aided design capabil ing blade rows to properly account for and advanced rocket combustor
ity to the process of aircraft and rocket the fact that each blade row within
engine design. In some cases the actual a multistage component does not
programs have been used by industry, operate in isolation. APNASA has
and in other cases the methodologies been used in support of numerous
have been incorporated by industry aerodynamic designs of axial flow
into proprietary design methods. Our turbomachinery. It can predict the
modeling and simulation advancements aerodynamic performance at design
are used within the design systems of all as well as at off-design conditions.
jet aircraft engine manufacturers in the The current version of APNASA runs
United States. These tools reduce design on clusters of work stations using a
time by 50 percent, guarantee that Unix operating system.
engine designs meet performance goals,
and assess the structural safety of engine • NCC, National Combustion Code—
components. This code provides aerospace and Detailed Glenn-HT grid for conjugate film cooling.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 31

concepts. An increasingly popular The program calculates aeroelastic

use of NCC is for the prediction and vibration characteristics (flutter and

analysis of unsteady reacting flows in forced response) by modeling the

various combustion devices. unsteady flow through turboma

chinery blade passages with rotating

• Glenn-HT, turbine heat transfer and vibrating blades and calculating

prediction—This is a computational the energy exchange that occurs

fluid dynamics (CFD) program for between the air inside the engine

the analysis of three-dimensional and its blade structure. Reynolds-

flow and convective heat transfer in averaged Navier-Stokes equations

a gas turbine. The code is unique are solved numerically to obtain

in its ability to give highly detailed extremely accurate unsteady flow

representations of flow fields very field descriptions through realistic,

close to solid surfaces. This ability physics-based modeling. TURBO–AE

is necessary for obtaining accurate provides a high-fidelity modeling of

Hip joint modeled with CARES for a biomedical
representations of fluid heat transfer subsonic, transonic, and supersonic

and viscous shear stresses. Another flow regimes with attached and/or

unique feature of this code is the use of separated flow fields for aeroelastic

a multiblock grid system that includes applications.

high-quality grid structures very close predict the durability and lifetime
to walls, eliminating the need for wall The TURBO–AE software has been of brittle materials (including
functions for calculating heat transfer. released and distributed to U.S. aircraft monolithic structural ceramics,
A conventional aspect of the code is engine manufacturers, Government glasses, intermetallics, and ceramic
the inclusion of a two-equation k-ω organizations, and academia. These matrix composites) for automotive,
mathematical model of turbulence agencies consider TURBO–AE to aerospace, medical, power generation,
(where k denotes the turbulent kinetic be a world-class turbomachinery and nuclear applications. Three
energy and ω denotes the fractional aeroelastic simulation tool. Sig- programs compose the CARES series
rate of dissipation of k). nificant cost and time savings are of computer software:
being realized by using the code in the
This code has been used extensively design cycle of new turbomachines.
to calculate cooling-passage flow and These cost savings come from avoiding
hot-gas-path flow, including detailed program delays by identifying the CARES ... design software
calculations of film cooling and of aeroelastic problems early during the tools … systematically optimize
complex tip-clearance-gap flow and design phase and also from helping the design of brittle material
heat transfer. The code has been to reduce and eliminate in-service components using probabilistic
validated for a number of turbine problems encountered by the engines.
analysis. CARES is used by over
configurations. Although developed
400 academic, Government, and
and used primarily as a research tool, • CARES, Ceramics Analysis
the code should also be useful for and Reliability Evaluation of industrial organizations.
detailed design analysis. Structures—This general-purpose
series of integrated design software
• TURBO–AE, Turbomachinery Aero- tools provides an innovative, cost-
elastic Analysis—This code predicts effective approach to systematically • CARES/Life was developed to
aeroelastic and unsteady aerody- optimize the design of brittle mate- predict the reliability and life of
namic problems that can cause rial components using probabilistic structures made from advanced
turbomachinery blades in commer- analysis techniques. CARES is used ceramics and other brittle
cial and military jet aircraft engines by over 400 academic, Government, materials such as glass, graphite,
to fail because of structural fatigue. and industrial organizations to and intermetallics.

32 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

• CARES/Creep, an integrated
design program, is used to
predict the lifetime of structural
ceramic components subjected to
multiaxial creep loads.

• C/CARES (Composite CARES) was

developed to address aerospace
design issues relating to ceramic
matrix composites. The goal is
to predict the time-independent
reliability of a laminated struc
tural component subjected to
multiaxial load conditions.

• GENOA, a failure analysis software

SmaggIce project team.
program—GENOA simulates and
predicts aging and failure in struc
tural materials, including monolithic
or laminated metallic, ceramic, assessing the behavior of aircraft in flight or in a wind tunnel. The
or polymeric material in two- or systems in an icing environment. ice-shape predictions have been
three-dimensional structures used These tools consist of computational validated against a wide variety of
in airplanes, cars, engines, and and experimental simulation methods experimental conditions.
bridges. GENOA’s progressive failure that are validated, robust, and well
analysis can predict the crack documented. In addition, these tools • LEWICE3D, LEWICE Three-
initiation, growth, and final failure of are supported through the creation Dimensional, is a computational
monolithic and composite materials. of extensive databases used for tool developed by Glenn’s Icing
On the basis of material-property validation, correlation, and similitude. Technology Branch to determine
data, finite-element mathematical The primary tools developed and the icing characteristics of full
models, and service conditions, supported by the branch are LEWICE, three-dimensional aircraft. The
GENOA–PFA simulates the initiation LEWICE3D, and SmaggIce. tool can be used as an aid in
and progression of damage, ultimately the design, development, and
leading to global structural failures • LEWICE, Lewis Ice Accretion certification of aircraft ice-
in composite-material structures. The Program, is a software program protection systems. It can predict
composite materials include complex used by literally hundreds of users water loading and single-time
architectures in which fibers are in the aeronautics community for step ice shapes for a variety of
placed in two- or three-dimensional predicting ice shapes, collection aircraft surfaces including wings,
weaves or braids. efficiencies, and anti-icing heat inlets, fuselages, and radomes.
requirements. LEWICE performs
• LEWICE, ice accretion prediction its analysis for two-dimensional • SmaggIce, Surface Modeling and
software—Glenn’s Icing Branch has geometries in minutes on a desk Grid Generation for Iced Airfoils,
a comprehensive, multidisciplinary top personal computer, allowing is a software toolkit being devel
research effort aimed at the develop a user to run several parameter oped at Glenn for the aerodynamic
ment of design and analysis tools studies for design purposes. performance prediction of iced
that can aid aircraft manufacturers, The ice-shape predictions have airfoils with grid-based CFD. It
subsystem manufacturers, certifi been used to assess performance includes tools for data probing,
cation authorities, the military, degradation both as input to a boundary smoothing, domain
and other Government agencies in CFD program or experimentally decomposition, and structured

