Energy & Propulsion

Energy and Propulsion concentrates on understanding and exploiting the applications of energy generation, storage, conversion, and management. The goal of this research is to provide energy and power applications to enhance Army operational effectiveness, improve efficiency, and accelerate development of critical military platform systems ensuring Army Power Projection superiority. The opportunities outlined in Energy and Propulsion are linked to the Tactical Unit Energy Independence Essential Research Program (ERP).

Energy for Maneuver (ALC)

Research focuses on enabling technologies and materials that enhance the performance of future Army systems through the efficient utilization and distribution of electrical power across the spectrum of Army vehicles and tactical energy networks. Collaborations are being sought in four areas.

(1) Power Electronics for Tactical Energy Networks and Mobile Platforms Enabling technologies and materials are critical to enhance the performance of future Army systems through the efficient utilization and distribution of electrical power across the spectrum of Army vehicles and tactical energy networks.  Collaborations are sought for (a) power system controls and algorithm development; (b) mid- to large AC grid test platforms with multiple generators/sources; (c) renewable energy sources for dynamic environments; (d) nanocystalline, soft magnetic ribbon production; (e) high-voltage, hybrid energy storage technologies for compact systems; and (f) wide-band gap device/module fabrication (e.g., SiC, GaN, AIN).

(2) 3kW to 300kW AC/DC Microgrids Hardware/Software/Hardware-Software Control:  Collaborators are sought to advance technologies for efficient utilization of all available energy and to provide intelligent distribution of power.  Technologies include power distribution hardware which is simple to use; power line sensing that can learn and apply load and source signatures; prognostics and diagnostics for loads and sources; lightweight and compact multi-function power conversion and distribution systems; and compact energy dense energy storage systems.  Collaborators are also sought to pursue technology advancements for distributed control of power distribution systems and the estimation and prediction of solar flux on PV arrays. Additional technologies also encompass cognitive systems for improved and automated data-to-decision; utilization of learned behaviors from previous operations; software that can rapidly adapt to grid operation while learning system behavior; use of tangible and intangible energy costs in the prioritization of demands; trainable systems and the utilization of learned behaviors from previous operations.

(3) Soldier and Small System Energy:  Intelligent power systems are required to enable extended duration, expeditionary-type missions with minimal physical burden to Soldiers and enable longer duration autonomous systems with reduced need for resupply.  ARL seeks collaborative partners in these. areas:  (a) energy harvesting devices for characterization and modeling in Army-relevant scenarios; (b) devices and topologies that exploit multi-modal energy transduction for more power dense and predictable generation; (c) thermal to electric materials and devices development; (d) fuel combustion catalyst development; (e) multi-fuel or JP-8 fueled meso- and micro-combustion modeling and devices to be integrated
with thermal to electric devices; (f) standoff and wireless power transfer and rapid recharge concepts and (g) energy conversion and harvesting, component integration and systems modeling.

(4) Power Sources for Autonomous Platforms:  Power/energy systems with catalytic biomass conversion for chemical storage generation that would enable commercial fuel cell technology to power robotic and vehicular platforms with superior endurance to current power systems.  ARL seeks collaborative partners in these areas:  (a) design, modeling and fabrication and system integration; (b) process optimization; and (c) additive manufacturing of small biomass conversion reactors (Principal Investigators: Ivan Lee, Dat Tran)."

Principal Investigators:

Morris Berman, morris.s.berman.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-4188 [Areas  1, 4]
Don Porschet, donald.h.porschet.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-5528 [Area 1, 2]
Bruce Geil, bruce.r.geil.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-3190 [Area 1, 2]
C. Mike Waits, Ph.D., christopher.m.waits.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-0057 [Area 3]
Patrick Taylor, Ph.D., patrick.j.taylor36.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-1475 [Area 3]
Ivan Lee, Ph.D., ivan.c.lee2.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-0292 [Areas 3, 4]
Dat Tran, Ph.D., dat.t.tran4.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-0293 [Areas 3, 4]

Fuel Processing Power Sources (ALC)

Power/energy conversion systems with fuel processing for hydrogen generation would enable commercial fuel cell technology to power robotic and vehicular platforms with superior endurance to current power systems. ARL seeks collaborative partners in (a) design, modeling and fabrication and system integration; (b) computational calculations of desulfurization chemistry; (c) modeling of surface chemistry on palladium alloy surfaces; and (d) electron microscopy imaging, including sample preparation.

