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Advanced Diagnostics for Detonation-Powered Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2998
Agency Tracking Number: F083-124-0903
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-124
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2009-03-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-12-17
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505
United States
DUNS: 153579891
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Bomse
 Principal Engineer
 (505) 984-1322
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Title: Principal Engineer
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Research Institution

Pulsed detonation engines (PDE) have the potential to operate with higher efficiency and lower operating costs than scramjets and turbines.  Initiating and sustaining detonation in a controlled, repeatable manner is difficult, at present, and requires optimization of a number of parameters.  Key issues include the need for rapid fuel injection and fast mixing of fuel and oxidizer.  Successful PDE development requires new diagnostics capable of rapid measurements of the concentrations and distributions of combustion species and products, as well as reaction temperatures.  Optical diagnostics are preferred because they are non-intrusive.  Southwest Sciences proposes the development of a high-speed (≥10 kHz) optical absorption diagnostic for detonation-powered vehicles.  At the end of Phase II, we will deliver to the Air Force a prototype instrument capable of measuring the line-of-sight concentrations of at least three key combustion species such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and oxygen with time resolution of 1 ms, or better.  The proposed approach builds on our recent successful work that achieved true frequency modulation spectroscopy at GHz bandwidths.  We plan now to develop a variation of frequency modulation spectroscopy called high-speed, two-tone frequency modulation spectroscopy that simplifies the signal processing requirements while maintaining fast time response.   BENEFIT: We propose an enabling technology that will help with the development of pulsed detonation engines.  These engines have the potential to be more energy efficient than do existing propulsion designs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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