High Frequency Piston Surface Temperature Measurement System

Period of Performance: 09/07/2016 - 02/06/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Luna, collaborating with a major engine manufacturer, is proposing to develop miniaturized, high frequency sensors that will measure the temperature at the surface of a piston during operation. The system is based on high frequency temperature sensors which have been demonstrated to have millisecond response time and survive the thermal and mechanical shock of similarly harsh environments. Modern military diesel engines operate at increased pressures and temperatures and are required to output more power compared to their civilian counterparts. The logistics surrounding the design of the piston to operate at the increased pressure and temperature require knowledge of the environment inside of the cylinder during operation. Current thermocouple based technology does not have the response time adequate to capture microsecond transients that occur during combustion which in turn influence the shape of the piston and the control parameters of the engine. During Phase I Luna will design and demonstrate a prototype data acquisition system and sensors in a small scale diesel engine. During Phase II the system will be optimized, integrated, and tested on a larger scale engine currently fielded by the Army. Phase III will transition the technology to the Army and commercial industry through Lunas Product Division.