Principal Investigators:

Ivan Lee, Ph.D., ivan.c.lee2.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-0292
Dat Tran, Ph.D., dat.t.tran4.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-0293

Multi-fuel Capable Hybrid Electric Propulsion (APG, ARL FE-NASA Glenn Research Center)

(1) Extreme Fuel Ignition Characterization: Perform research to understand the detailed relationships between any liquid fuel’s chemical and physical makeup and its ignition behavior.  This information will be used to build detailed ignition models which will help enable truly multi-fuel capable engine operation.  Collaboration opportunities include: a) advanced combustion diagnostics, b) fuel property characterization, c) detailed chemical modeling, and d) novel injection and spray breakup technologies.

(2) Variable Energy Assisted Compression Ignition: Perform research to develop innovative propulsion component technologies by sensing and controlling ignition and combustion of a wide range ignition quality fuels to extend operational capability of small engines. Ignition and control architecture of the propulsion system will utilize non-intrusive ignition and combustion sensing, and robust and reliable ignition control technologies. ARL seeks collaborative partners in these areas: (a) non-intrusive ignition and combustion sensing for intermittent combustion engines; (b) novel approaches to detect fuel ignition quality; (c) material development and design of robust and reliable heating element with surface temperature of 1,100 °C; (d) robust combustion control architecture.

(3) Reliable, Light-weight Advanced Materials: Conduct unique propulsion materials research to discover, innovate, and maturate novel materials and concepts to enable the next-generation of Army unmanned/manned air/ground vehicles.  Research into advanced light-weight alloys and novel manufacturing techniques is highly desirable.  In addition, protective coatings with low thermal conductivity and high wear resistance are of great interest for low heat rejection engines with high durability.  Bench and component level testing will focus on technologies to enable improved operational energy for future Army unmanned air/ground vehicles across the full spectrum of ambient conditions.

(4) Tribological Materials for Extreme Low Viscosity: The operation of propulsion systems with a large range of potential fuels will depend on the ability to move and pressurize fluids of widely varying viscosity and chemical properties within mechanical systems that are lubricated by the fluid they are transporting. We seek an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of failure caused by low viscosity and widely varying chemistries, as well as solutions to robust operation of mechanical fuel systems. These solutions may include new materials, material processing methods, and new concepts in fuel management.

(5) High-Pressure Compact Air Management: Conduct research for small compact high-pressure high-speed turbomachinery that reliably operates in a wide range of extreme ambient conditions including altitude and temperature. Research to understand the aeroelastic behaviors of compressor and turbine blades at high speed in compact turbomachinery, advance reliable pressure management at a wide operating conditions, and innovate oil-less bearing technologies operating under high temperature conditions. Enhancements in the reliability and performance of these components will drastically improve the operational energy of future Army unmanned air vehicles.

(6) Hybrid-Electric Tool/Method: Tool and method for hybrid-electric propulsion is critical for realization of optimized hybrid-electric propulsion for Group 3+ unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The tool/method will be used to guide the development of mission-specific UAS with optimally sized components. This tool/method should include engine cycle, battery/capacitor, electric motor, power management, and thermal management modules.  