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 33

grid generation and refinement.
SmaggIce provides the underlying
computations to perform these
functions, a graphical user
interface to control and interact
with those functions, and
graphical displays of results.

Alternative Fuel Systems

Hydrogen-powered aircraft
The use of hydrogen as an aircraft
fuel has tremendous environmental
benefits with the elimination of carbon
monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides,
unburnt hydrocarbons, and smoke.
For combustion-based systems, the
remaining emissions are trace amounts
of unburnt hydrogen, water, and
nitrogen oxides (NOx). With electric-
based systems, even the NOx emissions
can be eliminated.

The earliest flight of a hydrogen-based

aircraft was in 1956, when our research
ers flew one gas turbine engine of a
Boeing B–57 on hydrogen. However, the
Closeup of the Helios prototype on a lake bed.
use of hydrogen does not eliminate the
potential for increased NOx production
due to higher flame temperatures. The
problem can be resolved for hydrogen must be made to the aircraft propellant have a significant impact on aircraft
systems by taking advantage of the storage system. Fuel can no longer be configurations. One such technol
wide flammability range of hydrogen stored easily in wing fuel tanks. Over the ogy is propellant condition. In support
and running the combustion systems years, a number of solutions have been of the space program, our scientists
lean. Glenn has been working on and proposed. The key will be to maximize and engineers developed techniques to
recently tested several hydrogen fuel the amount of propellant available in a increase the density of hydrogen with
injector concepts that obtain excellent lightweight, low-boiloff system. In recent subcooling. For example, subcooling
combustion efficiency while significantly years, we have made advancements in propellants to 27 °R (15 K) may increase
reducing NOx. lightweight composite polymer tanks density by 9 percent.
and aerogel insulation that could signif
Glenn’s scientists and engineers started icantly reduce the propellant storage
to take a new look at hydrogen aircraft system weight for cryogenic hydrogen- Propulsion and power
in the mid-1990s under the Zero Carbon based systems. systems
Dioxide Emissions Technology project. The Environmental Research Aircraft
Because of the low density of hydrogen, The processes and operation proce and Sensor Technology (ERAST)
even in the liquid state, design changes dures for cryogenic systems also can program, which ended in 2003, was a

34 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

joint NASA-industry initiative to develop increasing cycle life, and improving low-
and demonstrate aeronautical tech temperature performance. Our scientists
nologies that could lead to a family and engineers are also advancing high-
of uninhabited aerial vehicles, and temperature fuel-cell technologies,
included the Helios prototype aircraft. including high-temperature proton
Glenn supported the ERAST program exchange membrane and solid oxide
by providing technical expertise and fuel cells by developing new materials,
guidance on power and propulsion. material processes, and cell designs to

Glenn was the first NASA center to demonstrate a fully closed loop

charge/discharge cycle of a hydrogen-oxygen regenerative fuel cell

system where the reactants and products are completely contained.

We also initiated an effort to develop a enable high-specific-power (kilowatt per

fuel-cell energy-storage system to help kilogram) fuel-cell stacks. A recently
an industry partner address unresolved demonstrated fabrication process for an
technical challenges that prevented a innovative solid oxide fuel cell design
regenerative fuel cell system from being will likely improve specific power by
used on the Helios prototype aircraft. an order of magnitude greater than for
Specifically, we established a regener designs being pursued for ground-based
ative fuel cell testbed that is currently applications.
being used to address operational issues
with fuel cells and to evaluate perfor Glenn successfully developed and
mance and degradation mechanisms. demonstrated in a dynamometer altitude
chamber a three-stage turbocharged
Glenn was the first NASA center to spark-ignited (SI) engine for atmos
demonstrate a fully closed loop charge/ pheric science uninhabited aerial
discharge cycle of a hydrogen-oxygen vehicles to altitudes exceeding 90,000 ft.
regenerative fuel cell system where the In addition, low-Reynolds-number heat
reactants and products are completely exchangercoresweredesigned,developed,
contained. This accomplishment demon and tested in an altitude chamber flow
strated the potential of the system to be facility. A 40-percent improvement in
recycled indefinitely. The work continues heat transfer (same pressure drop) was
under the Low Emissions Alternative demonstrated over the previous state of
Power project. Glenn also is developing the art.
advanced batteries and fuel cells to meet
the energy production and storage needs
for future High Altitude Long Endurance
(HALE) missions.

We are pursuing advanced rechargeable

lithium batteries for space applications,
with a focus on improving specific energy,

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 35

Space shuttle engine-out test performed in Glenn’s 10- by 10-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel.

Research and
That Advances
Both Aeronautics and Space
Glenn is distinguished by its unique blend of aeronautics and

Glenn is distinguished by its unique blend of aeronautics and space flight expertise and experience.

