The Particulate Aerosol Laboratory (PAL) was designed, built, and operated for over a decade at the NASA Langley Research Center as the Jet Gas Simulation Rig. Upon completion of Langleyís test program, the NASA Glenn Research Center agreed to acquire the rig and continue to study emissions at upper atmospheric conditions. The test rig and hardware arrived at Glenn in 2000 and were installed in Glennís Engine Research Building. Glennís Combustion Branch conducted only 13 runs in this research facility before it was placed in standby in 2004. In an effort to continue the research that was started in 2003, a request was made to reactivate the facility in late 2005. Through the combined efforts of Glennís civil service and contractor work-force, the facility was recently reactivated and recertified. Checkout testing of the test rig was started in May, and the facility was fully functional as of September. Multiple tests are planned for this facility, and utilization is anticipated for the next 1 to 2 years.
PAL altitude chamber and combustor.
The PAL will be the only known facility to utilize an altitude chamber for basic atmospheric chemical research, and the reactivation of this altitude facility opens up the possibility of studying high-altitude chemistry and of obtaining data that can be used in atmospheric modeling. The PAL altitude chamber can simulate the environment of the upper troposphere or lower stratosphere (~45,000 ft), and PAL-enabled studies of homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistry will help us to understand the effects of emissions on the atmosphere. With the reactivated PAL facility, analysis of chemical species and particulates by mass spectroscopy, measurement of the magnitude of the emissions, and the analysis of the effects of these emissions on the environment will now be easier and more economical.
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Last updated: December 15, 2007
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