Principal Investigators:

Jacob Temme, Ph.D., jacob.e.temme.ctr@mail.mil, (410) 278-9455 [Area 1]
Kenneth Kim, Ph.D., kenneth.s.kim11.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9525 [Area 2]
Michael Walock, PhD., michael.j.walock.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9018 [Area 3]
Stephen Berkebile, Ph.D., stephen.p.berkebile.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9547 [Area 4]
Ryan McGowan, PhD., ryan.c.mcgowan3.ctr@mail.mil, (410) 278-3583 [Area 5]
Brian Dykas, Ph.D., P.E., brian.d.dykas.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9545 [Area 6]
Bruce Geil, bruce.r.geil.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-3190 [Area 6]

Supporting Facilities:

High-Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory (APG)
High-Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory (HTPML) houses a hot particulate ingestion rig (HPIR) with 1650 °C max temperature, hot gas flow of 0.14 – 0.36 kg/s, impingement velocity of 120 – 610 m/s, sand/salt ingestion capability of 1 – 200 g/min injection rate with a dual feeder system. A button-cell flame rig for rapid testing of multiple material compositions under oxy-acetylene (3160 °C) and oxy-propane flames (2820 °C). Thermomechanical fatigue testing system with 1500 °C max sustaining temperature, capable of in- and out-of-phase thermomechanical cycling and creep testing. High-temperature air-jet erosion rig with maximum sustained temperature of 1065 °C, particulate speeds of 30 – 150 m/s, and particulate flow rates from 1 – 5 g/min. FLIR IR camera for thermal imaging up to 2000 °C (3632 °F). Single-wavelength and dual-wavelength pyrometers for temperature measurements from 260 – 3000 °C. Laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) for measurements of particulate velocities and distributions within hot gas flows.

Powertrain Tribology and Components Laboratories (APG)
These labs are equipped to study fundamental friction, wear and lubrication phenomena as well as material response and durability, dynamics and diagnostic methods. Tribometers are available to simulate continuous rolling/sliding contacts as well as reciprocating contacts. The laboratories also contain purpose-built and versatile research rigs for study of bearings, gears and other mechanical components under normal and adverse conditions up to speeds of 60,000 rpm. A transmission research stand is also under construction for drivetrains up to 2000 hp.  A hybrid electric experimentation laboratory includes a high response 150 kW dynamometer and programmable power supply.  Instruments for the characterization of specimens available include: high-speed ball-on-disc tribometer, UMT modular tribometers, hardness tester, optical and confocal laser microscopy, Auger emission spectrometer, 25krpm and 60 krpm component stands, 22-kip servo-hydraulic mechanical testing machines, 5,000 rpm multi-station mechanical component stand, grease degradation bearing stand, gear and bearing diagnostics rigs, transmission test stand, vibration and acoustic emission instrumentation, laser vibrometer.

Spray Combustion Research Laboratory (APG)
ARL has an operating high-temperature pressure vessel (HTPV) system with various laser diagnostics to measure liquid spray and combustion processes. There are three different fuel benches:  one common-rail fuel bench, one injector fuel bench that is hydraulically-actuated and electronically-controlled, and one air pump-driven fuel bench.  Each bench delivers fuel to an injector at various fuel pressures (over 2000 bars with the air pump-driven fuel bench) with different injector types. The injector analyzer bench can characterize and map an injector, and various injector samples.  The HTPV has the capability to operate up to 150 bar chamber pressure, 1000 K chamber temperature, and 0% to 21% oxygen concentrations in the test section.  All three parameters can be independently controlled.  This laboratory was established to (1) provide an understanding of injector performance under “realistic” operating conditions for range of injector parameters, (2) provide an understanding of the impact of fuel properties on the detailed spray and combustion processes, and (3) generate a database of spray and combustion measurements.  These data are being used in 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes to simulate real engine spray and combustion processes, including piston motion and in-cylinder turbulence.