The benefits of this synergy can be seen most clearly in our research and development activities

in power and energy-conversion systems, diagnostics and sensors, avionics and communications,

materials science, and aerospace structures.

38 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

space flight expertise and experience

Power and Energy- solid oxide fuel cells, by developing Diagnostics and Sensors
Conversion Systems new materials, material processes, and
cell designs to enable high-specific Underpinning the development of
We are leading the effort to evaluate and power (kilowatt per kilogram) fuel-cell controls and health management for
develop fuel-cell and regenerative-fuel stacks. A recently demonstrated fabri aerospace vehicles is the development of
cell energy-storage systems for space cation process for an innovative solid diagnostic systems. Glenn developed a
missions with long eclipse periods oxide fuel cell design will likely improve posttest diagnostic system for the Space
(“nights”), during which solar cells specific power by an order of magnitude Shuttle Main Engine that reduced test
cannot generate electricity, such as Moon greater than for designs being pursued data analysis time from 1 week to 2 days.
and Mars bases. This technology is also for ground-based applications. We also In addition, a Web-based system was
applicable to unmanned aerial vehicles initiated an effort to develop a fuel- developed for the X–33 single-stage-to
and high-altitude balloons. Totally cell energy-storage system to help an orbit vehicle, and its benefits in detecting
passive (nonmoving) components are industry partner address unresolved and diagnosing engine anomalies from
the focus of our efforts to minimize technical challenges. These challenges sensor data were demonstrated in test
the weight, improve the energy density, were preventing a regenerative fuel cell ing on the Rocketdyne X–33 Aerospike
and maximize the reliability of these system from being used on the Helios engine.
systems. prototype aircraft. Specifically, we estab
lished a regenerative fuel cell testbed Our scientists and engineers demon
Our scientists and engineers are that is currently being used to address strated fault diagnostics in real time
advancing high-temperature fuel-cell operational issues with fuel cells and to on flightlike hardware under the multi
technologies, including high-tempera evaluate performance and degradation center Propulsion Integrated Vehicle
ture proton exchange membrane and mechanisms. Health Management Technology Exper
iment (PITEX) and used data from
sources such as sensors and onboard
component models for data fusion in
support of propulsion health monitor
ing. Optimal sensor selection technology
for the RS–83 and RS–84 rocket engine
propulsion systems was developed under
the Next Generation Launch Technology
Program. This technology allows the
choice of the right type and minimal
number of sensors to detect and isolate
component and system faults.

The development of sensors and high-

temperature electronics is also a key to
propulsion systems control and health
management. For this work, Glenn
designed and developed a MEMS-based
hydrogen-leak-detection sensor and
flight tested it on the space shuttles,
Closed-loop regenerative fuel cell test and integrated equipment assembly. Hyper-X, and Helios vehicles.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 39

Avionics and high-temperature alloys without the
Communications Reduced fuel burn minimizes the cost of single crystals, thermal and envi
emission of undesirable gases, ronmental barrier coatings for turbine
Glenn provides electrical and elec reduces the cost of air flight for
blades and combustors, dual-property
tronic development engineering support powder metallurgy disk alloys, ceramic-
the public, and increases usable
to space and aeronautics projects and coated structural materials, and
payload for spacecraft.
research and development activities in the gamma-titanium aluminide compo
areas of avionics systems; hybrid power nents such as nozzles and compressors
systems; radiofrequency/communications and low-pressure turbine airfoils.
systems; electrical power system distribu
tion and control; and electromagnetic to operate at high temperatures for In addition, Glenn has developed
interference/electromagnetic compati improved performance and for reduced materials for power systems such as solid-
bility design, analysis, consultation, and undesirable emissions. Lightweight oxide fuel cells and lithium/polymer
failure resolution. materials and structures help to reduce batteries, which can be used as power
the weight of propulsion and power sources for both aircraft and spacecraft.
We provide communications system systems, which in turn reduces the fuel These systems have high specific power
performance analysis, simulation, and burnt. Reduced fuel burn minimizes the to enable NASA’s exploration missions.
research to identify and create system- emission of undesirable gases, reduces
level products for NASA aeronautics and the cost of air flight for the public, and
space missions. Analytical capabilities increases usable payload for spacecraft. High-temperature propulsion
include orbital coverage analysis, link materials
performance analysis, network analysis, Depending on the operating conditions
interference analysis, and technology at various locations within a propulsion Advanced metallic materials
assessment. Major research and devel system, structural components need to NASA initiated the development of oxide-
opment areas include laboratory system be made of different materials—such dispersion-strengthened alloys in the
integration, system-level experiments, as metals, ceramics, and polymers. Also, mid-1960s. Glenn contributed to the
and performance measurement. depending on the thermal and chemical thermomechanical processing of these
environment, thermal and environ alloys and to elucidating their unique
mental protective coatings need to be failure modes. This research with the
developed and used to ensure that the International Nickel Company and
Materials Science and structure does not degrade in time and several universities yielded iron-base
Aerospace Structures result in system failure. MA956 and nickel-base MA754 alloys—
popular commercial sheet alloys.
Ourmaterialsandstructuresresearchand Utilizing these advanced materials, in
development was initiated in 1943. Since collaboration with individual manu Superalloys for aircraft engine disks
then, Glenn has become a world leader facturers, Glenn has developed a wide and turbine blades represented the next
in materials and processing, protec- range of materials and coatings for chapter in our research and develop
tive coatings, mechanics of materials, aircraft engine components, includ ment accomplishments. The world’s
life prediction, structural mechanics, ing advanced directionally solidified most advanced single-crystal superalloy,
impact mechanics, structural dynamics, single-crystal turbine alloys, advanced EPM102, and a powder metallurgy disk
aeroelasticity, mechanical components,
seals, and most recently, tribology and
surface sciences, with a focus on struc-
tures technologies and structural systems Our recently developed copper alloy GRCop-84 has become the
for aerospace propulsion and power.
most significant advancement in rocket combustion chamber
Advanced materials and structures are materials in over 30 years.
necessary to enable propulsion systems

40 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

alloy, ME3, are being incorporated into
current aircraft propulsion systems.
Our recently developed copper alloy
GRCop-84 has become the most signifi
cant advancement in rocket combustion
chamber materials in over 30 years.
Structural designs to enable lighter
weight, higher performance, and longer
life combustion chambers are now
baselined for combustor and flowpath
applications by all three rocket propul
sion companies: Aerojet, Pratt & Whitney,
and Northrup Grumman Corporation.

