Accurate measurements of temperature, heat flux, and thermal gradients are essential to rocket propulsion testing. Such data provides important insights to engineers that influence both near-term operational decisions and long-term developmental priorities. However, the associated harsh environments and high temperatures are not suitable for the vast majority of existing thermal instrumentation. Besides being able to function under extremely challenging test conditions, the ideal sensing solution should be able to obtain thermal characterization data while being both non-intrusive and cost effective.
The objective of this work is to design, fabricate, and characterize a multifunctional thermal sensor for high temperature environments suitable for use in rocket propulsion testing. Besides being able to provide accurate and repeatable data, the sensor will be designed to utilize low cost materials, be batch fabrication-compatible, and remain unobtrusive to flow or test operation during use. To achieve this, microfabricated thin film thermocouples and thermopiles of select refractory metals will be strategically integrated onto high-temperature ceramic substrates. The thermocouple features provide sensor temperature directly, while the thermopiles are used to measure heat flux normal to the substrate.More »
The sensor is based on the strategic integration of high temperature-compatible thin film thermocouples and thermopiles onto ceramic substrates using industry-standard microfabrication processes. This approach allows for batch-fabrication of small, low profile, low cost sensors which can be utilized across a wide variety of components and environments without significantly disrupting heat flow or operation. The thermocouple/thermopile features will be designed to provide both surface temperature and surface heat flux data simultaneously. When multiple such sensors are placed at various locations on a component of interest, temperature gradient information may also be obtained with millimeter-scale resolution. Unlike previous studies on the use of thin film thermocouples for high temperature applications, this project seeks to develop a robust thermomechanical design with integrated surface patterning to minimize thermally-induced stresses and prevent destructive cracking or delamination.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Stennis Space Center (SSC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Stennis Space Center, MS|