Small Engine Combustion Research Laboratory (APG)
The Small Engine Combustion Research Laboratory (SECRL) is equipped with a 302-hp dual-ended AC dynamometer and an inline torque meter on both ends.   It has a Ricardo Hydra single-cylinder thermal/optically accessible engine on one end and various multi- or single-cylinder engines on the other end. The SERCL is equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment and instruments including a sophisticated data acquisition and control (DAC) system with numerous high-speed and low-speed channels, an Altech 7-gas analytical instrument, 2-ch AVL noise meter, AVL opacimeter, AVL blow-by meter, combustion air flowmeter, intake and exhaust pressure control valves, fuel conditioning and measurement system, closed-loop control charge air cooler, closed-loop control cooling column, ECM Lambda 5220 analyzers, B&K research-grade microphones.

Small Engine Altitude Research Facility (APG)
The Small Engine Altitude Research Facility (SmEARF) houses an altitude chamber capable of an altitude up to 30,000 ft, combustion air temperatures ranging from  -40 to 130°F and an engine speed up to 30,000 rpm. A dedicated fuel chiller allows fuel temperature control as low as -60°F. SmEARF is equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment and instruments including a sophisticated data acquisition and control (DAC) system with numerous high-speed and low-speed channels, two AC dynamometers for power from 1 to 250 hp and inline torque meters, a gear box for extended engine speed, multiple air flowmeters including Laminar Flow Element, exhaust flow meter, fuel conditioning and measurement system, closed-loop control charge air cooler, closed-loop control cooling column, ECM Lambda 5220 analyzers, B&K research-grade microphones.

Propulsion Materials Characterization Laboratory (APG)
The Propulsion Materials Characterization Laboratory consists of the following: a Zeiss LSM 700 confocal laser scanning microscope to determine surface contours and roughness parameters; a PHI 660 scanning Auger electron microscope with sputtering capability for near-surface, high-resolution imaging and chemical analysis; a Sonoscan Gen6 scanning acoustic microscope for non-destructive evaluation of surface texture and sub-surface porosity; and the Hitachi SU-3500 scanning electron microscope for high-resolution imaging with a Bruker Quantax energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer for elemental analysis.

Rotorcraft Propulsion Drives Laboratories (ARL FE - NASA Glenn Research Center)
ARL’s field element at NASA Glenn have access to a number of world class test facilities dedicated to gear and transmission research.  The High Speed Spur Gear Fatigue Test Rig is used to investigate accelerated fatigue life for standard spur gears, including the effect of materials, heat treatment, surface modification processes, and lubricants. The rig utilizes a standard gear size of 88.9mm (3.5”) pitch diameter and 6.3mm (0.25”) face width and can operate at speeds up to 10000rpm while imparting a contract pressure of 1.7GPa.  The rig can also be configured to perform loss-of-oil tests at the same operating speed and loads and can simulate emergency lube configurations (oil mist, grease injection, drip lubrication, etc.).  Additional rotorcraft transmission research laboratories and facilities include the 5000Hp High-Speed Helical Gear Train Test Facility that can operate at speeds up to 15000 rpm and the 500Hp helicopter transmission test facility that can provide input speeds from 6200 to 36000rpm.  These rigs are all designed to investigate aerospace gears materials and configurations, bearing technologies, and high power density transmission system configurations.  The High-Speed Foil Air Bearing test facility is capable of test speeds up to 60krpm, radial loads up to 50lbs, ambient temperatures up to 1000°F, while accommodating bearing sizes up to 3.0 inch ID.  Tribological capabilities include a reciprocating, pin-on-disk test rig that allows continuous monitoring of friction for various pin geometries loaded against a flat plate under lubricated and dry conditions at sliding frequencies from 2.5 to 50HZ , amplitudes from 1 to 15 mm, loads from 10 to 250 N, and temperatures up to 600°C.  The Variable/Multi-Speed Rotorcraft Transmission Research Facility features twin input and output variable-speed induction motors that are capable of driving or as regenerative load with control options for speed, torque or power. The motors are rated for torque up to 140 ft.*lbs. from 0 to 7,500 rpm, and constant power of 200 horsepower from 7,500 to 15,000 rpm. Speed and torque are monitored on the input and output shafts and the facility has a separate lubrication system with controlled lubricant supply temperature that is fed to the experimental hardware. The facility is used to conduct experiments on variable speed rotorcraft transmission concepts to investigate speed shift performance between 1:1 (hover) and 2:1 (cruise) modes.