In addition, Glenn’s expertise in

high-temperature metallic materials
supported the NASA Engineering and
Safety Center (NESC) in their investi
gation of cracking discovered during
routine inspection of the space shuttle
orbiter reaction control system. Extensive
material testing, evaluation, and stress
and fracture analysis established the
root cause of the cracking and deter
mined that the thrusters with cracks have
sufficient safety margins to fly for the
remainder of the space shuttle program.
This investigation also determined that
processes currently used to rejuvenate the
thrusters need to be modified to prevent A thruster for the space-shuttle-orbiter reaction control system being examined in Glenn’s Optics
exposure to hydrogen that can compro
mise the thruster material properties.

nents, including the F–404 outer bypass In the mid-1980s, Glenn emphasized
Polymers and polymer matrix
duct, the GE90 center vent tube, and the silicon-based ceramic matrix compos
F–100–229 exit flaps. Recent emphasis ites, such as SiC-fiber-reinforced SiC,
In the mid-1970s, Glenn created a has focused on low-cost processing to mitigate the brittle failure mecha
family of high-temperature polymers: research and development of 700 °F nisms of monolithic ceramics. Research
Polymerization of Monomer Reactants capable composites. and development includes the develop
(PMR) polyimides, which combined good ment of fibers, interfaces, and matrices;
processability and high-temperature composite processing; measurement
Structural ceramics
performance. The principle polyimide of thermal-mechanical and physical
in this family, PMR–15, offered long- Since the 1960s, Glenn has investigated properties; subcomponent testing; and
term use (10,000 hr) at 550 °F and silicon-based monolithic ceramics, such property and life modeling. Both ceramic
could be processed into components as silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon nitride matrix composites and advanced mono
having void contents below 3 percent. (Si3N4), for their high-temperature lithic ceramics have been promoted for
PMR–15 is widely used in both military strength, thermal stability, and resistance use in demanding aeronautics and space
and commercial aircraft engine compo- to both thermal shock and oxidation. applications.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 41

wing leading edge, which is coated for alloys and of the fatigue of hot compo
thermal and environmental protection. nents was developed during the 1950s.
Glenn explored fracture mechanics,
crack growth, and thermomechanical
Aerospace propulsion fatigue during the 1960s. During the
structures 1970s, we simulated composites and
utilized computer technology to conduct
Analytical, computational, and extensive computations that were used in
Reinforced carbon/carbon specimen plug-repaired experimental mechanics
using GRABER 5A as the sealant, shown during the 1980s to determine the life of engine
arcjet testing.
Since propulsion system structures are components. We advanced the art during
exposed to very high temperatures and the 1990s to predict the response of high-
have to carry the thermal and mechanical temperature composite structures made
Our expertise in this area also helped us loads associated with engine operation, of polymer, metal, and ceramic matrix
to develop repair methods for the space they need to be extremely durable and composites as well as carbon/carbon
shuttle reinforced-carbon composite reliable. The first step toward incorpo materials. During the 2000s, we created
wing leading edge, including Glenn rating advanced materials into engine complex three-dimensional composite
Refractory Adhesive for Bonding and component applications is to experimen structural models to study the deforma
Exterior Repair (GRABER), which won tally characterize material properties tion and lifing of advanced anisotropic
an R&D 100 award. and capture them in models that math (directional properties are different)
ematically represent their behavior alloys and investigated the effects of
under conditions representative of the extreme environments to a point where
Environmental and thermal
actual conditions experienced within the advanced structural concepts can be
barrier coatings
engine. designed and optimized for a required
In the mid-1970s, Glenn demonstrated response.
a thermal barrier coating to extend Mechanics efforts, work that captures
aircraft engine metallic turbine blade the behavior of engine materials and Glenn’s experimentally validated mod
and vane life. Researchers optimized structures, have been conducted over eling and analysis tools are widely
the composition to produce the industry the past several decades. An understand used by hundreds of aerospace, auto
standard (6- to 8-wt% Y2O3-ZrO2). Early ing of the nonlinear deformation in motive, electronic, energy, biomedical,
efforts identified bond-coat oxidation
and thermal cycling as key failure
elements. Popular pack aluminide
(NiAl) coatings were first modeled in
a thermodynamic and kinetic depo
sition model and shown to degrade
primarily by substrate interdiffusion.
A unique laser thermal shock test was
developed to faithfully reproduce the
high thermal gradient and heat fluxes
in an actual engine. Our scientists and
engineers codeveloped the first genera
tion of environmental barrier coatings
to protect silicon-based ceramics from
water vapor attack. Higher-temperature
capable environmental barrier coatings
are now emerging. This expertise was
also used to assess the aging of the space
shuttle reinforced-carbon composite
Mach 0.3 burner rig evaluating a thermal/environmental barrier coating on a silicon nitride vane.

