While the GTL is primarily focused on experimental work, it is important to pair this with computations to extend the interpretation of the data and develop more accurate predictive tools. Ultimately, the way that lessons from the experimental data will be incorporated into new engine designs is through the improvement of the computational design tools. This means that work comparing predictions to data and identifying where the predictions succeed and, more importantly, where they fail, is a critical component of the goal to improve operational engine performance. Because very few other experimental facilities are able to capture many of the unsteady interactions of a rotating turbine, few other predictions of these interactions can be validated against experimental data.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models are generated for the full-stage turbines, internal flow passages, and flat plate experiments using Numeca's FINE/Turbo or FINE/Open as well as Fluent and CFX. On the aeromechanics side, impact models developed using LS-DYNA or structural ANSYS models are compared to strain gauge measurements from the spin pit facilities. In addition, a number of simplified modeling techniques have been developed in house for experiment design and data analysis.