Miniaturized Thermocouple Scanner

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9101-09-M-0014
Agency Tracking Number: F083-258-2180
Amount: $99,898.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-258
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
11409 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN, 55344
DUNS: 114264351
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Russ Beech
 Director of Design
 (952) 996-1613
Business Contact
 John Myers
Title: VP of Development
Phone: (952) 996-1610
Research Institution
Process control and testing applications, including turbine engine testing, can require hundreds of thermocouples for temperature measurement.  Typically, these applications require extensive wiring to connect the thermocouples to remote instrumentation racks up to several hundred feet away; making test system installation time consuming and increasing the likelihood of noise pickup, in the long wire runs, that can limit the sensitivity and resolution of the temperature measurements.  Some systems attempt to minimize these issues by performing local signal conditioning and digitization for groups of thermocouples, but these systems are bulky, lack environmental ruggedness, and have limited sampling rates.  This presents the opportunity for the development of a miniaturized thermocouple scanner that can provide high-speed sampling and signal digitization of a group of thermocouples, transmit the resulting data through a digital communication standard such as Ethernet, TCP/IP, and withstand high temperature, humidity, and vibration.  This miniaturized thermocouple scanner will require a Uniform Temperature Reference (UTR) for connection of up to 64 thermocouples, a precise measurement of the temperature of the UTR, and an Ethernet port for communication with a host system.  Thermocouple readings will have no more than ±10 mV of measurement uncertainty, and a programmable sample rate up to 200 samples/sec. BENEFITS: The miniaturized thermocouple scanner will have a significant, positive impact on test installation and maintenance due to vastly reduced wiring requirements rather than stringing hundreds of cables from thermocouples to remote instrumentation racks, only a few Ethernet cables will be required.  Improvements in data quality, both voltage and phase accuracy of temperature measurements , will result from a decrease in noise pickup due to minimization of cable runs and higher sample rates.  These measurement improvements will improve the quality of testing and process control, and will help to lower the cost of testing.

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

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