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Research and Engineering: Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch
February 19, 2014
 

Aerion Corporation's test article used in the initial Supersonic Boundary Layer Transition flight test project in 2010 is shown attached to the Centerline Instrumented Pylon slung beneath NASA's F-15B research aircraft. A second phase of flight tests with a newer airfoil test article more representa Aerion Corporation's test article used in the initial Supersonic Boundary Layer Transition flight test project is shown attached to the Centerline Instrumented Pylon slung beneath NASA's F-15B research aircraft. NASA / Tony Landis The Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch is part of the Research and Engineering Directorate at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. The branch is organized in three groups: Aerodynamics and Performance, Propulsion, and Flow Physics. The Center's extensive meteorological capabilities also reside within this branch.

We support Armstrong's mission of advancing technology and science through flight with projects like the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge Flap (ACTE), Blended Wing Body (BWB), Superboom Caustic Analysis Measurements Project (SCAMP), Waveforms & Sonic boom Perception and Response (WSPR), Airborne Schlieren Imaging System (ASIS), Channeled Centerbody Inlet (CCIE), Supersonic Boundary Layer Transition (SBLT) and Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR). We also work closely with our Center Chief Technologist to leverage unique research opportunities with Armstrong's developing technology portfolio. The following represents the competencies and skills that reside in the Aerodynamics and Propulsion branch.

Fluid and Flight Mechanics


  • Atmospheric aerodynamic analysis and modeling across all speed regimes
  • Flow visualization for diagnostic and research purposes, including IR thermography and Schlieren techniques
  • Boundary layers, heat transfer, and viscous flow fields
  • Internal fluid mechanics
  • Sonic boom propagation and measurement
  • Thrust and drag accounting
  • Flight vehicle performance modeling, prediction, and trajectory optimization
  • Parameter identification (PID)
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis tools (OVERFLOW, StarCCM+, Tranair, Vulcan)

Airdata Measurement


  • Flush Air Data System (FADS)
  • Calibration of air data systems
  • Quantification of vehicle state
  • Research and development of innovative measurement and methodologies , including hot films, and experimental air data probes

Propulsion Research and Technologies


  • Overall vehicle performance
  • Turbine/rocket/scramjet engine technology
  • Inlet, exhaust/nozzle integration
  • Integrated propulsion controls
  • Alternative power systems/fuel cells
  • Vehicle/propulsion health management technologies
  • Next generation launch/propulsion concepts

Meteorological Support


  • Forecasting including hazards and particulates
  • Climatology
  • Surface and boundary layer meteorology
  • Upper Air measurement capability
  • Forensic meteorology
  • Weather balloon launch capability
  • Real-Time mission weather monitoring
  • Weather safety (Lightning and Heat stress)
  • Education and Outreach

Facilities


  • Water Tunnel
  • Engine Shop
  • Computational clusters and workstations


Points of Contact:
Jennifer H. Cole
Chief, Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch
(661) 276-2052
jennifer.h.cole@nasa.gov

Steve Cumming
Deputy Branch Chief
(661) 276-3732
stephen.b.cumming@nasa.gov

 

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Page Last Updated: March 3rd, 2014
Page Editor: Yvonne Gibbs