Turbomachinery and Propulsion

The approach adopted here when dealing with turbomachinery and propulsion research lies in the identification of and the solution to scientific keys involved in complex industrial problems. Long-range partnerships in the automotive and aeronautics industries have strengthened this strategic position and led the department to equip its laboratories with specific experimental facilities and computing power. Currently, activities are focused on three fields of application.

Air-breathing propulsion

In addition to the expertise developed in defining innovative architectures, the work gives priority to the experimental approach. Two complementary engine test facilities give access to a wide field of experimentation: ignition in flight, water ingestion, chemical and acoustic pollution, alternative fuels, control, maneuverability and stealth enhancement. For these issues, the expertise developed on engine test facilities is complementary of ONERA DMAE expertise in combustion chambers.


Research involving the issue of off-design functioning of turbomachines (surge detection and control, characterization and prediction of the performance of variable geometry radial-inflow turbine stages, identification of rotor-stator interactions in low speed fans) is based on a dual approach (experimental/numerical studies) of applications such as centrifugal compressors, automotive turbochargers (Sébastien Le Guyader’s thesis work), radial turbines and axial fans. Specific issues are also treated, such as the impact of the high rotational speed specific to small-size machines on performance, or the high temperature level found in turbochargers.