Multi-angle Optical Dust Sensor (MODS) for Real-Time Engine Health and Durability Management

Period of Performance: 11/27/2013 - 09/30/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hal Technology, LLC
7970 Cherry Avenue, Suite 303 Array
Fontana, CA 92336
Principal Investigator


Hal Technology will develop a compact, rugged, fiber-optic, flush-mounted, Multi-angle Optical Dust Sensor (MODS) for real-time engine health monitoring. Prolonged sand and dust exposure leads to gas turbine component degradation and ultimately engine failure. The MODS will measure particulate size, size distributions, and concentration, and eventually chemical composition. This sensor has an extended range for size and concentration measurements when compared with commercially available particle sensors. Our in situ approach with a fiber-optic sensor performs non-intrusive particle measurements with a multiplexed sensor head that has implementation flexibility, reduced thermal management requirements, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and potentially low cost. In the Phase II effort we will ultimately produce and demonstrate an advanced prototype fiber-optic sensor capable of measuring load rates and ready for integration into selected engine system(s) for operational assessment. During Phase III we will work with the selected-engine OEM to develop a certification plan, perform Category A (ground) and B (flight) testing. Our MODS can be integrated into an engine control system to allow early warning of excessive dust loading and provide information to help manage the health and durability of an aero-turbine engine.