Optical Method for Real-Time Turbine Blade Tip Clearance Measurement

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX08CA63P
Agency Tracking Number: 074666
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.10
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505-3993
DUNS: 153579891
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrei Vakhtin
 Principal Investigator
 (505) 984-1322
 avakhtin@swsciences.com
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Title: President
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Email: astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Monitoring and controlling blade tip clearance of high pressure turbines are important for maintaining the integrity of the engine during its operating points and life cycle. Operating the engine with minimum tip clearance provides several benefits, such as increased turbine efficiency, reduced emissions, and extended service life. Southwest Sciences proposes an innovative technology based on optical Fourier domain reflectometry for near real-time tip-clearance measurement with an accuracy of 10 micrometers or better. A simple and robust optical sensor will withstand temperatures of up to 2000 F; therefore, the method can be applied for tip-clearance measurements in turbine hot sections. The system will allow controlling multiple sensors acquiring data from different locations in the turbine with a single main unit. The Phase I effort will provide experimental evidence of the feasibility of this approach and outline the design of the Phase II prototype instrument.

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

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