Novel Materials for In-Situ Ablation Sensing

Period of Performance: 12/01/2012 - 11/30/2014


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Industrial Measurement Systems, Inc.
2760 Beverly Dr. #4
Aurora, IL 60502
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Vermont
33 Colchester Ave, 201 Votey Bldg
Burlington, VT 05405
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: In order to achieve precise guidance, navigation and control in reentry vehicles, aerodynamic shape must be accurately known throughout the flight trajectory. In the Phase I program, real-time, temperature compensated ultrasonic measurements of surface recession of TPS materials was demonstrated. Using sensors mounted on the non-heated surface, recession was measured with unprecedented temporal and axial resolution during an ablation event. The system combines the elements of ultrasonic thickness gauging technology with ultrasonic thermometry techniques. The Phase II effort is focused on refining and applying the measurement method to a range of relevant TPS materials. Extensive tests will be conducted comparing the ultrasonic-based results with independent temperature and recession measurements. BENEFIT: Quantitative real-time recession sensing has application in TPS evaluation for both ground-based testing and in-flight systems. Military markets include NASA, Air Force, Navy and Army. In addition to hypersonics applications, there are also potential applications in combustion research, directed energy research and health monitoring.