42 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

metal-matrix-composite flange weight that account for variations in loading
by 25 percent, a capability now used by conditions. The resulting Numerical
many aerospace organizations. Evaluation of Stochastic Structures
Under Stress (NESSUS) computer code,
Our scientists and engineers conducted developed in collaboration with Southwest
ceramic turbine damping analysis Research Institute, was commercialized
that enables blisk designs for high- and has been sold to over 30 aerospace
temperature propulsion system require and automotive companies. This design
ments. In addition, we developed approach will lead to safer, more reliable
probabilistic analysis methods for engines and other structural systems.
predicting the life of brittle materials
and structures that are used widely Our scientists and engineers developed
by industry. At the request of the NASA technologies to balance high-speed
Engineering and Safety Center, Glenn engine rotors and demonstrated these
participated on the team determining on the F–100 engine fan. This method
In-plane biaxial load frame with an ultrahigh
strength fabric specimen mounted for a stretching the root cause of liquid hydrogen flow- is currently used widely in high-speed
test. liner cracking for the Space Shuttle Main machinery. We also developed advanced
Engine. transient engine rotordynamics tech
niques to predict an engine’s response
and power companies. NASA estimates to a blade-loss event. Every engine
Structural mechanics and
that the benefit to these companies over manufacturer has benefited from the
the past 5 years has been greater than proprietary analysis codes resulting from
$50 billion. This area of structures deals with this effort.
the dynamic response and damping
Our scientists and engineers developed of rotating engine components, and During the 2000s, Glenn developed the
and demonstrated lifing and durability aeroelastic behavior that is due to TURBO–AE computer program that
technologies for a ceramic combustion rotating members—such as engine is being used by major aircraft engine
liner for a GE CFM 56 technology dem fan blades interacting with incoming companies (GE Aircraft Engines, Honey-
onstrator engine. We also collaborated air, and compressor and turbine blades well, and Williams International) to
with GE to develop analysis tools to design rotating in hot engine gases. The uncon rapidly and accurately design struc
and demonstrate an advanced, stiffness- trolled dynamic and aeroelastic response turally safe engines for commercial
tailored composite fan blade for the of these components can result in the and military aircraft. Glenn’s struc
GE90 jet engine, resulting in fuel savings catastrophic failure of an aircraft engine tures expertise has also contributed to
greater than 10 percent and emission or rocket turbopump. advances in the engine blade contain
reductions greater than 15 percent. This ment structure that surrounds aircraft
engine powers the Boeing 777 aircraft. During the fuel crisis triggered by the engines. To ensure passenger safety,
Analytical tools and methods also were 1980’s oil embargo, Glenn’s structural this structure must be able to absorb
developed for designing nickel-based engineers contributed to the develop the energy from a ballistic impact if
advanced metallic alloy turbine disks ment of a new fuel-efficient turboprop an engine blade separates from a rotor
for GE engines, including probabilis propulsion system for aircraft. It disk. The challenge is to develop analysis
tic methods to account for material and increased propfan aircraft speed from methods, validate them using relevant
geometric variability. 350 to 550 mph, the speed of commercial experiments, and then use them to
jetliners, and saved about 30 percent in properly design these structures to be
Glenn created a new design for crack- fuel burn. This development resulted in lightweight and to withstand engine
growth mitigation of the Space Shuttle a Collier Trophy in 1987. blade structural failures.
Main Engine alternate turbopump (fuel
pump). We also developed life predic We also formulated probabilistic struc These methods were used to develop an
tion tools that reduced the turbopump tural analysis methods during the 1990s advanced composite containment case

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 43

for engines. This innovation is estimated by nearly 40 times. NASA’s work also health-monitoring system currently
to reduce engine weight by 30 percent. increased seal speed by approximately installed on more than 70 Black Hawk
The technology is being implemented on 50 percent, with a significant reduction helicopters.
the GEnx, the Williams J44–4, and the in gas leakage. In the early 1990s, NASA
Honeywell HTF–7000, HTF–3000, and pioneered the use of brush seals in liquid Glenn led an effort with engine manu
HTF–5000 engines. hydrogen, which are now used in the facturers to develop self-seating turbine
RS–68 engine on the DELTA–4 rocket. blade tip seals, including developing
and testing material combinations for
NASA’s work on gears and mechanical hot erosion and wear. These material
Glenn’s ballistic impact expertise transmission technology began in 1969, combinations were refined by the manu
was also used to prove that and from 1977 to 1984, our research and facturers and are used in proprietary
impact of foam from the space development led to a 50-percent increase engine seals.
in the power-to-weight ratio for heli
shuttle orbiter external tank
copter transmission systems without Structural seals research and devel
caused the Space Shuttle
a reduction in transmission life, reli opment for hypersonic engines, which
Columbia accident. ability, or efficiency. NASA-developed began in the late 1980s, led to innovative
superfinishing technology has extended rope seal designs for reliable solid rocket
gear life by a factor of 4 and is used on motor operations. These designs were
Glenn’s ballistic impact expertise was Sikorsky’s S–92 helicopter. successfully incorporated into and tested
also used to prove that impact of foam on the space shuttle solid rocket motor
from the space shuttle orbiter external Mechanical component health- and were incorporated into the Atlas 5
tank caused the Space Shuttle Columbia monitoring technologies for drive rocket, first launched in 2003. Glenn
accident. Our scientists and engineers systems were developed during the received a National Invention of the
conducted full-scale and laboratory 2000s. Gear-damage-detection meth Year Award for this effort. We have also
tests (at Southwest Research Institute) odologies developed at Glenn are developed innovative rotating bearings
to develop new impact analysis methods being used in the U.S. Army Vibration and seals for rocket engine turbopumps
to complement empirical methods for Management Enhancement Program with longer life and higher reliability.
various debris and space shuttle impact

Mechanisms and mechanical

Propulsion systems and other aircraft
systems rely on drive systems for power
transmission, bearings to support rota
ting components, lubrication systems
to reduce friction between contact
ing surfaces, and seals to contain gases
and fluids. For over 50 years, Glenn has
contributed to technology advances in
these systems.

