NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 T2.02-9760
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Concepts for Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of Novel, Optically-Based Instrumentation for Aircraft System Testing and Control

NAME: Brimrose Corporation of America NAME: Rutgers University
STREET: 19 Loveton Circle, Hunt Valley Loveton Center STREET: 98 Brett Road, D-103 Engineering Building
CITY: Sparks CITY: Piscataway
STATE/ZIP: MD  21152 - 9201 STATE/ZIP: NJ  08854 - 0504
PHONE: (410) 472-7070 PHONE: (732) 445-0504

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Pranay Sinha

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract:

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to design, build and evaluate a prototype of a compact, robust, optically-based sensor for making temperature and multi-species concentration measurements in propulsion system ground and flight test environments. This system will utilize a widely tunable near infrared light source to make absorption measurements of combustion reactant and products in the combustion zone (with accuracy from 100-1000 ppm). Although possible to tune over a very wide wavelength range, during phase-II we propose to develop the light source which will be able to continuously tune from 1.4 to 1.8 microns while maintaining a narrow bandwidth of 0.01 cm-1 using a novel combination of acousto- and electro-optically controlled devices. The rapid tunability of this light source will obviate the need for dense multiplexing of multiple wavelengths as signals can be multiplexed in time while maintaining fast temporal response. Furthermore, the wide spectral bandwidth allows for the selection of the optimum absorption transitions, without regard for the commercial availability of narrow bandwidth diode lasers. The proposed instrumentation will be environmentally rugged, with the ability to withstand extreme ranges of temperature, humidity, vibration and shock conditions. Further, the system will possess auto-calibration capabilities, fast response time (few microseconds) and can be battery operated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many commercial and military applications for an accurate and rugged laser absorption system capable of acting as a temperature and/or concentration sensor. The sensor could be used in both new and retrofit commercial aircraft as a control sensor for propulsion systems, as its capabilities easily extend to a very wide-range pressure environment. The reliable and precise instrument can be used to control gas turbine combustors, afterburners, and turbine optimization. The system could also be used in aircraft fuel tanks to measure fuel vapor flammability and oxygen concentration in OBIGGS systems. Furthermore, due to the widely tunable light source, this sensor could be used to replace TDLAS sensors in any application, as there is a demonstrable advantage in system cost, complexity, and operation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This type of sensor can also be used to monitor the combustion efficiency in terrestrial gas turbine and high-pressure combustion systems where a rugged sensor with long operating life characteristics is needed. Also it is possible to use this sensor for real-time biological measurements as the system can also be used as a Fraunhofer Line Discriminator Spectrometer for sub-angstrom remote sensing of fluorescence emission in the Fraunhofer line wavelengths. Finally, large and complex molecules that have extremely broad absorption signatures could be fully resolved with this sensor, with application to national security sensing of weapons and explosives.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.


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