Jet Fuel Mixture Activity

In this activity you will learn how to use a JAVA 3D Slicer to analyze 3D scientific data sets. This HDF three dimensional data set represents the concentration of a fuel/air mixture in a closed container for an instant in time (750 units of time) after the fuel was injected into the container. The data is from an experiment that simulated the injection of fuel into the combustion chamber of a jet engine. Each fuel concentration value is represented by the combination of the x, y, and z coordinates which define the dimensions of the box. The purpose of the experiment was to test different shapes of fuel injection ports to derive the best shape for achieving the optimal fuel/air mix. In the concentration diagram below you can see the elliptical injection port on the left; this is where the fuel is injected into the chamber. Next, the fuel flows to the right and forms an elliptical cloud of fuel and air.

In this activity you will use the JAVA 3D Slicer to view the three dimensional data set. While "slicing" through the x, y, and z planes you will observe trends in the fuel concentrations. As you move the slice through the data the observed colors will change; red stands for the highest concentration and purple for the lowest concentration.

To perform this activity you will use the first data set in the brown.hdf file (although it should already be selected, you can make sure by selecting the drop down menu from the upper right hand corner of the JAVA applet). The data set exists in the JAVA 3D Slicer's folder; it is named brown.hdf. To access the file you select the drop down menu on the top of the JAVA applet and select "Open URL", then type "brown.hdf" (without the quotes). The data set will then load on the screen and you can move the "slice" through the data to observe certain trends and concentration levels.

    Analysis Procedure

  1. Select the Adjust X option and then move the scroll bar to the x-value 37 or type the value in the input box and hit Enter. At this slice what is the data value for the deep red color (high concentration)? The data values can be found at the bottom of the applet where the x, y, and z coordinates are located.


  2. As you scroll through the data set on the x plane how does the slice changes with the x-values. Do you notice any color or shape trends?


  3. Select the Adjust Y option and then move the scrollbar along the y-axis. What do you notice at the extreme values of Y (i.e. 0 and 63), what can you conclude about the shape of the fuel/air mixture? Repeat this process on the z-axis. Are your assumptions about the shape confirmed?


  4. By selecting the different axis options you can examine different areas of the data set; first select the x, then y, and finally z. How does the concentration change with the increase or decrease of the x, y and z slices?


  5. Select the x-axis option and then scroll to the two extremes. What can you determine about shape and color of the slice at the two extremes of the x-values (i.e. 0 and 43)?


  6. By observing the shape and color of the two slices of an x-value of 0 and 43 can you explain what these two slices represent? (HINT: Think about the chamber and what optimal concentration would be.)


  7. Select the y-axis, start at the value of 0 and scroll to the right until a high concentration appears. What is the y-value of this slice?


  8. Select the z-axis and then scroll across the data set at what value or range of values. Does the fuel/air concentration become the most consistent?

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Original work on this page was provided by Travis Pendergraft, Paul Warner, and Brett Hall (Class of '00)


Copyright © 1999 Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology Lynchburg, VA