In 1951, the rolling-element bearing life

in jet engines was approximately 300 hr.
In 1955, Glenn initiated efforts to extend
bearing fatigue life, and by 1985 had
improved rolling-element fatigue life
Testing with space shuttle foam insulation in Glenn’s Ballistic Impact Facility.

44 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

lubricants for space, which have been
studied for more than two decades, were
recently applied to understanding space
shuttle rudder/speed brake and body flap
actuator grease issues for the Return to
Flight program.

Aeronautics and Space

Test Facilities
Glenn is home to 24 major test facilities
and over 100 research and develop
ment laboratories located at our site
near Cleveland, Ohio, and at our Plum
Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Our
ground test facilities include the world’s
Oil-Free rotor simulation rig.
largest thermal vacuum facility, large
aeropropulsion wind tunnels, engine
test cells, flight research aircraft, and
Research on the lubrication and tribol PS200-series high-temperature solid research and development laboratories.
ogy of space mechanisms began in the lubricants during the 1980s. In the 1990s, Our ground test facilities are available
1970s, resulting in the 1999 publica Glenn developed and demonstrated an for use by our NASA research and devel
tion of the NASA Space Mechanisms Oil-Free turbocharger. The spiral orbit opment programs, other Government
Handbook used by over 800 people in the tribometer developed by Glenn during organizations, industry, and academia.
aerospace industry today. The expertise the early 2000s provides rapid compar
in this area was utilized to lead NASA ative lifetime evaluations for both solid Our main campus in Cleveland includes
in space mechanisms and mechanical and liquid lubricants and is being 150 buildings on 350 acres, which support
components, providing failure analysis considered by ASTM International for a component testing in power, propulsion,
and best service practices for mechanical new standards publication. communications, fluids and combus
flight control actuators under the space tion, materials, structures, mechanical
shuttle Return to Flight program. Glenn has continued to contribute to components, and instrumentation and
the area of tribology and surface science controls. Very large and hazardous aero
by successfully demonstrating a foil-air space tests are run at our 6400-acre
Tribology and surface science hot bearing designed for the core rotor Plum Brook Station complex.
Engine wear research began with studies shaft of an Oil-Free turbine engine.
of aircraft reciprocating engine wear Current work to revolutionize small avi Detailed descriptions and capabili
during the 1940s and turbine engine ation engines with Oil-Free designs is ties of Glenn’s facilities are provided in
lubrication and wear, bearings, and seals being enabled by Glenn-developed high- the brochure Glenn Research Center
during the 1950s. With the formation of temperature solid lubricants. Test Facilities (B–1128), available
NASA in 1958, some of the fundamen from Glenn’s Facility Management and
tal knowledge gained earlier helped Fundamental work on Oil-Free turbine Planning Office and online (http://
guide the development of lubricants for design is also being applied in space This Web site
space applications. Glenn investigated power conversion. We recently demon also gives information about how to do
the fundamentals of higher temperature strated Oil-Free Brayton-cycle power work in our facilities.
solid and liquid lubricants during the conversion for NASA’s Space Exploration
1970s and created the award-winning program. In addition, synthetic liquid

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 45

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) partner, Technology Management, Inc.
and Partnerships
We have transferred knowledge and technologies to many

We have transferred knowledge and technologies to many areas outside of NASA and have a long

history of successful collaborations and repeat partners and customers. Glenn enters into over 100

Space Act Agreements with many different Government, university, and corporate partners each

year. A few examples of our role in advancing the state of the art in aerospace technology follow:

48 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

areas outside of NASA

• The Energy Efficient Engine Project

(1976 to 1984) advanced high-
bypass-ratio fan technology. This
accomplishment included mixers
for core flow and fan bypass flows.
These technologies paved the way for
the GE90 and PW4084 high-bypass
engines (which entered service in
1993). These engines power the
Boeing 777 commercial aircraft and
are currently the largest, most powerful
commercial aircraft engines. Painting “Madonna of the Chair” damaged in a 1989 fire at St. Alban’s Church. Left: Before restoration with
atomic oxygen. Right: After restoration with atomic oxygen.

• Under the Advanced Subsonic

Technology Program, NASA developed
the chevron nozzle technology for
noise reduction, which can attenuate process not only removed the soot, but A few of our small business success
jet noise by up to 4 dB. This technology it cleaned the paintings so effectively stories follow:
is in production on the GE CF34 engine that colors that had been faded by time
and is flying on the Bombardier were brighter, and more detail could be • ViGYAN Inc., Hampton, Virginia,
CRJ–700 and CRJ–900 aircraft. seen than before the fire. The success developed the Pilot Weather Advisory
encouraged the art community to risk system, which is currently under
• NASA research into the damage to more important works of art to test the Federal Aviation Administration cer
satellites caused by atomic oxygen technique further. tification. The system uses state-
in low Earth orbit led to a new way of-the-art satellite technology to
to restore damaged artwork. Glenn’s substantially increase the amount
Electro-Physics Branch facilities of weather information available to
produce atomic oxygen for ground- Small Business Innovation pilots in flight. The Pilot Weather
based simulation of on-orbit damage. Research and Small
In 1996, Glenn researchers Bruce Banks Business Technology
and Sharon Miller were contacted Transfer Programs
by conservators from the Cleveland
Museum of Art about using the new Glenn is the Agency leader in awarding
artwork restoration techniques that Small Business Innovation Research
the Glenn researchers had developed and achieving success stories (140) from
using atomic oxygen. The first tests these programs. The Small Business
were done on two religious paintings Innovation Research and Small Business
damaged by an arson fire at St. Alban’s Technology Transfer Programs provide
Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. NASA with high-quality research and
Both paintings were found to be development from small businesses
R&D 100 Award Winner—ViGYAN Pilot Weather
unsalvageable by conventional art and enable small businesses to grow by Advisor/WSI, Inc. (Weather Services International)
restoration wet chemistry techniques. moving ideas from the drawing board to Inflight, a Small Business Innovation Research
Glenn’s atomic oxygen cleaning the marketplace. (SBIR) project.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 49

