Short-duration facilities have been used for the past thirty-five years to obtain measurements of heat transfer, aerodynamic loading, vibratory response, film-cooling influence, purge flow migration, and aeroperformance for full-stage high-pressure turbines operating at design corrected conditions of flow function, corrected speed, and stage pressure ratio. This paper traces the development of experimental techniques now in use at The Ohio State University (OSU) Gas Turbine Laboratory (GTL) from initial work in this area at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (CAL, later to become Calspan) in 1975 through to the present. It is intended to summarize the wide range of research that can be performed with a short-duration facility and highlight the types of measurements that are possible.
Beginning with heat-flux measurements for the vane and blade of a Garrett TFE 731-2 HP turbine stage with vane pressure-surface slot cooling, the challenge of each experimental program has been to provide data to aid turbine designers in understanding the relevant flow physics and help drive the advancement of predictive techniques. Through many different programs, this has involved collaborators at a variety of companies and experiments performed with turbine stages from Garrett, Allison, Teledyne, Pratt and Whitney, General Electric Aviation, Rocketdyne, Westinghouse, and Honeywell. The Vane/Blade Interaction measurement and CFD program, which ran from the early eighties until 2000, provided a particularly good example of what can be achieved when experimentalists and computational specialists collaborate closely. Before conclusion of this program in 2000, the heat-flux and pressure measurements made for this transonic turbine operated with and without vane trailing edge cooling flow were analyzed and compared to predictive codes in conjunction with engineers at Allison, United Technologies Research Center, Pratt and Whitney, and GE Aviation in jointly published papers.
When the group moved to OSU in 1995 along with the facility used at Calspan, refined techniques were needed to meet new research challenges such as investigating blade damping and forced response, measuring aeroperformance for different configurations, and preparing for advanced cooling experiments that introduced complicating features of an actual engine to further challenge computational predictions. This required conversion of the test-gas heating method from a shock-tunnel approach to a blowdown approach using a combustor emulator to also create inlet temperature profiles, the development of instrumentation techniques to work with a thin-walled airfoil with backside cooling, and the adoption of experimental techniques that could be used to successfully operate fully cooled turbine stages (vane row cooled, blade row cooled, and proper cavity purge flow provided). Further, it was necessary to develop techniques for measuring the aeroperformance of these fully cooled machines.