NASA Glenn Research Center
- Used to conduct fundamental research in supersonic and hypersonic fluid mechanics, supersonic-vehicle-focused research and detailed benchmark quality experiments for CFD code validation
- Uses 10 discrete airspeeds between Mach 1.3 and 6.0
2.2 Second Drop Tower
Used to study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid dynamics, and to develop new technology for future space missions.
8′x6′ Supersonic Wind Tunnel (8×6)
- Provides researchers with the opportunity to explore higher speed regions of flight
- Able to reach speeds of up to Mach 2
- Can also operate at very low speeds from 0 to Mach 1
- Operates either in an aerodynamic closed-loop cycle, testing aerodynamic performance, or in a propulsion open-loop cycle that tests live fuel burning engines and models
9′x15′ Low-Speed Wind Tunnel (9×15)
Providing airspeeds from 0 to 175 mph, this facility has unique and nationally recognized capabilities to evaluate aerodynamic performance and acoustic characteristics of nozzles, inlets, and propellers, and investigate hot gas re-ingestion of advanced STOVL concepts.
Abe Silverstein Supersonic Wind Tunnel (10×10)
- Specifically designed to test supersonic propulsion components such as inlets and nozzles, propulsion system integration, and full-scale jet and rocket engines.
- Can operate as a closed-loop system (aerodynamic cycle) or open-loop system (propulsion cycle), reaching test section speeds of Mach 2.0 to 3.5 and very low speeds from 0 to Mach 0.36
Icing Research Tunnel (IRT )
- Instrumental in developing and testing ice protection systems for piston- and propeller-driven aircraft
- Can produce continuous airspeeds from 50 to 350 knots and temperatures as low as -25°F year-round, controllable to within one degree Fahrenheit
- Supercooled water droplets between 15 and 50 microns with water content controllable between 0.2 and 2.5g/m3 can be produced to form an icing cloud.
Structural Dynamics Laboratory (SDL)
Performs tests to verify the survivability of a component or assembly when exposed to vibration stress screening or a controlled simulation of the actual flight or service vibration environment.
Structural Static Laboratory (SSL)
- Structural testing is performed to verify the structural integrity of space flight and ground test hardware.
- Testing is also performed to verify the finite element analysis by measuring stiffness and induced stress at points in a test article.
- A structural test can be used to verify the modes of failure of a design when exposed to simulated service loads.
- The modes of failure include but are not limited to the following: leak before burst, buckling, ultimate failure, yield or excessive deflection.
- The test lab is also outfitted with a tensile test machine that can be used to develop mechanical properties, at up to 1300°F
Energy and Propulsion
High-pressure, high-temperature combustion rig that simulates combustor inlet test conditions up to a pressure of 900 psig and temperatures up to 1300°F non-vitiated (no combustibles) at flow rates ranging from 5 to 50-lb/s
Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory (AAPL)
- Facility providing outstanding testing services in aircraft noise reduction, engine nozzle and fan components acoustic, and performance research
- Nozzle Acoustic Test Rig (NATR):
- Designed specifically for acoustic and aerodynamic testing of advanced nozzle concepts
- Small Hot Jet Acoustic Rig (SHJAR):
- Provides researchers with an all-in-one platform to economically evaluate thrust performance, acoustic performance, and plume turbulence characteristics of new nozzle concepts
- Advanced Noise Control Fan (ANCF):
- Test bed developed to test noise reduction concepts, noise measurement concepts, and provide a flexible and realistic aero-acoustic source for CAA code verification
Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL)
Supports research and development of spacecraft power and electric propulsion systems.
Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB)
- Supports research and development of spacecraft power, electric propulsion, and space environmental effects.
- Research that is initiated in EPRB on a concept or component level leads to a system or higher fidelity tests in facilities such as VF-5 (very high pumping speed), VF-6 (unique in its solar simulator capabilities and electric propulsion features), or SPF (world’s largest vacuum chamber). This ensures that these world-class facilities are effectively utilized and that research is done in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Engine Components Research Lab (ECRL)
- Advanced Combustor Rig (ECRL-1B)
- Used to evaluate various combustor and afterburner concepts in a realistic engine environment
- Small Turbine Engine Rig (ECRL-2B)
- Used for turbine engine research of mutual interest to the U.S. Army and NASA GRC
- Can be operated as a ground level turboshaft facility or as an altitude facility for core engine tests
Engine Research Building (ERB)
Most aspects of engine development can be studied here with numerous facilities specializing in turbomachinery, tribology, flow physics, combustion, aerochemistry, mechanical components, and heat transfer.
Heated Tube Facility
Investigates cooling issues by simulating conditions characteristic of rocket engine thrust chambers and high speed airbreathing propulsion systems.
Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL)
- Ground-based test facility that can provide true flight simulation for experimental research on air-breathing propulsion systems
- Altitudes to 90,000 ft and Mach numbers to 3.0 in one cell and 6.0 in the other can be simulated continuously
- Engine airflow is available to 480 lb/s at an inlet pressure of 55 psia or to 380 lb/s at 165 psia
- Inlet temperature control is also available
Research Combustion Laboratory (RCL)
- Develops aerospace propulsion technology by performing tests on propulsion components and materials
- Separate test cells can provide a highly flexible matrix of test conditions to quickly tailor unique research goals
- Common propellants include gaseous hydrogen and oxygen, liquid hydrogen and oxygen, and hydrocarbon fuels
- Flow rates range from 0.1 to 7 lb/s Altitudes up to 90,000 ft can be simulated.
Small Multi-Purpose Research Facility (SMiRF)
Part of the RCL, evaluates the performance of the thermal protection systems required to provide long-term storage (of up to 10 years) of cryogenic propellants in space.
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Aircraft, Avionics, Systems, and Equipment
Provides intermediate testing as the design progresses, testing for shielding effectiveness, filtering and grounding, final qualification testing of experiments in flight configuration, and testing at customer locations for items too large to fit in the EMI Laboratory shielded room
Flight Research Building (Hangar)
The Hangar is a 65 X 250 ft. heated facility that is large enough to hold numerous aircraft of various sizes.
Microgravity Emissions Laboratory (MEL)
Developed for the support, simulation, and verification of the International Space Station (ISS) microgravity environment.
Power Systems Facility (PSF)
Testbeds where scientists and engineers verfiy criticial design concepts, test prototype hardware and software, and validate electrical power systems in real-time simulations under actual loading and operating conditions.
Zero Gravity Research Facility (Zero-G)
- Used to study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid physics, to develop and demonstrate new technology for future space missions, and to develop and test experiment hardware designed for flight aboard the Space Shuttle or International Space Station
- Provides researchers with a near weightless or microgravity environment for a duration of 5.18 seconds
- Allowing the experiment hardware to free fall a distance of 432 feet (132 m) creates the microgravity environment at the Zero-G facility
EARLAB (Education Auditory Research Lab), the NASA Auditory Demonstration Laboratory, is an umbrella organization that encompasses a variety of activities, services, and products that support the practice of hearing conservation at NASA field centers.
Graphics Visualization Laboratory (G-VIS)
Provides specialized services, expertise, and facilities for the visualization of scientific data, engineering analyses, and mission scenarios.
Reconfigurable, fully immersive walk-in virtual reality facility consisting of three large 8- by 8-ft rear-projection screens on which are displayed computer-generated stereoscopic images.
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Computing and Simulation
Advanced Computational Concepts Laboratory
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