Miniaturized Thermocouple Scanner

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9101-10-C-0018
Agency Tracking Number: F083-258-0103
Amount: $749,896.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-258
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
3100 Fresh Way SW, Huntsville, AL, -
DUNS: 124289294
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Alton Reich
 Lead Engineer
 (256) 713-1220
Business Contact
 Alton Reich
Title: Lead Engineer
Phone: (256) 713-1220
Research Institution
The AEDC Engine Test Facility (ETF) has more than 20 test cells that can be used for testing prototype propulsion systems and components. The testing of propulsion systems requires significant data acquisition capabilities, with one test utilizing more than 4200 channels of instrumentation, including 700 thermocouples. In response to the sheer set-up challenge, AEDC has developed the concept of Snap-In/Snap-Out sensors – in which each sensor is close-coupled to electronics sufficient to control the sensor and convert analog output to digital data that is transmitted over a network for recording and processing. Streamline Automation has demonstrated feasibility during Phase 1 by designing, fabricating, and testing a bench-top prototype. This project will focus on designing, fabricating, and testing a prototype Miniaturized Thermocouple Scanner based on the system requirements. BENEFIT: According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, the market for LXI-enabled, networkable test and measurement equipment is expected to grow at an annual rate of 24.2% through 2012. The market was estimated at $220 million in sales in 2007, and could grow to $650 million annually by 2012. This is in contrast to the general purpose instrumentation market, which is expected to grow 3-4% annually. This trend is encouraging, and shows the relatively rapid movement in the industry toward smart sensors. To a great extent, the market reflects the fact that there are clear and significant cost savings to be gained by adopting smart sensors. AEDC''s engine testing application involves the use of many sensors that are installed in the test cell for a short period of time. The set-up time for installing and wiring these sensors directly impacts test schedules. Additionally, current practice involves manually tracking the locations of thermocouples using spreadsheets that are prone to error and that may create problems downstream during data analysis. The use of smart transducers will alleviate both of these problems. The installation of smart thermocouples will make test set-up easier by minimizing the amount of wiring that is installed and run in the test cell. Proper use of the TEDS will enable transducer location data to be stored along with other parameters. The location information can then be carried along with the recorded data to ease the interpretation of test results.

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

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