NASA

March 8, 2013

NASA begins flight research campaign using alternate jet fuel

Puffy white exhaust contrails stream from the engines of NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory in this photo taken from an HU-25 Falcon flying in trail about 30 feet behind the DC-8. Instruments on the Falcon were measuring the chemical contents of the exhaust contrails at varying distances from the DC-8, which was using both standard JP8 jet fuel and a mix of JP-8 and a plant-derived biofuel.

PALMDALE, Calif. — NASA researchers have begun a series of flights using the agency’s DC-8 flying laboratory to study the effects of alternate biofuel on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitude.

The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS) research involves flying the DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while an instrumented NASA HU-25 Falcon aircraft trails behind at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 10 miles.

“We believe this study will improve understanding of contrails formation and quantify potential benefits of renewable alternate fuels in terms of aviation’s impact on the environment,” said Ruben Del Rosario, manager of NASA’s Fixed Wing Project.

ACCESS flight operations are being staged from NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., and are taking place mostly within restricted airspace over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

During the flights, the DC-8′s four CFM56 engines are powered by conventional JP-8 jet fuel, or a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and an alternative fuel of hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids that comes from camelina plants.

Flying some 500 feet behind NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory, NASA Langley’s heavily instrumented HU-25 Falcon measures chemical components of the exhaust streaming from the DC-8′s engines burning a 50/50 mix of conventional jet fuel and a plant-based biofuel during the 2013 ACCESS biofuels flight tests.

More than a dozen instruments mounted on the Falcon jet characterize the soot and gases streaming from the DC-8, monitor the way exhaust plumes change in composition as they mix with air, and investigate the role emissions play in contrail formation.

Also, if weather conditions permit, the Falcon jet will trail commercial aircraft flying in the Southern California region, in coordination with air traffic controllers, to survey the exhaust emissions from a safe distance of 10 miles.

The flight campaign began Feb. 28 and is expected to take as long as three weeks to complete.

ACCESS follows a pair of Alternative Aviation Fuel Experiment studies conducted in 2009 and 2011 in which ground-based instruments measured the DC-8′s exhaust emissions as the aircraft burned alternative fuels while parked on the ramp at the Palmdale facility.

A second phase of ACCESS flights is planned for 2014. It will capitalize on lessons learned from the 2013 flights and include a more extensive set of measurements.

The ACCESS study is a joint project involving researchers at Dryden, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

The Fixed Wing Project within the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate manages ACCESS.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Commissary The Edwards Commissary will be open 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., April 20. CCAF graduation The Community College of the Air Force Graduation Ceremony is 2:30-4:30 p.m., May 7 at Club Muroc. The graduation ceremony will honor the October 2013 and the April 2014 CCAF classes and will also recognize enlisted Airmen who have completed their...
 
 

Spring season = Spring clean up at Edwards

Winter is finally over and Spring has arrived! Despite the cold mornings or the blustery winds we have battled, the weather is definitely turning warmer. Just like the things we do every year at home, clearing winter debris blown into our yards or removing dead plants and weeds, at Edwards AFB we have an annual...
 
 

April 14 – Pulse on AF force management

WASHINGTON – New eligibility criteria, application deadlines and status updates are all featured in this force management update, an ongoing effort to bring Airmen the latest, most accurate information concerning the complex and dynamic force management programs. Additional TERA, VSP windows The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 temporary early retirement authority...
 

 

NASA signs agreement with German, Canadian partners to test alternative fuels

NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center and the National Research Council of Canada to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to begin May...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka

X-47B wins Collier Trophy

Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki The two X-47B test aircraft pause between flight test events at Edwards AFB, Calif. The two vehicles were built by Northrop Grumman in Palmdale, Calif., and performed all of their ini...
 
 

Hazardous waste roundup slated for April 26

Edwards AFB Environmental Management is hosting a Household Hazardous and Universal Waste Roundup on Saturday, April 26. The roundup is at the Base Housing Office, 402 West Forbes Ave., Bldg. 6696, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Base housing and dormitory residents can drive up and drop off household hazardous and universal waste for free....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>