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News

ATK - Combustion Air Heater (CAH)


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ATK
: 19 February, 2008  (New Product)
Alliant Techsystems has announced that the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) has completed acceptance testing of a state-of-the-art Combustion Air Heater (CAH).
Designed and built at ATK facilities in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. and West Palm Beach, Fla. under contract with AEDC, the CAH features a Rocket engine-like injector array and combustor and will be used to heat test gas to conditions that simulate air flow at speeds up to Mach 8 for hypersonic engine development.

The CAH is installed in AEDC's Aerodynamics and Propulsion Test Unit (APTU) where it can be connected to a suite of supersonic and hypersonic nozzles that produce the desired test conditions. Test articles are positioned at the exit of these flow nozzles in order to collect the data. The CAH provides the unique capability of operating at pressure levels up to 2,800 psi and temperatures reaching 4,200 F. These conditions are necessary to conduct experiments that simulate the hypersonic speeds future systems will attain.

The United States Department of Defense and industry partners like ATK are making significant investments in hypersonic flight vehicles for atmospheric flight, as well as access to space. Developing advanced ground test equipment such as ATK's CAH allows for efficient, lower-cost test programs in preparation for actual flight tests.

'We enjoy a great working relationship with the AEDC team and have worked hard to provide a unique test facility to rapidly advance hypersonic flight technologies,' said Bart Olson, vice president, ATK Tactical Propulsion and Controls division. 'We designed and built the CAH for the U.S. Air Force and we look forward to testing some of our own hypersonic engines in their test facility.'

'We're really excited about taking ownership of the CAH. This new air heater greatly increases our ability to support test and evaluation programs critically important the nation,' said Chris Smith, Hypersonic Propulsion Capability Manager at AEDC.
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