Turbine Inlet Gas Temperature Measurement System

Period of Performance: 09/30/2010 - 09/30/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
Principal Investigator


The Air Force is seeking new technology that will provide the means to accurately measure and monitor turbine inlet gas temperature in gas turbine engines, particularly in advanced engines operating at very high temperatures (>3,100 degree F). In Phase I of this program, Advanced Fuel Research, Inc. demonstrated that turbine inlet gas temperature can be determined from non-intrusive measurements of the thermal radiation emitted by gases in the turbine inlet region. A pattern recognition algorithm utilizing a neural network was developed to determine the temperature by monitoring the emission signatures of combustion products in the gas stream, despite the presence of thermal radiation from surrounding hot surfaces. The technique is entirely passive, and provides a line-of-sight temperature measurement in the turbine inlet region without intrusion into the gas path. In Phase II, the techniques demonstrated in Phase I will be extended and advanced to yield a deliverable prototype that provides accurate temperature measurements over the full range of temperatures and pressures encountered in advanced gas turbine engines. During this development project, the Phase II prototype will be field tested on advanced combustion rigs at a private-sector research center and a federal research center. The deliverable system will provide significant benefits to the Air Force during the development testing of advanced engines, yielding engines with higher specific power, lower emissions, and increased efficiency. BENEFIT: The project will result in a product that will benefit the military and military aircraft engine industry and also find dual use by benefiting the commercial aircraft engine industry and power generation industry that utilize gas turbine engines. In addition to commercial applications in the gas turbine engine industries, commercial applications include other combustion-dependent markets including U.S. manufacturing industries of steel, aluminum, metal casting, glass, chemicals, forest products, and petroleum.