Unique research laboratory focuses on making aircraft engines more efficient

May 01, 2012

Travel on airlines has become so routine for most of us, we often fail to appreciate what a true technological marvel it is. And it’s a costly and noisy marvel. Moving millions of passengers millions of miles each year requires an astounding amount of costly jet fuel and generates a significant amount of engine noise.

That helps explain why the companies that manufacture engines often find their way to the laboratory of Scott Morris, an associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Morris conducts experimental research on turbomachinery and acoustics as part of the Institute for Flow Physics and Control, which is located in Notre Dame’s Hessert Laboratory for Aerospace Research. His work is aimed at helping the airline industry and the military to increase the efficiency of aircraft engines and reduce their noise.

Morris and research assistant professor Joshua Cameron developed a turbomachinery laboratory that is focused on improving the components of gas turbine engines for propulsion and power system applications. The lab’s facilities include two transonic axial compressors and a high speed research turbine. These facilities feature single-stage rotating experiments that allow for advanced diagnostics and flow control under conditions that are similar to those occurring in full-scale aircraft engines.

The lab also focuses on aeroacoustics, a field that involves fluid mechanics, acoustics, fluid structure interactions and vibrations. Experiments conducted in this area focus on problems such as airfoil generated noise and vibration, fan noise and the sound associated with active flow control devices.

Turbine engine manufacturers and the military are keenly interested in developing quieter, more energy efficient engines and the Morris lab enables them to gain insights into engine performance that can result in savings of millions of dollars in design and operational costs.

The research facility is growing significantly with a current staff of 20 and a calendar booked with experiments into 2014. The experiments being conducted in the Morris lab are leading to new discoveries that will improve both the energy costs and environmental impact of air travel.

Explore further: Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NRL researchers study ways to reduce jet aircraft noise

Feb 15, 2011

Advanced military jet aircraft have engines that provide the needed speed and maneuverability. However, with this greater power there is significant noise during takeoff and landing. The noise can impact the ...

Flight Tests Confirm New Technologies Can Help Quiet The Skies

Nov 21, 2005

According to recent flight tests involving NASA and corporate industry, new technologies can help silence jet aircraft, both in the passenger cabin and on the ground. The three-week flight test program, called the Quiet Technology ...

Noise research to combat 'wind turbine syndrome'

Jun 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Adelaide acoustics researchers are investigating the causes of wind turbine noise with the aim of making them quieter and solving 'wind turbine syndrome'.

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

14 hours ago

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...