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 of 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 Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Additional potential market areas include: marine propulsion, rail locomotives, land based power generation turbines, automotive, oil and gas refining, and government and academic laboratories.
The proposed sensor could be directly applicable to a planetary exploration mission to Venus. A high temperature sensor that does not require cooling will significantly reduce payload weight, volume and complexity. The sensor has the potential to support integrated vehicle health management for several types of onboard systems. Propulsion systems including launch and station keeping both exhibit high temperatures and could potentially benefit. For example, turbo pump assemblies and thrust chamber assemblies in liquid rocket motors could benefit from health monitoring via the proposed sensor. Energy generation systems such as fuel cells and nuclear reactors also have high operational temperatures that could be monitored by the proposed sensor. Derivative sensor technology could potentially be applied for sensing conditions in thermal protection systems and ceramic matrix composites.