Aircraft Engine Subystems
The aircraft engine automation and fuel supply laboratory, which has now become the Department of Aircraft Power Plant Automatic Control Systems (ACS) was established at the same time as CIAM. This department appeared to be the leading research organization of the industry at all stages of its activity.
To a large extent, gas turbine engine performance depends on automatic control system quality. High accuracy of control in steady-state and transition conditions allows to implement thermodynamic cycle parameters close to limiting values, to ensure that the necessary cycle stability margins are maintained, and to comply with the power plant dynamic performance requirements determined by the operating conditions.
The automatic control systems of modern engines involve the use of artificial intelligence elements. Consequently, the development of mathematical models of engines and automatic control systems is of great importance. However, theoretical studies cannot be conducted without experimental efforts. The Institute has an engine testing rig for refining engine control methods and for verifying new hardware solutions and automatic control system safety principles.
Diagnostics and Monitoring
Monitoring and diagnostics system enhancement has been acknowledged as one of the key areas of scientific and technical development around the world. Reliable monitoring of the status of complex technical systems is considered the key technology for preventing human-caused catastrophes, as well as for radical improvement of business economic performance.
Aircraft engine diagnostics is one of the main areas of work for increasing the reliability and operational maintainability of aircraft engines throughout their life cycle. The most important factor that enables on-condition operation, rather than fixed service life based operation of an engine is the implementation of efficient and reliable diagnostics means. The development of aircraft engine monitoring and diagnostics systems embraces several generations from signal lights to on-board computer systems with the elements of neural network technologies. Today, new diagnostic technologies based on vibroacoustic, ultrasonic, eddy current, and other non-destructive inspection methods are undergoing rapid development.
The CIAM experts V. Akimov, I. Birger, N. Dubravsky, I. Egorov had founded a scientific school which made possible aircraft engine diagnostics to become an independent discipline designated to provide a theoretical and experimental basis for industrial diagnostic system prototypes design.
In CIAM, calculation and experimental studies of various systems relating to heat exchange are conducted by a special department. It was established at the end of the 1940's as a Department of Oil Systems in favour of the first jet engines designed in the USSR at the time. In 1972, the merger of the Department with the Institute unit that studied heat exchange processes and played the leading role in the development of a strong school of research in this area became a milestone in the Department's history.
The development of a mathematical model of an aircraft engine oil system; calculations, providing recommendations for the design of oil systems and their components (pumps, breathers, filters, seals, oil tanks); testing of oil systems and their components at rigs simulating flight conditions and as part of an engine too.
The main activity is in the ice protection of engines and aircraft and helicopter components, both in classic icing conditions and with ice crystals presence in the air. Activity in this area includes unique studies of Russian and foreign engines and other aircraft equipment (engine fan, engine cowlings, Pitot probes, engine air intake models, helicopter fenestron, main helicopter rotor blades, helicopter stabilizer, aircraft wing models, etc.) in icing conditions. CIAM has an advanced calculation base for modeling ice formation on engine surfaces and airframe components. CIAM's rigs in Turayevo (C-1A, C-2) have been substantially updated and their capabilities for modeling various climatic conditions were extended. The development of a hail gun for simulating aircraft flight in actual atmospheric conditions has become an important milestone for aviation industry.
Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers
Work on various size and purpose air-to-air heat exchangers for existing and future aircraft engines, ranging from main exchangers for complex cycle turbofan engines to the exchangers of the cooling systems of high temperature engine components, is carried out in CIAM. The heat exchanger calculation and design software (from 1D to high-level 3D modeling) developed in the Institute are being continuously verified by a wide complex of experimental studies at CIAM test rigs and installations, as well as by testing production and experimental heat exchanger samples too. The high readiness level of heat exchanger design methods, an experienced research team, and the computer and experimental infrastructure availability can be needed by any industry that uses heat exchangers.
Gas Turbine Engine Flow Path Seals
Institute researchers, in particular, have conducted calculations; design, technological, and experimental studies aimed at the development of new types of highly efficient (brush and finger) seals with elastic elements to replace labyrinth seals in future gas turbine engines.