Arnold team earns award for technological advancement

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Teams from Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) and Advanced Fuel Research, Inc., (AFR) have been acknowledged as recipients of the 2008 Research & Development (R&D) Magazine Top 100 Award winners for technological advancements.

AEDC honorees include: Ron Bishel, Don Gardner, Paul Jalbert, Kent Wilcher, Bradley Winkleman and Vince Zaccardi.

According to Don Gardner, Aerospace Testing Alliance technology manager, AEDC has been working with Rumble & Screech Spatial Mapping Analyzer Tool (RASSMAT) co-developer AFR for several years developing diagnostic instrumentation for advanced military engines using Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FTS) technology.

RASSMAT is the latest FTS product delivered to AEDC and transitioned to use as a test tool.

Senior Engineer for AFR James Markhum said RASSMAT is a break-through product to monitor for dangerous fuel-burn conditions that result in catastrophic failures of advanced, high performance gas turbine engines used for jet propulsion and electric power generation.

New and advanced engines are rigorously ground tested before first flight. During ground testing, engines are pushed to their design limits and beyond. A concern is that fighter aircraft engines operating with afterburners can experience combustion instabilities that can significantly damage both the engine and aircraft.

The new RASSMAT was developed in the federally sponsored Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, specifically to provide innovation which benefits Air Force advanced aerospace engine/afterburner development programs such as F135, F119, versatile affordable advanced turbine engine (VAATE) and future engine programs.

The award annually recognizes the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year. The technology will be highlighted in the September 2008 issue of R&D Magazine and the team will be honored at an Awards Banquet in October in Chicago.