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.


 
 

 

NASA seeks suborbital flight services proposals for technology demonstrations

NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers to integrate and fly technology payloads for the space agency. NASA uses companies for suborbital flights to encourage and facilitate the growth of this important aerospace market while also providing a means to advance a wide range of new launch vehicle and space...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

‘Operation Play and Sleigh’ a success

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The 412th Security Forces Squadron Training Section held a Ruck March and Toy Drive Dec. 20 for children at the A. Miriam Jamison Childrenís Center in Kern County, Calif. Participants carr...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA Dryden celebrates 60th anniversary of first Mach 2 flight

NASA photograph One of the three Douglas Skyrockets rockets upward during a research flight. Sixty years ago, A. Scott Crossfield, a talented young engineering research pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics,...
 

 
NASA photograph by Jim Ross

NASA tests SLS autopilot technology on F/A-18 Jet

NASA photograph by Jim Ross An F/A-18 research jet simulated various flight conditions that NASA’s Space Launch System may experience as it makes its way from the launch pad to space, to evaluate the rocket’s flight...
 
 

NASA Dryden awards facilities maintenance contract to Helix Management Services

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., has awarded a contract to Helix Management Services, of Lanham, Md., to provide facility operations and maintenance services at the center’s campuses at Edwards Air Force Base and Palmdale, Calif. The firm fixed-price contract could be worth as much as $29.4 million over the five-year life of the...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Dryden’s DROID mini-UAV reaches new heights

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida The DROID 3 takes off from the Muroc Model Masters strip on Rosamond Dry Lake on its first attempt to reach 10,000-foot altitude.   The smallest member of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center&#...
 




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>