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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Advanced Air Breathing Propulsion


US Air Force Academy, Aeronautical Research Center

RO# Location
13.04.01.B0208 US Air Force Academy, CO 808406200


Name E-mail Phone
McLaughlin, Thomas E. (719) 333-2613


Emerging propulsion and power needs drive combustion systems towards higher efficiencies and power densities. New approaches are being developed in small-scale systems (on the order of a hundred of watts to hundreds of kilowatts). Efficient small-scale propulsion (ESSP) and power research has focused on the coupling of combustion heat release into useful energy conversion. Research has included optimization of small-scale unmanned air vehicle propulsion and power systems, including conversion of Otto cycle (spark ignition) engines to heavy fuels, advanced ignition systems, propeller/engine optimization, and development of enabling components and engine concepts for high power density systems. Small-scale demonstrations of advanced turbine concepts are also being explored including innovative cycles. Other areas of interest include hybrid systems, diesels with high power density, regenerative, and other novel internal and external combustion cycles. The Aeronautics Lab at the Air Force Academy has fully instrumented test facilities including a Rotax Aircraft Engine test stand, Garret 109 turbofan engine test stand, and a small turbojet test stand variable to support a wide variety of research opportunities.



Helfrich TM, et al: Journal of Propulsion and Power 23: 2007


Heavy fuel engine; Air-breathing propulsion; Gas turbine; Propeller; Internal combustion engine; External combustion engine; High power density; Hybrid propulsion/power;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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