Using colors that change to green, yellow, and orange, the visualization shows that most of the air moves toward the right. But some of the air, shown in red, recirculates within certain regions of the combustor, thus increasing the mixing process. The purple isosurface shows the zones in which this recirculation takes place. The size and location of these zones are critical to the efficiency of the combustion process and the reduction of undesirable nitrous oxide emissions. The NASA scientists are able to use this information to improve jet-engine combustion, ultimately enhancing passenger safety, fuel economy, and pollution-reduction efforts.
GRC researcher Anthony Iannetti developed the simulation using new NASA software called the National Com bustion Code. Dorothy Carney, also of the GRC, created the visualization using Ensight 7 software from Computer Engineering International. -Diana Phillips Mahoney