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Low Emission Premixed Combustion Technology for Supersonic Civil Transport

Project Number: 074
Category: Emissions, Supersonics, Aircraft Technology Innovation

Supersonic civilian transportation is an important growth area. However, combustor conditions experienced in supersonic engines are in a pressure-temperature range not encountered by existing subsonic engines. New combustor technologies are needed to optimize emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbon (UHC), and non-volatile particulate matter (nvPM) across the flight mission, while achieving the necessary durability and stability. Fuel-lean premixed combustion is viewed as a key enabling technology; however, the ability of current design methodologies to predict the operability and emissions of these combustors at the relevant conditions is unproven. Hence, there is a critical need to generate high-quality experimental data at relevant conditions, coupled to development/validation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and reduced order models. This project will fill this need through a combination of experiments and simulations, all applied in a novel lean-premixed combustor that is specifically designed for supersonic civilian transport.


This program will generate critical data and validated design methods that are needed to predict the behavior of novel premixed combustion technology at conditions encountered during supersonic flight. This, in turn, will guide design decisions that ultimately enable low-emission, robust, and stable combustion for supersonic civilian transport. Expected long-term benefits include reduced CO, UHC, NOX, and nvPM emissions across the supersonic flight mission, with simultaneous reductions in engine development times and costs. Additionally, the program will support workforce development and training of students in state-of-the-art methods for combustor measurement and simulation, while building strong and synergistic connections between industry and academia.

Program Managers