NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 04.05-2327

PROJECT TITLE: Ultraspectral Imaging for Propulsion System Health Monitoring

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Kestrel Corporation proposes a new technology that generates spatially distributed wavenumber resolution spectral signature fingerprints that allow rocket ignition deviations from nominal to be noted in time to abort a launch or prevent initiation of auxiliary functions. The concept uses the rocketís exhaust as a source of performance and health data that has not previously been fully exploited. In this Phase I SBIR, we will demonstrate that a new tech-nology called Ultra Spectral Imaging (USI) can be used as a sensor to observe the mid wave infrared (MWIR) to long wave infrared (LWIR) spectral and spatial time varying flow of a liquid rocket engine and that these data can be processed to create a non intrusive rocket health and performance monitoring system. The proposed technique takes advantage of the presence of a predictable time and spatially varying MWIR to LWIR molecular spectra associated with a rocket ignition process. These data, created by the purges, film cooling flows, and fuel-oxidizer flows, have uniquely definable time dependent and spatially distributed spectral features. By using a spatially modulated Fourier transform USI, a spatial map of these signature can be created in real time for comparison to a predicted distribution. Unique to this approach is the wave number spectral resolution available in a USI and the real time data processing required to rapidly assess the exhaust flow.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The proposed optical diagnostic system has use in NASA, military, and commercial launches as well as application to the more general field of combustion diagnostics.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Leonard John Otten, III
Kestrel Corporation
6624 Gulton Court, NE
Albuquerque , NM 87109

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Kestrel Corporation
6624 Gulton Court, NE
Albuquerque , NM 87109