For Release: July 10, 2002
Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office
Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office
NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland has selected General Electric Aircraft Engines, Evendale, Ohio, for the development of a Revolutionary Turbine Accelerator (RTA) technology demonstrator. Work will begin under a five-year, cost-plus-incentive-fee Task Order valued at $55 million and will result in testing of a demonstrator in 2006. This Task Order is being issued under an existing Revolutionary Aerospace Engine Research (RASER) contract awarded to GE in 2001.
The technology demonstrator being developed for the RTA Project is expected to demonstrate the feasibility of ultra high speed turbine engine technologies such as operability, advanced lightweight and high temperature materials, controls, instrumentation, thermal management and engine systems. It will push turbine technologies beyond Mach 3 to speeds well above Mach 4 (or four times the speed of sound). Glenn leads the RTA Project for NASA's Advanced Space Transportation Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
The RTA could be used on the first stage of a 2-stage vehicle capable of sustained hypersonic flight. The second stage, which would take over as the speed reaches Mach 4, is a Dual Mode Scram Jet. The two combined propulsion systems make up the Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) propulsion system, which is a candidate to help NASA meet the agency's goal of developing safe, cost-effective access to space. If successful, a follow-on vehicle, using the propulsion system being developed under this Task Order, would be able to take off from a runway, instead of a launch pad, to reach space.
"The RTA developed by GE under this Task Order may become the propulsion system for the first stage of a new hypersonic vehicle capable of low-cost access to space applications," said Paul Bartolotta, project manager for RTA at Glenn.
Advanced technologies from NASA's Ultra Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program and the U.S. Air Force's Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) programs will be utilized in the RTA project.
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