Component Enablers for Future Rotorcraft Propulsion (APG, ARL-FE NASA Glenn Research Center)

(1) Continuous Combustion Technologies under Extreme Operating Conditions

(1.1) Robust Energy Conversion under Harsh Environments: ARL is investigating ignition, combustion and energy conversion for improved power dense, reliable aviation powerplants.  Areas of interest include a) experimental investigations of the interaction between plasma kernels and fuel sprays subject to hostile boundary conditions found at altitude relight and cold start, and b) detailed analysis and numerical simulation of the spark-fuel interaction, c) investigating the relationship between spray droplet breakup, turbulent flows, and fuel properties in compact architectures.

 (1.2) Advanced High Temperature Propulsion Materials and Cooling: Collaborators are sought to conduct unique propulsion materials research to discover, innovate, and maturate novel materials and concepts to enable the next-generation of Army rotorcraft vehicles. Next-generation systems require propulsion materials that can withstand extreme environments and enable substantially reduced fuel consumption and increased engine power density.  Possible areas of study include ceramic matrix composites; metal matrix composites; nanostructured metals and ceramics; functionally graded bulk materials and coatings; high-temperature sensing; and probabilistic lifing assessment of newer engine materials.  In addition, computational fluid dynamic simulations of unique thermal management schemes for advanced engines are also being investigated.  Active cooling of hot-section components enable propulsion systems to operate at significantly higher temperatures, which enable higher efficiencies and power densities than systems with uncooled advanced materials/components.  Bench and component-level studies will focus on technologies to enable improved operational energy for future Army unmanned/manned air vehicle mission performance across the full spectrum of ambient conditions.

(2) Lightweight Gear Technologies

(2.1) Lightweight Gear Materials and Designs: ARL seeks collaborative research opportunities with outside organizations on novel propulsion power transfer components and concepts emphasizing reduced metallic content for improved power density.  Research includes the application of unconventional, composite and hybrid material systems to replace steel-based dynamic components and associated interfaces, thermal management, structures, manufacturing and lubrication.

(2.2) Nonconventional Transmission Diagnostics and Dynamics: ARL is conducting research into next generation power transfer for Army VTOL vehicles with optimized power density and durability.  Lightweight gears will be implemented in non-conventional transmissions to improve payload (power density) and range (efficiency) of advanced unmanned aircraft systems (AUAS). It is critical to have high-ratio reduction in a transmission and lightweight transmission for AUAS to achieve high speed and efficient VTOL. Understanding of dynamics and diagnostics is imperative for improved reliability of the novel transmissions. Improved health state awareness will be required to move beyond safe life designs, requiring accurate high-fidelity model-based dynamics and diagnostics including damage, with the complementary application of machine learning techniques.  Collaborations are sought in advanced modeling of highly stressed multibody mechanical systems for power transfer in complex configurations.

(2.3) Tribology for Robust Power Dense Contacts: Non-conventional transmissions with lightweight gears need to meet the Future Vertical Lift requirements. Innovative approaches are needed to create tribological solutions for high performance and extreme lubrication conditions with these new transmissions. We seek collaborations a) to increase our understanding of the physics and chemistry of extreme lubrication conditions, thermomechanical degradation, and material failures at moving interfaces and b) in new lubricant chemistries, materials, and processing methods that can provide robust power transfer under high loads/contact pressures and high sliding speeds during adverse lubrication conditions of the nonconventional transmissions. The study of new materials and material-lubricant interactions; development of improved modeling; and integration of in situ measurement methods into high speed tribometry will all be needed to make advances in this area.

