Nonequilibrium Plasma-Assisted Combustion-Efficiency Control in Vitiated Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-14-M-2444
Agency Tracking Number: F13A-T04-0141
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF13-AT04
Solicitation Number: 2013.A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-02-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-11-14
Small Business Information
301 North Neil St., Suite 400, Champaign, IL, -
DUNS: 041929402
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Carroll
 (217) 239-1703
Business Contact
 Andrew Palla
Title: Member
Phone: (217) 239-0629
Research Institution
 Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 Walter K Knorr
 Board of Trustees, OSPRA
1901 S. First St - Suite A
Champaign, IL, 61820-
 (217) 333-2187
 Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: CU Aerospace (CUA) and team partner the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) propose to perform research, development and demonstration of experimental quenching free measurements of heat-release in a realistic highly turbulent plasma-assisted flame. Kinetics models will be correspondingly updated and detailed 3D multiphysics simulations will be validated by the measurements. Current diagnostic tools are difficult to implement for 2D measurements of intermediate species to support the modeling and physical understanding of these complex processes. To fill this technology gap, this proposal introduces innovations that will produce the higher precision diagnostic techniques and greatly enhance knowledge of these plasmadynamic and chemical kinetic phenomena. This SBIR effort will lead to aircraft engine design improvements that will provide enhanced combustion efficiency, reignition and flame holding for very high altitude, high-speed flight in Phase II of this program. These enhancements and understanding will have major implications for the expansion of aircraft mission envelopes, and our goal is to jointly develop with UIUC these diagnostic and software tools of choice for the industry. BENEFIT: The Phase I results will lay the foundation to develop a prototype diagnostic and modeling suite for comprehensive development and testing in the Phase II program. Incorporating the Phase I diagnostic techniques along with Air Force guidance for most desired features, the diagnostic and software suite will be enhanced and tested extensively in Phase II as a product demonstration unit. Applications of the developed approach include next generation warfighters capable of flying at higher altitudes and/or higher speeds, and technologies that would be used by engine manufacturers for the development of high-altitude propulsion systems, possibly enabling low-cost to space access via hybrid hypersonic launch. Commercial applications that utilize control of plasma enhanced combustion have the potential to fundamentally bring transformative changes to our combustion-based energy infrastructure by providing (1) the potential for flexible and broad integration of alternative fuels and plasma technology in our everyday lives; (2) more powerful and energy efficient combustion systems for power generation and transportation; (3) reduction of harmful pollutants in our environment; (4) improvements in national security from fuel blends with less dependence on foreign oil, and (5) a more sustainable and efficient energy infrastructure. Furthermore, plasma assisted chemistry could have broader impact in many other areas where it is beneficial to manipulate species content and reaction pathways, including plasma assisted processing of materials, environmental remediation of waste streams such as from smokestacks, and plasma lighting. The Phase II goal will initially be to optimize the diagnostic and software, and design features for Air Force specifications, followed by optimization for more commercial programs.

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

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