Science and Technology News

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ribbon-cutting marks first milestone for new mission-critical capability at AEDC's large military engine test facility

by Philip Lorenz III
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs

11/30/2012 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- A ribbon-cutting celebrating the success of a $3.6 million investment project to modernize and expand the capabilities of the nation's largest military aircraft engine ground test facility, located at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, was held Nov. 19, 2012.

"This is the first of the Advanced Large Military Engine Capability program projects to be completed," Rosemary Matty, AEDC's program manager for ALMEC, said. "The success of this project required many organizations across the base to pull together as a team."

Britt Covington, AEDC executive director, agreed with Matty's characterization of the collaborative nature of the project.

"Congratulations to the team -- the team obviously goes beyond just the folks who got the plaque here today -- I mean all 120 people who are involved in this project," he said. "This is the first of nine projects related to improving and modernizing this Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility and the test cells that it supports. I applaud each of you for your contribution to this effort, which -- at $3.6 million -- is a pretty big project."

Matty said to fully appreciate this milestone it helps to understand the scope of the whole program.

"ALMEC will improve and modernize key Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility mechanical and electrical controls, facility monitoring systems, process air distribution and exhaust inter-cooling systems," she said. "This ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the first leg of a multi-year Test Investment Planning and Programming effort that began in fiscal 2011 with a planned completion date set for fiscal 2017.

"The C1/C2 Temperature-controlled Cell Cooling project is the first effort to be completed under ALMEC and it adds critical test cell cooling capability to the large turbine engine altitude test cells during near sea level testing conditions."

According to ATA design engineer Phillip Krepp, the new C1 and C2 cell cooling system was based on successful design of AEDC's existing J1 and J2 test cell cooling system.

He said their team realized that retrofitting the C1 and C2 cell cooling system based on the J test cells' cooling system resulted in lower operating costs and satisfied capability requirements for a broader range of simulated flight conditions without sacrificing data quality.

"C1 and C2 test cells require cell cooling to protect instrumentation while conducting engine tests," he said. "The previous cell cooling system used either atmospheric in-bleed or the same air supply being provided to the test engine. This doesn't allow the customer the ability to set cell cooling temperatures.

"AEDC now has the capability to set true NSLT conditions in engine test cells C1 and C2 without running additional expensive exhauster equipment, resulting in reduced operating costs and increased plant efficiencies."

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