Fiber Optic Sensor System for Cryogenic Fuel Measurement

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC04CA65C
Agency Tracking Number: 035604
Amount: $69,972.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: F3.06
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
575 McCorkle Blvd., Westerville, OH, 43082-8699
DUNS: 05181
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Philip Swinehart
 Principal Investigator
 (614) 891-2243
Business Contact
 Philip Swinehart
Title: Business Official
Phone: (614) 891-2243
Research Institution
This SBIR Phase I project will address the feasibility of using a fiber Bragg grating array as a means of detecting liquid and slush hydrogen in gravity and zero gravity environments. Fiber optic Bragg grating sensors offer the advantages of a single fiber feed through into the cryogenic vessel for reliability and the ability to multiplex many sensors on a fiber in order to locate a liquid level or a floating mass. The detected parameter will be the differences in the thermal properties of the three hydrogen phases. Methods will be developed to extend the sensitivity of the Bragg grating sensors to at least ten Kelvins. In Phase I, the signal processing for each sensor in a short array will be performed using a robust tunable laser and a curve-fitting algorithm. The feasibility of the method will be demonstrated by using a four-sensor array to detect levels of liquid nitrogen and a single point sensor calibrated to 10K to demonstrate low temperature sensitivity. In Phase II, an array of 50 sensors will be demonstrated and advanced signal processing will be developed. The ability of the tunable laser to withstand launch stresses will be tested.

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

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