Tool Detects Engine-Destroying Oscillations

Engine Graphic

A tool was developed that uses machine learning and a dynamical systems-based approach to identify a precursor of combustion instability in engines. Combustion engines, like those in aircraft, are at risk of fatal damage by "combustion oscillations," where pressure fluctuations inside the engine become large.

The lifespan of a combustor can be limited by a phenomenon called thermoacoustic combustion oscillations. When thermoacoustic oscillations become too large or out of control, it causes fatal damage to combustors, which can have enormous financial and human consequences.