GE to Perform Innovative 3-D Simulation for NASA
EVENDALE, Ohio - GE Aircraft Engines has been contracted by NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to perform a computational, three-dimensional aerodynamic simulation of the GE90 turbofan engine. This calculation, planned for mid-1997, will be the first full-engine simulation in 3-D. It will include the analysis of 50 blade rows of turbomachinery in the primary engine flowpath at an altitude cruise condition.
All major components of the engine will be modeled, including the inlet, fan, outlet guide vanes (OGVs), bypass duct, booster, high pressure compressor, high pressure turbine, low pressure turbine, and exhaust nozzles. The combustor will be modeled with axisymmetric source terms, representing the energy and mass addition inside the GE90 combustor. Blade row interaction will be accounted for by using mathematical and empirical models built into the Average Passage Code (APNASA), a computer program under joint development by NASA Lewis and GE.
Parallel processing, a technique that utilizes many computer work stations at once, will be fully exploited in this simulation, which should allow a solution in less than 24 hours. Two levels of parallelization are utilized in APNASA: one at the blade row level, and the other at a level where each blade row is split into several domains. Each domain is then solved on a different computer processor. Up to five processors per blade row have been used effectively. Both GE's network of work stations and NASA's IBM SP2 will be available for this analysis. It is expected that over 250 work stations will be utilized for the analysis, running on GE's network of work stations.
This contract is being supported by NASA's NPSS (Numerical Propulsion System Simulation) project as part of its goal to do a complete engine simulation both on and off design, including a full 3-D description of the combustor. NPSS is one of NASA's major initiatives in computational aerosciences under the national High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program.