Laser-Induced Emissions Sensor for Soot Mass in Rocket Plumes

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC06CB45C
Agency Tracking Number: 053489
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: O2.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2572 White Road, Irvine, CA, 92614-6236
DUNS: 188465819
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Jenkins
 Principal Investigator
 (949) 553-0688
Business Contact
 Cecil Hess
Title: President
Phone: (949) 553-0688
Research Institution
A method is proposed to measure soot mass concentration non-intrusively from a distance in a rocket engine exhaust stream during ground tests using laser-induced incandescence (LII). The basic technique has already been proven in an aircraft engine exhaust, and should be adaptable to a rocket plume with some modifications, including a correction scheme to account for the high plume temperatures, and proper isolation from acoustic vibrations. Besides enabling the technique to be applied to a rocket engine, the required modifications should also lead to potential opportunities to measure temperature and additional species, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trace metals introduced into the exhaust through wear, such as Ni, Fe and Cr. A multi-parameter sensor is envisioned that combines four techniques, all using the same hardware: LII to measure soot mass concentration, laser-induced fluorescence to measure PAHs, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to measure trace metals, and passive emission to measure temperature. The sensor will employ a line-imaging near-backscatter design, used successfully in our previous work, that allows spatially-resolved measurements of all parameters along a path through the plume from a single vantage point, located a safe distance from the plume. This system should provide continuous, rapid, in situ measurements in a difficult measurement environment.

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

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