A MINIATURE SEPARATION SENSOR FOR WIND TUNNEL MODELS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 14985
Amount: $49,910.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1991
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Optra Inc
66 Cherry Hill Drive, Beverly, MA, 01915
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Hercher
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 921-2100
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THIS PROPOSAL DESCRIBES A NON-CONTACTING SENSOR FOR MEASURING THE DISTANCE BETWEEN ARTICLES LOCATED IN A HYPERSONIC WIND TUNNEL. THE SENSOR SIZE IS 5-INCHES LONG X 0.1-INCH DIAMETER AND ITS RESOLUTION IS 0.002 -INCH. THE BASIC PRINCIPLE USED IS PHASE SENSITIVE OPTICAL RADAR: A LASER DIODE IS MODULATED AT 1000 MHZ AND LASER RADIATION REFLECTED FROM A TARGET OBJECT IS DETECTED. THE PHASE OF THE DETECTED MODULATION IS A LINEAR FUNCTION OF THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE SENSOR AND THE REFLECT ING TARGET-ONE CYCLE OF PHASE FOR EACH 5.9-INCHES OF SEPARATION. OPTRA HAS DEVELOPED A ROBUST TECHNIQUE (HARDWARE + FAST ALGORITHMS) FOR MAKING SUCH PHASE MEASUREMENTS WITH A RESOLUTION OF 1/3000-CYCLE, OR DISTANCE RESOLUTION OF 0.002-INCH. IT IS PROPOSED TO USE OPTICAL FIBERS TO LINK THE SENSOR PROBE TO THE DATA-PROCESSING MODULE, SO THAT THE PROBE WILL CONTAIN ONLY PASSIVE ELEMENTS AND CAN BE MADE TO WITHSTAND HIGH TEMPERATURES. THE SPECIFIED RANGE OF THE PROBE IS 0 TO 1-INCH, ALTHOUGH WE EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE A WORKING RANGE OF AT LEAST 0 TO 2-INCHES. IN ADDITION TO ITS UTILITY IN WIND-TUNNEL MEASUREMENTS, OPTRA EXPECTS THAT SUCH A SENSOR WILL FIND WIDE APPLICATION AS AN INDUSTRIAL SENSOR, PARTICULARLY IN PROCESS AND MANUFACTURING CONTROL APPLICATIONS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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