Past, Present, and Future of the Gas Turbine Engine Simulator; A Technical and Financial Analysis 2002-01-2944
Over the past 20 years, gas turbine engine simulators have evolved into an integral tool for testing and certifying the electronic controllers of gas turbine engines. At Honeywell, this evolution has taken place on parallel paths. Namely, the simulators for testing the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) controllers and the simulators for testing the propulsion engine controllers. Although at the same company, these paths implemented two unique approaches in their development. However, the underlying philosophy behind how these simulators are used is the same and unique to Honeywell. This work outlines these evolutionary approaches and gives light to Honeywell's successful approach to simulator design and implementation.
In the early years, simulators were built solely as a tool for use in testing the hardware interface of the controllers and didn't significantly reduce the time performing tests on development engines.
Although this capability added value, it was difficult to access financial savings gained by using the simulators. However, as the simulators increased in sophistication, their role in controller testing also increased. Today, they are used to perform many tasks that could previously only be accomplished on an actual engine test stand. Recently studies have illustrated the cost vs. gain potential of employing the gas turbine engine simulator. These results as well as some discussion about the potential (both technical and financial) of Honeywell's gas turbine engine simulators are presented in this paper.