RC Integrated Systems LLC (RISL), with support from Lockheed Martin Space and in collaboration with Kansas State University (KSU) and TechOpp Consulting Inc., proposes to advance the development of a novel Fiber Optic Multimodal Sensing (FOMS) System, providing accurate simultaneous measurement of multiple parameters including pressure, temperature, and strain in high temperature and/or radiation environment. The FOMS addresses NASA’s need for measurement of pressure, temperature, and strain in a high temperature and radiation environment to support rocket ground testing. The FOMS sensors are based on fabrication of unique multimodal sensors along the length of a single unique optical fiber and coating of the fiber with a novel high-temperature-resistance ceramic material. The FOMS system is capable of measuring temperature as high as 1500 degrees C with 0.1 degree C accuracy, strains of up to 10,000 microstrains with 1 microstrain accuracy, and pressure of over 5000 psi with accuracy of 0.2%. The outcome of the Phase I FOMS program was the successful feasibility demonstration of the FOMS technology through extensive design, modeling, prototype development, and laboratory testing and demonstration. A Technology Readiness Level (TRL-) 3 prototype was tested in a laboratory environment at temperatures up to 1100 degrees C with the capability to operate up to 1500 degrees C. Laboratory testing showed less than 0.1 degree C in temperature measurement and about 1 microstrain in strain measurement had been achieved with the prototype sensor. In addition, the prototype sensor was tested to show high stability and repeatability. At the end of Phase II, RISL will perform a TRL-5 prototype demonstrations of the FOMS technology at RISL or a NASA facility, and will deliver to NASA a fully operational FOMS system prototype.
FOMS can be used in the nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) ground test facility for evaluation of nuclear rocket fuel elements. It can be incorporated into Stennis Space Center (SSC) NTP Ground Test Exhaust Capture System. It can also be incorporated into the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) at the Marshall Center's Propulsion Research and Development Laboratory. Future mission applications for this technology include Human Missions to Mars, Science Missions to Outer Planets, and Planetary Defense.
FOMS can be used for measuring turbine engine exhaust gas temperature (EGT) and pressure and structural strain. It can also be used for monitoring EGT and pressure in coal-fired power plants, natural-gas-based power plants, and geothermal plants. Lockheed Martin Space has expressed their interest in FOMS technology for mapping structural temperatures and strains on spacecraft platforms.