Wavelength-Agile Optical Rocket Propulsion Sensor (WORPS)

Period of Performance: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Technologies Corp.(orbitec)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Wisconsin, Madison
2100 Main Street
Madison, WI 53706
Institution POC


ORBITEC and the University of Wisconsin-Madison propose to continue the development of a low-cost, non-intrusive, wavelength-agile optical rocket propulsion sensor (WORPS) to interrogate rocket exhaust plumes and cryogenic fluid properties. The innovative sensor system uses an amplified Chirped White Pulse Emitter (CWPE) to generate high-power wavelength-agile light for probing rocket plumes. It also uses a high-power wavelength-multiplexed differential absorption scheme for probing LOX lines. The plume sensor provides planar images of gas temperature and species concentrations. Furthermore, these measurements will be continuous (one planar measurement every 62 ?Ys) and therefore useful for monitoring the evolution of rocket plume properties. The LOX portion of the Phase II system will be capable of accurate (better than 0.1% error) measurements of LOX concentration in cryogenic fluids with 3 ?Ys time response. The LOX sensor may also be extended to enable determination of LOX flow rates. Phase II will begin with a focus on additional testing of the Phase I sensors. The sensors will then be refined, tested extensively in a variety of rocket exhaust plumes and in a LOX delivery system, and assembled into a portable, user-friendly package for delivery to NASA/SSC.