NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 A2.03-8951
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Revolutionary Technologies and Components for Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of a Novel Non-Equilibrium Pulsed Plasma Ignition Module for High Altitude Turbojets

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Innovative Scientific Solutions Inc
2766 Indian Ripple Rd
Dayton, OH 45440-3638

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sivaram Gogineni
2766 Indian Ripple Rd
Dayton, OH 45440-3638

An experimental research program focusing on design, development, and testing of a novel nonequilibrium plasma ignition module is proposed. The ignition module will be based on the use of diffuse high-pressure transverse discharge technology recently developed at Ohio State using Air Force support. The proposed research is of critical importance for development of nonequilibrium plasma igniters modules for airplane jet engines. The primary objectives of the proposed research are (i) extending the use of the new nonequilibrium plasma ignition / flameholding method demonstrated in previous research by the current proposers to higher static pressures (up to P=0.5-1.0 atm), (ii) measuring the NOx emissions in the pulsed plasma stabilized flames and the plasma power budget, and (iii) studying the effect of the pulsed plasma on flame blow-off and relight. The proposed research will be conducted using gaseous hydrocarbon fuels. The results would have direct impact on development and the use of nonequilibrium plasma ignition modules for lean combustor operation and high altitude turbojet relight. The results would also elucidate kinetic mechanisms of plasma assisted ignition and flameholding.

Research performed during Phase I study will provide key experimental data which would help developing compact, low power budget nonequilibrium plasma ignition/flame stabilization modules to be used in commercial airplane jet engines. The use of these plasma ignition modules would make possible stable engine operation at low equivalence ratios, i.e. at the conditions when combustion becomes unstable. Engine operation at the lean conditions, using plasma flame stabilization, would also help reducing NOx emissions. Finally, the use of nonequlibrium plasma ignition modules would make possible high-altitude relight in case of a flameout.

Research performed during the proposed Phase I study will result in identification of realistic flow parameter range, including pressure, flow velocity, temperature, Mach number, and the equivalence ratios when nonequilibrium plasmas be efficiently used for ignition and flame stabilization. These results are of critical importance for future commercialization of plasma ignition technology for aero-propulsion applications. They will also significantly benefit research and development programs in both the commercial and on military aircraft industries. Considerable interest in using the results of the proposed research has been expressed by GE Aircraft Engines.