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Portable Fuel Analyzer


OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate an analyzer to determine the acceptability of military fuels to be used in a field environment. DESCRIPTION: The Army currently performs most fuel analysis functions in mobile laboratories which use time-consuming, manpower-intensive ASTM approved methods. The Army is looking to develop a portable fuel analyzer that will employ state-of-the-art technologies to rapidly determine the quality of a JP8, JP5, Jet A, TS-1, or diesel fuel sample at the point of use by correlating instrument results to applicable fuel specifications and required tests. The portable fuel analyzer will replace the functions currently performed by the existing Ground Fuel Contamination Test Kit (GFCTK) and the Aviation Fuel Contamination Test Kits (AFCTK). The portable fuel analyzer will allow a commander to determine the usability of fuel within 20 minutes versus waiting for test results that can take up to several hours using the current test procedures. The small size and flexibility of the portable fuel analyzer will allow it to be transported and used at any location on the battlefield. The portable fuel analyzer will not require a laboratory-trained technician to operate allowing any fuel handler (MOS 92F) in charge of storing or distributing bulk fuel to be able to operate the portable fuel analyzer. This capability is critical as the battlefield becomes less defined and quality surveillance expediency becomes paramount to the success of an operation. The portable fuel analyzer shall be capable of being stored and operated in hot and basic climatic conditions ranging from -25degreesF to +135degreesF and have the ability to operate on a 24-DC volt source obtained from a common military battery, from a tactical vehicle, or from ground support equipment. The portable fuel analyzer will minimize waste by utilizing nondestructive test methodologies and by limiting the amount of consumables required. No hazardous materials will be required to operate the instrumentation of the portable fuel analyzer. It is desired that the portable fuel analyzer be capable of quantifying fuel system icing inhibitor, corrosion inhibitor, static dissipater, +100 thermal stability improver, and fire resistant agents. It is also desired that the portable fuel analyzer shall be capable of identifying sabotage agents in the fuel. The portable fuel analyzer shall be updatable by the Army as required as new fuels and additives come to use in the battlefield. PHASE I: Develop an approach for the design of a portable fuel analyzer capable of analyzing military fuels to provide an indication of the fuels acceptability. Conduct proof of principle experiments supporting the concept and provide evidence of the feasibility of the approach. PHASE II: Develop, build, and evaluate two identical prototype portable fuel analyzers meeting the requirements provided in the description of this SBIR topic and other requirements provided by the Army. PHASE III: Technology developed under this SBIR could have an impact on military fuel distribution with the intended transition path being into the Army's Petroleum Test Kit or alternatively the Petroleum Quality Analysis System - Enhanced. The development of this technology may also find application in the commercial aviation industry or in commercial fuel analysis. REFERENCES: 1. Schmitigal, J., Mainero, J."Evaluation of Alternative Technologies to Measure Fuel Density."TARDEC Technical Report 21953, October 2010. 2. Schmitigal, J."Evaluation of Portable Near Infrared Fuel Analysis Spectrometer."TARDEC Technical Report 21143, August 2010. 3. Schmitigal, J., Tebbe, J.,"JP-8 and other Military Fuels."Program Manager Petroleum And Water Systems (PM-PAWS) All Hands Day, December 2011, Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
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