National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Laser High Heat Flux Test Laboratories



The high power lasers that make up these laboratories provide a unique high-temperature testing capability wherein materials are exposed under a variety of temperature and stress conditions. The facilities include 1.5 kW and 3.0 kW (wavelength 10.6 microns) CO2 lasers, pyrometry and thermography temperature measurement instruments and state-of-the-art data acquisition and control systems.

Laser beam optic systems are incorporated in the rig designs to achieve various laser beam configurations and energy distributions. These tests provide near-realistic transient and steady-state temperature and thermal gradients encountered in advanced engine systems, including simulation of aircraft, diesel and space propulsion engine conditions.

Features (Three Systems)

  • 1.5 kW and 3.0 kW (wavelength 10.6 microns) CO2 lasers with pyrometry and thermography
  • 6 ATM (95 psi) high pressure laser test rig
  • Combined thermal and mechanical fatigue laser bend test rig
  • Testing in moisture environment


  • Fundamental Aeronautics/Supersonics: Understanding and modeling of performance of environmental barrier coatings on ceramic matrix composite gas turbine engine components; Durability and life prediction modeling of superalloys with advanced thermal barrier coating
  • Collaborative Effort With Industry and Other Government Agencies: Performance and durability of environmental and thermal barrier coatings under high heat flux conditions, life prediction model validation

Potential Uses

  • Development of environmental barrier coatings for SiC-based ceramic composite gas turbine engine components
  • Development of low conductivity and erosion resistant thermal barrier coatings with long durability
  • Understanding coating degradation under high heat flux conditions and validating life prediction models

Point of Contact: Dongming Zhu, 216-433-5422