Gamma Densitometry Technique for Quantifying Void Fraction in Cavitating Flows

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-08-M-0002
Agency Tracking Number: F071-204-0981
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF071-204
Solicitation Number: 2007.1
Small Business Information
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI, 53717
DUNS: 196894869
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Millicent Coil
 Senior Propulsion Engineer
 (608) 827-5000
Business Contact
 Eric Rice
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (608) 827-5000
Research Institution
Cavitation in liquid rocket engine turbopumps can degrade performance, damage hardware, and generate vibration that impacts the entire vehicle. Many types of cavitation can occur within the operating envelope, and their presence complicates the design process. Cavitation models remain invalidated due to the lack of direct measurements of cavitation. Presence of cavitation is typically indirectly inferred through head falloff and measurements of casing static pressure and temperature. An experimental tool that can measure void fraction and directly quantify cavitation would improve the understanding of cavitation and allow validation computational tools. ORBITEC proposes to develop a gamma tool to quantify in-situ void fractions in turbopump systems. A novel twin-detector setup will yield a data rate of hundreds of Hz, much faster than the state of the art. Specialized calibrations will allow the technique to take measurements through moving blades. Phase I work will develop the twin detector gamma tool, establish its metrics through controlled laboratory tests, and perform proof-of-concept tests in Aerospace Corporation’s cavitation test facility. Phase II work would be an extensive experimental program including tests on controlled bubbly flow and hydrofoil and inducer testing in the Aerospace cavitation test facility.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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