Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Arthur Taylor

Committee Member

Robert Ash

Committee Member

Robert Ash

Committee Member

Michael Doty


NASA had a goal to develop a set of modeling tools for designing next generation civil transport aircraft with reduced noise, emissions and increased fuel efficiency by 2016. To verify the models, a database of aerodynamic and acoustic data was needed for an unconventional flying wing design that was predicted to meet the goals. A Compact Jet Engine Simulator (CJES) was needed as the jet source for the 5.8% scale model. Ultra-Compact Combustor Technology from the Air Force Research Laboratory was used to reduce the conventional burner acoustic test rigs down to the required scale size. The Air Force design had to be modified for compactness and safety standards for testing in a wind tunnel. The combustor liner, plug-vane and flow conditioner components were built in-house at the NASA Langley Research Center. The CJES units were built and integrated incorporating a control system for operation in the NASA Langley Low Speed Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel. The operational envelope of the combustor was mapped, and improvements were developed to moderate combustor instability tones and rig flow noise. The final concept was unchanged, but the internal hardware evolved throughout the process. The Compact Jet Engine Simulator as a standalone unit demonstrated acceptable acoustic rig performance compared to the Boeing Low Speed Acoustic Facility rig. An integrated aerodynamic and acoustic test using the Compact Jet Engine Simulators was performed in the 14- by 22- Foot Subsonic Tunnel in 2012/13, and the results proved the goals were met with a score of 96%. The Compact Jet Engine Simulator is modular and can be used to test subsonic engine nozzles in the bypass ratio range from 5 to 10. The CJES units can be used for acoustic testing or studying the integration of the engine propulsion flow with an aircraft. This thesis focuses on the design and hardware development of the CJES units for which the author was primarily responsible.