Turbomachinery Laboratory Groundbreaking of Propulsion and Energetics Research Laboratory (PERL)
The Turbomachinery Laboratory recently announced its plans to further expand its facilities by introducing the Propulsion and Energetic Research Laboratory (PERL). The PERL is a progressive facility that will offer cutting-edge resources and technologies to its faculty, students, members of the Energy and Propulsion Research Consortia (EPRC), and external organizations wishing to utilize the capabilities of the PERL.
The PERL, scheduled for completion by mid-2024, will offer an unparalleled environment for a wide range of experiments. “The timing of the PERL’s conceptualization and construction is due mainly to three factors: TAMU’s strong faculty and research presence in the propulsion and energetics areas; continued interest in such testing capabilities by current and future government and industry sponsors; and TAMU’s recent initiatives, namely the Bush Combat Development Center and increased research opportunities in the hypersonics field,” Dr. Eric Petersen states.
Covering 7,000 square feet, it will feature seven blast-rated test cells, a laser diagnostics room, and two remote control and monitoring rooms. Testing capabilities are fit within the scope of typical projects such as sCO2 component testing, advanced optical diagnostics, subsea pump testing (in a hyperbaric chamber), supersonic and jet combustion, detonation propulsion, high-energy rotating equipment, energetic materials testing, subscale rocket motors, and test rigs with flowing hot gases, among others. The PERL is being developed in tandem with the Energy Propulsion and Research Consortia, which will conduct research in the fields of thermal fluids and combustion, as well as computational modeling and design. Research topics will include reacting flows, combustion and gas dynamics, computational fluid mechanics, and more. “Few universities have this capability, which allows a much greater range of high-pressure, high-flowing, high-energetic testing to take place, simultaneous with advanced optical diagnostic techniques and the unique strengths of the Turbo Lab researchers,” added Dr. Petersen.
The PERL is a pioneering facility that will serve as a hub for innovation in propulsion and energetics. The Turbomachinery Laboratory is excited to offer a unique environment that will amplify its initiatives in continuing education and fundamental and applied research, creating an exciting platform for growth. Dr. Petersen believes that “with the PERL’s capabilities, we will be able to explore the fundamental aspects of propulsion, power generation, and energetic materials at conditions that replicate those of the applications, leading to faster technology development. In addition, the Turbo Lab students involved with the project at the PERL will gain unique training that will be invaluable to the energy and aerospace communities.”
To learn more about membership and research opportunities through the EPRC and the Propulsion and Energetics Research Laboratory, please contact Greg Gammon at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Debbie Maggs, the Program Coordinator for the Consortia, at Debbie@turbo-lab.tamu.edu.
Author: Kristen Clayton
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