Novel, High-speed and High-spatial Resolution, Hyperspectral Multispecies Sensing in Gas Turbine Engines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9101-12-M-0018
Agency Tracking Number: F121-202-0492
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-202
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
3815 Osuna Road NE, Albuquerque, NM, -
DUNS: 807812870
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Boyd Hunter
 Chief Technology Officer
 (505) 345-2327
Business Contact
 Eugene Butler
Title: President
Phone: (505) 345-2327
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this proposal is to develop a new instrument capable of meeting the Air Force"s priority requirements for measurements of combustion and gas dynamic properties inside gas turbine engines and augmentors. To meeting these needs, Kestrel"s proposed Imaging Hyperspectral Radiometer (IHSR) solution can provide both spatial and spectral information about the combustion processes inside engine/augnentor combustion chambers. In addition to the continuous radiometric observations, the proposed instrument will provide continuous spatial and spectral imaging of combustion processes and byproduct development. Kestrel's solution addresses the Air Force"s need for a sensor capable of collecting high frequency spectral and spatial data in the 1900 to 5300 nm range with a small, lightweight, robust, calibrationally-stable instrument, usable within the harsh environment found in the combustion chambers of gas turbine engines and augmentors. The technical objective and challenge of this effort is to design and build a multi-band, short-wave infrared (SWIR), through mid-wave infrared (MWIR) hyperspectral sensor system that is capable of placing enough pixels on target for shape-based identification (where in the combustion chamber/flow), while maintaining the ability to detect and identify the combustion materials based on their spectral signature. BENEFIT: The Air Force"s missions can benefit greatly from this novel, easy-to-integrate, stand-off/non-contact, combustive flow analysis system which can provide both high-spatial resolution and high-temporal resolution reactive flowfield data. The proposed solution offers a complementary dimension to standard suite of instruments and is, therefore, believed to have significant potential as a new, highly capable information source with the capability of providing unique information for the user. The relatively new interest in"green"and alternative fuels and optimizing engines for their use, along with understanding their performance and emission creation might make this instrument especially attractive in the very near future. In addition to jet engine combustion, the technique would apply to any high speed combustion environment, including hypersonic aircraft and rocket engine performance monitoring. The solution would also lend itself to use as an active feed-back/control-loop circuit for engine control, allowing engines to operate at maximum performance and safety. The solution"s ability to support high spatial and spectral measurements allows AF scientists and engineers to see and objectively measure high resolution events occurring in the flowfield. Outside of the Air Force there are a number of likely commercialization paths for an instrument that can simultaneously collect high-spatial and high-temporal resolution data from combustion chamber data. For example, commercial jet-engine and gas-turbine manufacturers, whether for aircraft primary power, auxiliary power or ground-based industrial power generation, would benefit in a fashion similar to the Air Force. Laboratory instrumentation users offer another outlet. The proposed technique offers a unique new dimension to spectral imaging in the field and is, therefore, believed to have significant potential for real-time observing and measuring of highly reactive combustion and non-combustion chemical processes. The solution should find ample application within university chemistry, university energy, commercial energy, and pharmaceutical research laboratories. Besides laboratory use, combustion process analysis requires highly specialized instrumentation to acquire useful information about the configurations under test. The proposed technique offers a complimentary dimension to standard suite of remote sensing instruments and is, therefore, believed to have significant potential in this arena. As a new, non-interference, highly capable information source with the capability of providing unique information, Kestrel believes commercial aerospace, university and government engine test facilities offer a fertile field for this technology. Additional commercial uses for the technology extend to contaminate detection both in ground applications and in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) market segments for government military, law enforcement and security forces.

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

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