NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 O2.02-9513
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Transportation Test Requirements and Instrumentation
PROPOSAL TITLE:Laser-Induced Emissions Sensor for Soot Mass in Rocket Plumes

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MetroLaser, Inc.
2572 White Road
Irvine ,CA 92614 - 6236
(949) 553 - 0688

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thomas   Jenkins
tjenkins@metrolaserinc.com
2572 White Road
Irvine, CA  92614 -6236
(949) 553 - 0688

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
A method is proposed to measure soot mass concentration non-intrusively from a distance in a rocket engine exhaust stream during ground tests using laser-induced incandescence (LII). The basic technique has already been proven in an aircraft engine exhaust, and should be adaptable to a rocket plume with some modifications, including a correction scheme to account for the high plume temperatures, and proper isolation from acoustic vibrations. Besides enabling the technique to be applied to a rocket engine, the required modifications should also lead to potential opportunities to measure temperature and additional species, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trace metals introduced into the exhaust through wear, such as Ni, Fe and Cr. A multi-parameter sensor is envisioned that combines four techniques, all using the same hardware: LII to measure soot mass concentration, laser-induced fluorescence to measure PAHs, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to measure trace metals, and passive emission to measure temperature. The sensor will employ a line-imaging near-backscatter design, used successfully in our previous work, that allows spatially-resolved measurements of all parameters along a path through the plume from a single vantage point, located a safe distance from the plume. This system should provide continuous, rapid, in situ measurements in a difficult measurement environment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
NASA's New Vision for Exploration will most likely require hydrocarbon fuels in heavy lift launch vehicles for missions to the Moon and Mars. Sensors for soot distributions in rocket plumes are needed to aid in the development of these rocket engines as indicators of combustion inefficiency, and for characterizing fuel rich processes, such as fuel film cooling. Programs that could benefit include project Constellation, involving a Crew Exploration Vehicle to carry astronauts back to the Moon by 2020, and the Exploration Systems Research and Technology program to develop technologies to enable future space exploration and operations beyond low Earth orbit.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The largest commercial markets for the proposed LII sensor are those dealing with meeting environmental control regulations. Present markets include those that monitor particle effluents from industrial processes (e.g., stack monitors). A large potential market also exists in testing diesel automobiles and trucks. A federal court recently ruled that diesel-engine manufacturers must drastically cut the amount of particulate pollution emitted by big trucks and buses within the next five years. In addition, we can expect the EPA and the state environmental agencies to begin regulating other forms of automobile particle pollution in the near future.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Chemical
Optical
Testing Facilities


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12