NASA Glenn Wins Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Excellence Award
CLEVELAND -- A metallic foam developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center for the reduction of turbofan engine noise was selected the winner of the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Midwest Region Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. The award was presented at the 2009 FLC Midwest Regional Meeting in Bloomington, Ind.
Each year, the FLC recognizes an employee or team of employees for their outstanding work during the transfer of technology between a federal laboratory and the marketplace.
This year, Daniel Sutliff and Cheryl Bowman of Glenn with Michael Jones of NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and Tom Hartley of Williams International, Walled Lake, Mich. tested the use of a NASA developed metallic foam liner on a turbofan engine with the goal of achieving a significant reduction in aircraft noise. The collaboration, developed under NASA's Partnerships Seed Fund program, enabled NASA to test the liner design and obtain acoustic analysis on a Williams FJ44, a small, business jet-class turbofan engine.
NASA placed the metallic foam liner around the fan rotor, instead of on the inlet of the engine where most other noise-reducing liners are placed. Tests indicated that the liner was able to absorb more sound from the engine fan. The material structure of the foam liner can withstand the harsh engine environment, heat and temperature variations, where other traditional liners would fail and can be designed to minimize aero dynamic losses.
Tests results showed a significant reduction of noise, up to 4 dB, which could eliminate the noise from an airport that was once heard four miles away down to less than two miles.
The successful testing of the small engine has cleared the way for NASA to test noise-abatement solutions for larger commercial aircraft engines. With the test data, NASA may be able to help others in the marketplace develop a method for other applications, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and space propulsion.
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