Advisor covers the entire continental and is applied via plasma-spraying Read more success stories at http://
United States with around-the-clock methods. They used this technology
weather updates every 5 min. to develop PM304, a form of PS304 asp.
that can be pressed, shaped, and heat
• Cox & Company, New York, New treated to create solid parts. ADMA
York, developed the first new aircraft now manufactures both materials
ice-protection system in 40 years. It and has produced PM304 bushings Strategies and
was certified by the Federal Aviation that are being used in Lincoln Electric Partnerships
Administration in 2001 for use furnaces that operate at temperatures Glenn created innovative procurement
on Raytheon Aircraft Company’s up to 1000 °F. Previously, bushings mechanisms that have been modeled
Premier I business jets and the Hawker would crack when used in a furnace, throughout NASA, pioneering the first
Horizon business jet. and oils and greases could not be commercial launch services procure
used as lubricants because they would ment for the U.S. Government and
• Eveready has partnered with Glenn burn up. The PM304 bushings will establishing a 100-percent mission
to prototype new lithium battery save Lincoln Electric over $1 million success record with less than 3-percent
designs for space missions that have over the next 5 years and over cost growth. We developed innovative
extremely high power requirements, $225,000 for each subsequent year. procurement mechanisms for technology
including planetary rovers, reusable Glenn is evaluating the bushings development, such as the Revolutionary
launch vehicles, and low-Earth for variable stator vanes. The results Aerospace Engine Research Contract,
orbit spacecraft, accelerating NASA’s generated as Lincoln Electric uses which enabled multiple contracts for
development of a new lithium battery the PM304 bushings are providing multiple technologies across space and
for space applications. Glenn developed life and design data to help NASA’s aeronautics programs.
a dual-phase polymer material for the aerospace customers more quickly
electrolyte in the batteries. A “rod” and economically incorporate PM304 We built many successful international
phase gives the polymer mechanical into their aerospace applications. partnerships based on our technical
stability, and a “coil” phase gives
the polymer good conductivity at low
temperatures. Eveready’s considerable
battery design and manufacturing
experience is speeding up the design
process. So far, the partnership has
given us direction for improving the
rod-coil electrolyte material, especially
in regards to the thickness and
consistency of the electrolyte material,
which significantly affect lithium
battery performance. These advances
will lead to the more widespread use of
lithium batteries in electronic products
that have power requirements beyond
what alkaline batteries can meet,
such as digital cameras and portable
compact disc players.

• ADMA, Twinsburg, Ohio, licensed

NASA’s patent for PS304, a self-
lubricating, high-temperature metal
bearing material that starts as a powder
NASA’s Mod-5B wind turbine in Hawaii generated enough power for 2500 homes.

50 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

and programmatic expertise. Critical In 1997, Glenn established the first structural analysis and modeling. We
solutions have been provided even science institute for microgravity science, welcome new business partners.
in crises. For example, Glenn was a the National Center for Microgravity
significant member of the Mir oxygen Research on Fluids and Combustion
generator failure investigation. Our (now the National Center for Space
strategy provided critical power that Exploration Research, NCSER), through
enabled continued operation of Mir after a cooperative agreement with Universities
the near-disastrous attempt at docking Space Research Association and Case
Progress with Mir in 1997. Glenn repre- Western Reserve University. In 2001, we

Glenn played a key role in making wind energy the most successful

renewable energy in the world today.

sented NASA during power quality testing established the John Glenn Biomedical
and analysis of the Japanese Experiments Engineering Consortium through a
Module flight model at Tsukuba Space Space Act Agreement with the Cleveland
Center in Japan. We developed and built Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals
the Mir Cooperative Solar Array in just of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve
18 months and $1 million under budget. University, and the National Center for
In addition, joint microgravity experi Microgravity Research.
ments with the European Space Agency,
National Space Development Agency (of Glenn established Interagency Agree
Japan), Canadian Space Agency, French ments with National Institutes of Health/
space agency (CNES), and Russia Space National Eye Institute in 2001 and with
Agency were successfully flown on the Food and Drug Administration in
Spacelab, Mir, and the ISS. 2003 for laser-light-scattering ocular
probe diagnostics and applications.
Glenn played a key role in making wind We also established an interagency
energy the most successful renewable agreement with the Army Medical
energy in the world today. From 1974 Research Institute for collaborative study
to 1988, we led the U.S. Wind Energy on probabilistic and micromechanics
Program for large wind horizontal-
axis turbines (the predominant systems
used today). This was an extraordinarily
efficient and successful Government
research and development activity. A
total of 13 experimental wind turbines,
with five major turbine designs, were
put into operation. This included the
Mod-5B, installed in Hawaii, which
produced 3.2 MW—enough power for
2500 homes—and had a diameter Head-mounted LDF instrument on a volunteer
of 100 m, making it the largest wind subject monitors ocular blood flow in 0g onboard
turbine in the world. the KC–135 aircraft.

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 51

The Edison Award recognizes an organization’s global leadership in fostering or implementing
innovation and in positively utilizing technology to impact its operation and the community.
and Awards

Glenn’s world-class technologists are consistently recognized

Glenn’s world-class technologists are consistently recognized for their contributions to scientific

advancements in aerospace. Glenn was the first NASA center to receive an R&D 100 Award from

R&D Magazine (each year, the magazine selects the 100 most technologically significant new

products from among the entries) and has won 98 of the 150 awards granted to NASA since 1966,

more than all the other NASA centers combined. Of over 600 national laboratories, Glenn places

among the top 10 for these awards.

