CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 5, 1999
UI College of Engineering space shuttle project receives $339,000
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Engineering project
that flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in November 1997 has received
a four-year, $339,000 grant from NASA's Microgravity Research Division,
effective January 1999.
The project, called ELF (for Enclosed Laminar Flames), is an investigation
of ways to make jet engines burn cleaner and more reliably. Principal
investigator L.D. Chen, professor of mechanical engineering and interim
director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) at the University
of Iowa, said that the grant will enable his research team to analyze past
results and plan future research. "Under the terms of this award,
we will be able to compete to re-fly the project aboard a future space
shuttle mission and to conduct a follow-up study of the November 1997 investigation,"
The ELF investigation, which has operated for the past four years under
a $490,000 NASA grant, uses space as a laboratory to study the characteristics
of jet engine flames. Chen said that jet engine flame out and emission
of nitrogen oxides and soot can best be studied in the near-weightless
environment of space before trying to alleviate the problems in a gravity
environment. He noted that in addition to jet engines, gas-fired furnaces
and fireplaces may one day benefit from the study of more stable gas flames.
Chen's co-investigators on the project are Dennis P. Stocker and John
E. Brooker, both research scientists at NASA-Lewis Research Center, Cleveland,
Ohio. The ELF investigation is also supported by engineering expertise
and experimental hardware developed by NASA.