NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 01.15-0003

PROJECT TITLE : Optical Air Mass Flux Sensor for Flight Applications (7117-060)

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Flight qualified sensors for inlet air mass flux are desired for improved control of conventional aeropropulsion gas turbine power plants and variable-geometry, mixed-compression inlets of advanced flight vehicles. This proposal describes an effort to develop and flight test an optical air mass flux sensor that provides continuous, rapid-response mass-flux data within the inlet duct over the entire flight envelope. It builds on the previous, successful demonstration of the sensor on a full-scale F-100 engine in ground tests. In the proposed program, PSI will develop a small, flight compatible package suitable for installation and testing on a NASA Dryden flight research vehicle. The Phase I portion will be devoted to completing the design task and will include a detailed reduction of the hardware to a flight compatible package, as well as automated and streamlined software for continuous mass flux reporting with a target bandwidth of 10 Hz. The successful flight demonstration in the Phase II portion of the proposed program will represent a significant milestone in the evolution of diode laser sensor technology for aeropropulsion applications and is expected to enable a suite of related diode laser sensors, including emissions and combustor exit temperature sensors.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The optical air mass flux sensor has identified commercial applications to military and civilian aircraft for improved engine control. Commercial stall and surge sensing are already being pursued with industry in ground tests. PSI will continue commercialization of this technology through similar licensing arrangements throughout the proposed program. Variants of the proposed sensor using different wavelength laser have commercial application as mass flow meters for natural gas and process chemical flows. Pre-commercial applications for NASA missions such as the hyper-X program are also envisioned.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Dr. Mark G. Allen
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077