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High Temperature and Pressure Mass Flow Rate Measurement System for Liquid and Supercritical Phase Fluids


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Hypersonics The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a true mass flow rate measurement system to be used to determine the flow rate of high temperature and pressure fluids in support of Department of Defense (DoD) hypersonic flight system acquisition programs. DESCRIPTION: The ground testing of DoD high speed and hypersonic (HS/H) propulsion systems requires supporting utility supply systems that can provide various fluids and gases to the test article at conditions similar to or in excess of those expected to be experienced while the system is in flight. Because of the extreme temperatures and pressures experienced during hypersonic flight, the fuel that is used by the propulsion system will also be used to provide cooling to flight vehicle hardware and propulsion system components before injection into and burned in the combustor. At the Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit (APTU) of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, a Heated Fuel System (HFS) has been installed to support HS/H propulsion system testing using kerosene-based fuels. It is designed to provide fuel to the propulsion system under test at high pressures and temperatures. Once the fuel is heated to the desired test temperature the fuel may be in a supercritical thermodynamic state and endothermic reactions may have broken long-chain hydrocarbon molecules into shorter molecules. This in turn results in a large uncertainty in the density of the fuel since the actual composition of the fuel mixture after heating is unknown. A new measurement method is needed to determine the fuel mass flow rate downstream of the fuel heating system. It is desired that the measurement uncertainties of this method are on the order of the methods used to measure low temperature flows. A direct measurement of mass flow rate is preferred since requiring the conversion of a volume flow rate to mass flow rate using the fluid density is not conducive to maintaining a low measurement uncertainty. PHASE I: Work with AEDC personnel to develop HFS operational understanding. Survey industry to assess potential solutions to the problem, including later commercialization opportunities. Develop the design of a mass flow rate measurement system up to CDR level including measurement uncertainty assessment. PHASE II: Manufacture measurement devices and install in APTU HFS downstream of fuel heating section for testing. Iterate design as needed. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Develop mass flow rate meters for individual engine flow paths (reduced measurement range). Reduce device complexity and size for use on flight-type and flight-weight test articles. Incorporate a fuel density measurement system into the design. This technology will result in a product easily commercialized to the oil and refining industries and any other industry needing a quantitative measurement of mass flow rate at high temperatures and pressures. REFERENCES: 1. Abernethy, R. B., et. al., and Thompson, J. W., “Handbook: Uncertainty in Gas Turbine Measurements”, AEDC-TR-73-5, February 1973, Page 1.; 2. Smith, L. and Ruesch, J. R., “Mass Flow Meters”, Chapter 10 in Flow Measurement, edited by D. W. Spitzer, part of the Practical Guides for Measurement and Control series of the Instrumentation Society of America, © 1991.; 3. ASME Standard 2004, Measurement of Fluid Flow in Pipes Using Orifice, Nozzle, and Venturi, Number ASME MFC-3M-2004, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2004.; 4. Holst, K., Garrard, D., and Milhoan, A., “Upgrades and Plans for Activation and Calibration of the Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit Heated Fuel System,” AIAA 2014-2483, Presented at the 19th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 16-20, 2014. KEYWORDS: Heated Fuel; Mass Flow Rate, High Temperature; High Pressure; Scramjet; Ground Testing; APTU
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