The proposed sensor directly supports NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) research thrusts including vehicle safety, efficiency and carbon emission reduction. The proposed sensor is broadly applicable to NASA GRC efforts in vehicle health monitoring and advanced controls. The sensor is also directly applicable to a planetary exploration mission to Venus since a high temperature sensor that does not require cooling will significantly reduce payload weight, volume, and complexity. Space propulsion systems, including chemical rockets, nuclear thermal propulsion, launch and station keeping, all exhibit high temperatures and would benefit from the proposed technology. Energy generation systems such as Stirling engines and fuel cells also have high operational temperatures that could be monitored by the proposed sensor. In situ resource utilization systems utilize high temperatures and pressures and would benefit from the proposed technology. Derivative sensor technology could potentially be applied for sensing conditions in thermal protection systems for alloy and ceramic matrix composite structural components.
Aero propulsion turbine engines, communally used in commercial and military jets, would benefit significantly by having a non-invasive, small mass, on engine component sensor allowing for visibility of the conditions in the turbine engine. The technology and sensor product described in this proposal would allow exactly that, while existing sensors fall well short of the application's demand. The conditions in this application are harsh, and sensors must be able to withstand high temperatures, high pressures, high flow rates, jet fuel, and exhaust. In order for existing and future aero propulsion turbine engines to improve safety, reduce cost, and emissions while controlling engine instabilities, more accurate and complete information is necessary. The technology described in this proposal would allow the next boundary in sensing technology to be achieved: direct measurement from the point of interest within the turbine. Commercial applications abound for the successful results of this proposal in commercial and military turbine engine industries, which are made up of companies such as GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Additional potential market areas include: marine propulsion, rail locomotives, land based power generation turbines, automotive, oil and gas refining, government and academic laboratories.