Principal Investigators:

Jacob Temme, Ph.D., jacob.e.temme.ctr@mail.mil, (410) 278-9455 [Area 1.1]
Anindya Ghoshal, Ph.D., anindya.ghoshal.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-7358 [Area 1.2-materials]
Doug Thurman, douglas.r.thurman2.civ@mail.mil (216) 433-6573 [Area 1.2-cooling designs]
Kevin Radil, kevin.c.radil.civ@mail.mil, (216) 433-5047 [Area 2.1]
Mark Valco, Ph.D., mark.j.valco.civ@mail.mil, (216) 433-3717 [Area 2.2-transmissions]
Adrian Hood, Ph.D., adrian.a.hood.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9581 [Area 2.2-dynamics/diagnostics]
Stephen Berkebile, Ph.D., stephen.p.berkebile.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-9547 [Area 2.3]

Supporting Facilities:

High-Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory (APG)
High-Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory (HTPML) houses a hot particulate ingestion rig (HPIR) with 1650 °C max temperature, hot gas flow of 0.14 – 0.36 kg/s, impingement velocity of 120 – 610 m/s, sand/salt ingestion capability of 1 – 200 g/min injection rate with a dual feeder system. A button-cell flame rig for rapid testing of multiple material compositions under oxy-acetylene (3160 °C) and oxy-propane flames (2820 °C). Thermomechanical fatigue testing system with 1500 °C max sustaining temperature, capable of in- and out-of-phase thermomechanical cycling and creep testing. High-temperature air-jet erosion rig with maximum sustained temperature of 1065 °C, particulate speeds of 30 – 150 m/s, and particulate flow rates from 1 – 5 g/min. FLIR IR camera for thermal imaging up to 2000 °C (3632 °F). Single-wavelength and dual-wavelength pyrometers for temperature measurements from 260 – 3000 °C. Laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) for measurements of particulate velocities and distributions within hot gas flows.

Powertrain Tribology and Components Laboratories (APG)
These laboratories are equipped to study fundamental friction, wear and lubrication phenomena as well as material response and durability, dynamics and diagnostic methods. Tribometers are available to simulate continuous rolling/sliding contacts as well as reciprocating contacts. The laboratories also contain purpose-built and versatile research rigs for study of bearings, gears and other mechanical components under normal and adverse conditions up to speeds of 60,000 rpm. A transmission research stand is also under constructions for drivetrains up to 2000 hp.  A hybrid electric experimentation laboratory includes a high response 150 kW dynamometer and programmable power supply. Instruments for the characterization of specimens available include: high-speed ball-on-disc tribometer, UMT modular tribometers, hardness tester, optical and confocal laser microscopy, Auger emission spectrometer, 25krpm and 60 krpm component stands, 22-kip servo-hydraulic mechanical testing machines, 5,000 rpm multi-station mechanical component stand, grease degradation bearing stand, gear and bearing diagnostics rigs, transmission test stand, vibration and acoustic emission instrumentation, laser vibrometer.

Spray Combustion Research Laboratory (APG)
In addition to its intermittent combustion research facilities, this lab also houses two optically accessible single cup combustors, the Army Research Combustor (ARC)-L1 and ARC-M1.  The ARC-L1 has a modular ignitor location and interchangeable optical windows and thermocouple banks.  It is used in conjunction with the Small Engine Altitude Research Facility (SmEARF) to investigate the ignition kernel physics under altitude conditions.  Camera environmental enclosures enable high-speed cinematography of the kernel and ignition process.  The ARC-M1 has optical access from 4 windows to enable detailed laser diagnostics of the flow field, spray breakup and combustion process.  It also has interchangeable X-ray permeable windows to enable detailed diagnostics in the non-visible spectrum.  Finally, this rig has a modular injector and air swirler to enable parametric studies of fuel and air injection effects.

