A Comprehensive Prediction and Control System for Combustion Processes
The prediction, identification and notification of spacecraft fires is critical in assuring the safety of manned space missions. Absent the effects of buoyancy in space, the chemical and fluid dynamic phenomena that govern the ignition, spread and extinction of fires are far different than those on Earth. Our understanding and predictive capabilities depend on detailed models that must be versatile, accurate and verifiable. In this work, we propose the development of a new, powerful computational technique that, when used in conjunction with as few as one quantitative species measurement, will predict all species concentrations and temperature in any diffusion flame, with possible extension to burning droplets and smoldering surfaces. This new innovation is named Iterative Temperature with Assumed Chemistry (ITAC). We believe that the diagnostic of choice in verification and use of this model is diode laser absorption. Not only can these lasers quantitatively measure virtually all major flame species and intermediates, but their minimal weight, size and power requirements make them suitable for in situ spacecraft fire sensors as well.
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