This technology has near term direct application for monitoring hydrogen fires within several NASA propulsion test and launch facilities. This capability will enhance the safety of these facilities and potentially facilitate required maintenance procedures. NASA rocket motor testing centers that would benefit from this include SSC, MSFC, GRC-PBS and WSTF. KSC, responsible for the SLS and Orion launches that continue human spaceflight within NASA, and the Launch Services Program that provides launch operations oversight at several locations including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg AFB would also realize safety and maintenance benefits from this technology. NASA is currently conducting experiments on flame interaction and extinguishment on-board the ISS. Fire burns differently in microgravity and although our technology is optimized for hydrogen flame phenomenology, it has wider potential use in NASA's cool flame research portfolio and could, for example, be used to support follow-on Saffire and FLEX experiments. FLEX experiments have shown low-frequency flicker that our temporal algorithms could exploit for terrestrial fire detection and discrimination.
Government facilities managed by the Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office, including Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Redstone Test Center (RTC), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) as well as commercial facilities including SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Orbital ATK could all enhance their safety and facilitate their maintenance efforts by employing this technology to monitor hydrogen and other flames. There are several established markets and applications that incorporate significant amounts of hydrogen gas in their processes that would benefit from our flame detection technology. These markets primarily include petrochemical facilities, heat treating facilities for aerospace and automotive applications, fuel cell production facilities, and potentially thermonuclear power plants. An emerging application is hydrogen station monitoring. With the advent of fuel cell powered vehicles, hydrogen stations will be required along roadways and at people's homes as a way of storing and refilling hydrogen fuel cells. Another potential application is auto race car monitoring. There have been a number of horrific events involving either race car drivers or pit crew members engulfed by alcohol flames, detectable with our technology. These flames are difficult to detect and extinguish because, like hydrogen, they are essentially invisible to the eye.