Eric Sonnichsen’s message from the Chairman:

June 1, 2015


Many of us have been together for more than two decades. I treasure the memories of struggles and successes, and I am eager for more. I can’t imagine working with a more effective and enthusiastic group than our community at Test Devices. Our mission is to help our customer colleagues make turbine engines safer and more economical, and to learn and grow as we do so. It is good work.We continue to work to find ways to make what we do more efficient and useful to our customers:

  • We are pleased with the performance of our regenerative drives, which provide more rapid testing while consuming less than a third of the energy of our compressed air turbines.
  • We are assembling two spin facilities for an export customer. This work offers us the opportunity to find new and better ways to build these systems and incorporate the improvements in our own facilities in Hudson.
  • We have done recent feasibility experiments that give us confidence in our developing capability to excite high-frequency vibration modes in bladed assemblies at operating speeds in the spin chamber under partial vacuum. Our newest high-power drives, along with some innovative cooling techniques, make this possible.
  • We continue to upgrade the systems we use for testing of customer parts. We have scheduled complete replacement of the control systems of our 54-inch and 36-inch capacity rigs. Both have served us well over the years, but it is time to take full advantage of the newest computer control technologies.
  • We are working on a Phase-II SBIR program to extend the temperature capability of tests, including very high through-wall gradients. Some experiments we were able to do in the phase-I study make us confident that this will be successful and lead to more rapid development of thermal-barrier coatings and more rapid development of improved materials.