This transonic turbine facility was designed and built for fundamental and proof of concept studies of active flow control in gas turbine engines. The laboratory is designed to fill the gap between typical facilities found in universities, and those that exist in DoD laboratories.
The purpose was to provide an environment for the development of performance enhancing concepts at conditions that are closer to those in real engines, and thereby provide realistic evaluation before transitioning to more expensive tests in large government and industry facilities. The general characteristics of the facility are continuous transonic operation, a loading coefficient greater than 3, a flow coefficient of no less than 0.5, a pressure ratio of up to 2.2, and a relatively large mean diameter that is comparable to some smaller engines.
Other special features include magnetic bearings that allow azimuthal variations in tip-gap clearance that is a major factor in turbine-stage performance and one of the primary subjects of active flow control in the facility, significant access for detailed internal flow surveys, and the capability for injecting cooling flows in stationary and rotating parts.