NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 07.04-1322 (Chron: 991241 )

PROJECT TITLE

Quantitative Detection of Combustion Species using Ultra-Violet Diode Lasers


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Combustion studies in microgravity are critical to ensuring the safety of personnel onboard space craft as well as for improving our knowledge of combustion phenomena. Under microgravity conditions, flame ignition, propagation and extinction become simplified due to the lack of buoyancy. Quantitative monitoring of combustion species (reactants, products, intermediates) provides rigorous validation of combustion models and yield a better

understanding of combustion. Many laboratory-based combustion diagnostics are not suited to use on microgravity platforms due to unique space and power constraints. We propose developing a new UV diode laser-based microgravity combustion diagnostic for quantitative detection of key combustion species. The instrument will allow absolute concentration measurement of key combustion species including trace radicals using a wide variety of microgravity combustion platforms including the Space Station. Our approach uses room temperature UV diode laser output directly, thereby keeping the instrument compact, rugged and energy efficient. The feasibility of the proposed technique will be demonstrated by quantitative measurement of CH radicals in laboratory flames. Further progress in fabrication technology of UV diode lasers for shorter wavelengths and higher power will result inmeasurement of species in deeper UV.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The proposed technology could be used as a new combustion diagnostic tool in wind tunnel combustion facilities, development of new generations of rocket and jet engines, and turbine development. In environmental monitoring applications, many important trace molecular and atomic species can be probed by accessing strong electronic transitions using tunable UV diode laser output, in application such as continuous emissions monitoring of stationary power plants, municipal incinerators, and perimeter monitoring of chemical plants and oil refineries. Utilizing compact UV diode lasers, other commercial applications include development of compact, biological tissue diagnostics and compact, UV Raman spectroscopy for biochemical sample analysis.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address,

City/State/Zip)

Daniel B. Oh

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505 - 3993


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505 - 3993