Cost-Effective Gas Flow Data Sensors

Award Information
Department of Defense
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Award Year:
Phase II
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
DTRA 08-007
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12130 Rancho Road, Adelanto, CA, 92301
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Eric Schmidt
Vice President & COO
(760) 246-0279
Business Contact:
Kevin Mahaffy
President & CEO
(760) 246-0279
Research Institution:
To develop a method or sensor(s) which can accurately measure or visually capture gas/debris flows due to dynamic pressure during a weapon detonation (1-50KG TNT equivalents) within an enclosed test structure. DESCRIPTION: During an internal structure weapon detonation, the rapid expansion of gas products causes high velocity gas movements to occur within a multi-room structure. The gases flow from confined high pressure regions to areas of lower pressure. This phenomenon has been referred to as "dynamic pressure". These gas flow "winds" can reach hundreds of miles per hour and can be lethal and/or damaging to personnel and equipment. If the flow was simply gases, the flow could be measured by current techniques, such as hot-wire anemometer, pitot-tube, stagnation gauges, or even video. Testing, however, has demonstrated that the flow is far from "clean", but instead contains massive amounts of high temperature gas/particulate and debris. This hostile environment destroys sensors and produces zero visibility. A method and/or sensor is needed to capture gas flow data (mainly direction and velocity), through-out a test room (approximately 1000-6000 cubic ft with walls constructed from various materials), during the entire gas flow duration (about 1 second), in order to create/update/verify computer models. Possible methods/sensors could consist of an "internal" type solution such as a sensor(s) within the gas flow, or "external" such as special observation cameras, or "seeded/tagged" combustion/airborne products, or a combination of, but not limited to, any of these methods. The test facilities are very flexible in accommodating any sensor/apparatus installation, and are typically constructed with concrete walls that can be modified. Data collection will primarily occur outside of the detonation room (in hallways or other rooms), thus any sensors/devices used will be shielded from the direct blast. PHASE I: Develop a feasible cost-effective approach (i.e. a proof of concept) for capturing the gas flow history during a detonation event comprised of high temperature/velocity gases and particulates. Adequately show how this approach will survive the event, and capture the flow properties throughout the event. Explain the physics/mechanics utilized in the technique, and a plausible packaging and employment method that would be used. PHASE II: Develop the brass-board hardware (i.e. a prototype) for capturing the gas flow history during a detonation event comprised of high temperature/velocity gases and particulates. Demonstrate the capability and survivability of this technique in a relevant environment. Provide fabrication-level engineering drawings of the recommended packaging of the device, and recommendations for manufacturing. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Gages able to withstand blast induced dynamic pressures could be of use in measuring the flow in applications where hot, turbulent, multi-phase, corrosive, or abrasive materials are being pumped, sprayed or propelled. Coating applications such as Flame Spray, Plasma Coating could use these gages to characterize the flow to improve the process and/or develop new materials, applications, etc or to provide flow information in a control circuit. These dynamic pressure gages could be of use in determining efficiencies and finding material flaws in Turbines. The intake and exhaust of turbine engines are exposed to particulate environments that can cause high wear to pressure sensors. This is especially true for operations in environments where dust, sand, and other particulate matter are abundant. This sort of gage would also be of substantial value for environmental measurement of flue gases. Since the static pressures in typical flue pipes is minimal the most accurate measure of flow is via dynamic pressure measurement thus a technique is needed that will provide this measurement in the hot gas environment. REFERENCES: 1. ADB292020 "(U) Experimental results for 1/3-Scale Dipole Tiger 1 and 11.6 Scale Tests 63, 64, and 65 in Support of the Collateral Effects Environment Program", ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS GEOTECHNICAL AND STRUCTURES LAB, 2003, Graham, Paul W., Chiarito, Vincent P., Albritton, Gayle E. 2. ADM001466 "Twenty-Ninth DOD Explosives Safety Seminar Proceedings (CD-ROM)", Dec 2000

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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