Active combustion control has been accomplished in many laboratory and real-world combustion systems by fuel modulation as the control input. The modulation is commonly achieved using reciprocating flow control devices. These demonstrations have been successful because the instabilities have been at relatively low frequencies (∼200 Hz) or the scale of demonstration has been small enough to require very small levels of modulation. A number of real-world instabilities in gas turbine engines involve higher frequencies (200–500 Hz) and attenuation requires the modulation of large fractions of the engine fuel flow rate (hundreds of pounds per hour). A spinning drum valve was built to modulate fuel for these applications. Tests showed that this device provided more than 30% flow modulation up to 800 Hz for liquid fuel flows of greater than 400 lbm/hr. This paper describes the performance of the valve in flow bench tests, open-loop forcing, and closed-loop instability control tests. The closed-loop tests were done on a single-nozzle combustor rig which exhibited a limit-cycling instability at a frequency of ∼280 Hz with an amplitude of ∼7 psi. It also encounters an instability at 575 Hz under a different set up of the rig, though active control on that instability has not been investigated so far. The test results show that the spinning valve could be effectively used for active instability control, though the control algorithms need to be developed which will deal with or account for actuator phase drift/error.

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