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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Combustion Dynamics for Novel Combustor Systems


Air Force Institute of Technology

opportunity location
13.50.00.B7465 AFIT, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337542


name email phone
Marc D Polanka 937.656.6140


As future requirements lead toward compact, efficient engine designs, conventional gas turbine component design methodology will become more integrated to provide higher performance systems. Several concepts are being explored to obtain lighter weight, more efficient, lower fuel consumption combustors. One example of this integration of components is the Ultra Compact Combustor (UCC). In this configuration, fuel is deliberately added circumferentially above the vane geometry to accomplish combustion simultaneously while the flow is turned by the vane. Research areas have focused on the combustion mechanisms at high g-loading and radial migration of the hot combustion gases into the integrated vane along with investigations into Rayleigh losses associated with higher Mach number combustion. With optical diagnostics such as PIV, PLIF, TDLAS, and CARS in place in the laboratory, the capability to completely understand these complex burning configurations exist. Future efforts will continue to understand the integration issues with the compressor and turbine. New efforts specifically geared at understanding how to cool the turbine appropriately in this high equivalence ratio environment will also be developed.

Another research area focuses on the combustion process in small engines used in Remotely Piloted Aircraft. These investigations have focused on attempting to understand the impact of the inlet flow conditions, namely the altitude effects, that can impede the performance of these small IC engines. An altitude chamber has been built that enables control of the pressure and temperature within and around the engine. Investigations into fuel injection, timing, and heavy fuels are possible to understand the performance and the specific fuel consumption of the engine.


key words
Combustion; Gas turbines; Turbine heat transfer; Optical diagnostics; Air breathing-propulsion; Ultra Compact Combustor; Dynamics; Combustor; Small engines for RPAs;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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