WESTT CS/BV Virtual Engine Test Bench | Kent State University

WESTT CS/BV Virtual Engine Test Bench

The WESTT CS/BV virtual engine test bench, from Price Induction, offers a unique and multi-disciplinary tool for illustrating the behavior of a turbofan engine and providing a platform for practical laboratory coursework and instruction. It illustrates fundamental concepts in three critical areas: thermodynamics, aerodynamics, and control theory. The information below was taken from content authored by D. Blake Stringer, Ph.D., College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

This equipment currently enjoys widespread academic use throughout the world in countries such as France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Lebanon, Brazil, China, and Japan. The vendor, likewise, has used feedback from its various customers to improve the bench’s simulation fidelity and modeling capability. In the Unites States, there are currently only two virtual benches in use. The first is at Georgia Tech; the second is at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Engineers at NASA Glenn received the test bench in November 2013 to assist in training themselves on gas turbine propulsion and control systems. Thus, the WESTT CS/BV is a truly unique laboratory experience within the United States.

photo WESTT CS BV Virtual Engine Test Bench

The virtual test bench replicates the DGEN-380 turbofan engine, the world’s first turbofan optimized for general aviation, and the only turbofan engine rated for continuous performance under 25,000 feet. The bench uses an electronic block to simulate engine operation, consisting of the virtual engine, a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) microcontroller, and debug interface. It is an ideal engine in which to introduce these very critical engineering competencies. 

The test bench provides students with experience in the following areas:

  • Turbomachinery-Introduction to high-speed rotating machinery, observation of the basic operating principles, identification and visualization of its main components and an understanding of the role of each.
  • Thermodynamics-Analysis, study, and sensitivity of thermodynamic parameters under different operating conditions.
  • Internal aerodynamics-Analysis, study, and sensitivity of high-pressure flow through the compressor and fan blades.
  • Control systems-Simple and complex regulation and automation within a freely modifiable FADEC microcontroller. With embedded software
  • Failure diagnosis -Simulation of a wide panel of faults for approaches to engine failure.
  • Engine design and simulation-Simulation and performance evaluation of engine design concepts with X-Plane flight simulator commercial software
  • Research-Control optimization methodologies.

Courses

Some courses that may incorporate this equipment are:

  • AERN 35020: Aircraft Propulsion Systems
  • AERN 35040: Aircraft Systems I
  • AERN 35200: Thermal-Fluid Engineering
  • AERN 35201: Thermal-Fluid Lab
  • AERN 35400: System Dynamics and Control
  • AERN 35600: High-Speed Aerodynamics
  • AERN 45600: Aircraft Stability and Control
  • AERN 45601: Aircraft Stability and Control Lab
  • AERN 45700: Aircraft Design I
  • AERN 45710: Turbine Engine Theory
  • AERN 45711: Turbine Engine Theory Lab
  • AERN 45030: Aircraft Systems II
  • AERN 45099: Aeronautical Studies Capstone
  • AERN 45121: Advanced Aerospace Propulsion
  • AERN 45150: Applied Flight Dynamics I
  • AERN 45151: Applied Flight Dynamics II
  • AERN 45850: Aircraft Design II