Rotorcraft Propulsion Drives Laboratories (ARL FE - NASA Glenn Research Center)
ARL’s field element at NASA Glenn have access to a number of world class test facilities dedicated to gear and transmission research.  The High Speed Spur Gear Fatigue Test Rig is used to investigate accelerated fatigue life for standard spur gears, including the effect of materials, heat treatment, surface modification processes, and lubricants. The rig utilizes a standard gear size of 88.9mm (3.5”) pitch diameter and 6.3mm (0.25”) face width and can operate at speeds up to 10000rpm while imparting a contract pressure of 1.7GPa.  The rig can also be configured to perform loss-of-oil tests at the same operating speed and loads and can simulate emergency lube configurations (oil mist, grease injection, drip lubrication, etc.).  Additional rotorcraft transmission research laboratories and facilities include the 5000Hp High-Speed Helical Gear Train Test Facility that can operate at speeds up to 15000 rpm and the 500Hp helicopter transmission test facility that can provide input speeds from 6200 to 36000rpm.  These rigs are all designed to investigate aerospace gears materials and configurations, bearing technologies, and high power density transmission system configurations.  The High-Speed Foil Air Bearing test facility is capable of test speeds up to 60krpm, radial loads up to 50lbs, ambient temperatures up to 1000°F, while accommodating bearing sizes up to 3.0 inch ID.  Tribological capabilities include a reciprocating, pin-on-disk test rig that allows continuous monitoring of friction for various pin geometries loaded against a flat plate under lubricated and dry conditions at sliding frequencies from 2.5 to 50HZ , amplitudes from 1 to 15 mm, loads from 10 to 250 N, and temperatures up to 600°C.  The Variable/Multi-Speed Rotorcraft Transmission Research Facility features twin input and output variable-speed induction motors that are capable of driving or as regenerative load with control options for speed, torque or power. The motors are rated for torque up to 140 ft.*lbs. from 0 to 7,500 rpm, and constant power of 200 horsepower from 7,500 to 15,000 rpm. Speed and torque are monitored on the input and output shafts and the facility has a separate lubrication system with controlled lubricant supply temperature that is fed to the experimental hardware. The facility is used to conduct experiments on variable speed rotorcraft transmission concepts to investigate speed shift performance between 1:1 (hover) and 2:1 (cruise) modes.

Transonic Turbine Blade Research Facility (ARL FE - NASA Glenn Research Center)
The facility is used to evaluate the aerodynamics and heat transfer characteristics of blade geometries for future turbine applications.  The facility's large scale and continuous run capability at engine relevant Mach Numbers and Reynolds numbers allow for detailed aerodynamic and heat transfer studies. Air supply and exhaust pressures are controllable to 16.5 psia and 2 psia respectively. The blades are attached to a disk that can be rotated to inlet flow angles ranging from -17 to 79 degrees from the axial direction.

Turbomachinery Heat Transfer Tunnel (ARL FE – NASA Glenn Research Center)
Fundamental flow physics and advanced turbine blade cooling concepts can be tested in this facility with large scale test articles that simulate turbine blade cooling flow passages, transition ducts, or biomimicry. Transient and steady state flow and heat transfer measurements can be acquired, with tunnel flow rates up to 10 lb/s. Facility has the capability of using cooled air or CO2 for film coolant.

Propulsion Materials Characterization Laboratory (APG)
The Propulsion Materials Characterization Laboratory consists of the following: a Zeiss LSM 700 confocal laser scanning microscope to determine surface contours and roughness parameters; a PHI 660 scanning Auger electron microscope with sputtering capability for near-surface, high-resolution imaging and chemical analysis; a Sonoscan Gen6 scanning acoustic microscope for non-destructive evaluation of surface texture and sub-surface porosity; and the Hitachi SU-3500 scanning electron microscope for high-resolution imaging with a Bruker Quantax energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer for elemental analysis.