Over 2000 invention disclosures have been reported by Glenn since 1991. Over 125 patents are

currently available for licensing in power, communications, electric propulsion (dished ion grids,

ring-cusp engine, and xenon hollow cathodes), combustion, instrumentation, materials, seals,

silicon carbide growth, and coatings.

54 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

for their contributions to scientific advancements

Over the last 5 years, Glenn has contrib

uted 166 articles for the NASA Tech
Briefs magazine. We won an average
of nine awards per year from the NASA
Inventions and Contributions Board and
have received 4 of 21 NASA Software of
the Year Awards.

Selected R&D 100 Awards

• Innovations in metal alloys
• Ductile Precipitate Strengthened
Tungsten Alloy (1967)
• Ferromagnetic Superalloy (1968)
• Refractory Fiber Superalloy (1968)
• High Purity Metal Powders (1971)
• Low Temperature Alloys (1978)
• Superalloy Strength-Enhanced
R&D 100 winners Drs. James Kinder and Mary Ann Meador pictured with their award-winning rod-coil block
Fabrication Process (1978)
copolymers in their laboratory at Glenn.
• CARES/Life Integrated Design

Software (1995)

• GENOA–PFA Progressive Failure • Ceramic matrix composite materi • Corrosion-Resistant Thermal

Analysis Software (2000) als development Barrier Coatings (1979)

• Float Zone Fiber Drawing Process • High Strength Nickel-Based Alloy

(1971) (WAZ-26) for 2200 °F (1978)
• Melt Modulated Fiber Growth
• Oxide-Dispersed Ni-based

System (1993)
Superalloys, which can reach

• Affordable Fiber Reinforced

2010 °F (1980)

Ceramic Composites (1995)

• Thermal Barrier Coating Systems
• Convoluted Thermocouples
for Ceramic Temperature

Measurement (1998)
• Polymers
• Affordable Robust Ceramic Joining • Polyimide Rod-Coil Block
(1999) Copolymers as Membrane Materials
• Glenn Refractory Adhesive for for Ion Construction (2005)
Bonding and Repair (GRABER)
(2005) • Seals, bearings, and lubricants
• Hexagonal Bearings and Stable HC
R&D 100 winners Tarah Shpargel (left) and
• Alloys and coatings Bearing Materials (1966)
Dr. Mrityunjay Singh (right) working with GRABER • Ceramic Thermal Barrier Coatings • Gas Lubricated Self-Acting Seals
in their Glenn laboratory. (1976) (1973)

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 55

• Oxidation Resistant Self-
• GENOA, a failure analysis software
Lubricating Bearing Materials
program (1999)
• National Propulsion System
• NASA Self-Lubricating Composite Simulation, NPSS (2001)
Coating (1985) • Microgravity Analysis Software
• High Temperature Flexible Ceramic System, MASS (runner-up in 2002)
Wafer Seal (1990) • System Power Analysis for Capability
Evaluation, SPACE (runner-up in
• Sensors and analysis systems 2003)
• Analysis of Rotordynamic Systems
and Photo Optical Blade Vibration
Data Acquisition Systems (1984)
Collier Trophy Awards
• Blade Tip Clearance Rig, for an
optical-fiber current sensor (1991) These awards are given for the greatest
Glenn’s 1987 Collier trophy.
• Multi-Parameter, Micro-Sensor- U.S. achievement in aeronautics or astro
Based Low False Alarm Fire nautics, with respect to improving the
Detection System (MMFDS) (2005) performance, efficiency, and safety of air
or space vehicles, the value of which has
• Propulsion systems been thoroughly demonstrated by actual temperature environments in current
• Electron Bombardment Ion
use during the preceding year. and future solid rocket motors. It
Thrusters (1970)
• Development and practical application solves the vexing problem of blocking
• Ring Cusp Ion Thruster (2001) of a thermal ice-prevention system for 5500 °F rocket combustion gases
aircraft (1946) from reaching temperature-sensitive
• Software • Development of a new fuel-efficient O-rings while still allowing 900-psi
• NESSUS Version 8 Probabilistic
turboprop propulsion system (1987) gases to position the O-rings in their
Engineering Analysis Software
grooves for proper sealing.

NASA Government
Invention of the Year Government Computer
Awards News Awards
• High Temperature, Flexible, Ceramic • ACTS High Rate Program (1996)
Fiber Seal (1996)—can bend around • Space Internet (1999)
sharp radii, conforming to and
sealing complex components
• Hollow Cathode Assembly for the
Other Awards
International Space Station Plasma
Contactor and Hollow Cathode • NASA’s first Emmy from the National
TEMPEST—1998 NASA Software of the Year. Technology (2001)—was used to rid Academy of Television Arts and
the space station of ion buildup on its Sciences for technology to enable
surface, preventing dangerous electric direct-to-home color broadcast
NASA Software of the Year arcs during space walks and shuttle of television images with the
Awards dockings Communications Technology Satellite
• Rocket Motor Joint Construction (1988)
• Ceramics Analysis and Reliability Including Thermal Barrier (for the • Federal Research Laboratories
Evaluation, CARES (1994) space shuttle) (2004)—This unique Consortium Award for technology
• TEMPEST Embedded Web Technology braided carbon-fiber thermal barrier transfer in high-temperature
(1998) was designed to withstand extreme superconductors (1992)

56 NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

Glenn’s Emmy award.

• Space Technology Hall of Fame priorities for safe and reliable

inductee for the Advanced aeronautics, aerospace, and space
Communications Technology applications; and for leading the way
Satellite, ACTS (1995) in making Ohio a high-technology
• Mobile and Wireless Magazine leader in the 21st century (2001).
Award for Business Applications for
Mobile and Wireless Computing in
Government based on Mobile Router
• Thomas Edison Award for Glenn’s
partnerships with Government,
industry, and academia to increase
national wealth, safety, and security;
for the development of critical
technologies that address national

NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 57


Jul 06