A Smart, High-Temperature Pressure Sensor

Period of Performance: 10/29/2012 - 01/28/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sporian Microsystems, Inc.
515 Courtney Way Suite B
Lafayette, CO 80026
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: There is a growing demand for high-temperature pressure sensors for use in extreme temperature environments such as aircraft gas turbine combustion control. What is needed are reliable smart pressure sensors capable of measuring combustor/exhaust pressures (0 to 700 psi) at engine operating temperatures, with steady-state accuracy +/- .75% of point or +/- 0.5 psi, (whichever is greater), and a dynamic range of 100 Hz. As important, the sensor hardware should include signal conditioning and communications electronics such as to be able to communicate over a data bus to the full authority digital engine control. Sporian Microsystems, Inc. has established a solid track record of successful research and development of high temperature (up to 1350oC) sensors and packaging architectures for high temperature turbine engines. The proposed approach is to leverage previously developed and demonstrated high-temperature pressure sensor technology and advance the sensor electronics into a smart form suitable for engine control applications/use. For the proposed effort, Sporian will work with engine and control system OEMs to guide both the sensor and electronics development toward realizing a useful component with appropriate performance and interface characteristics, and demonstrating full prototype hardware in an OEM relevant environment test system BENEFIT: In order for future engine systems to reduce cost while increasing safety and performance, a new generation of control systems and associated sensors are necessary. Fixed wing and rotorcraft engines would benefit significantly by having a smart sensors to enable distributed engine control. The conditions in this application are harsh, and sensors must be able to withstand high temperatures, high pressures, fuel and exhaust. The technology and sensor product described in this proposal would allow exactly that, while existing sensors fall well short of the application s demand. The technology described in this proposal would allow smart sensing directly from the point of interest within the engine. Commercial applications abound for the successful results of this proposal in commercial and military jet and helicopter aircraft engine industries, which are made up of companies such as Pratt & Whitney, GE, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce. Additional potential market areas include: marine propulsion, rail transport, rocketry, land based power generation turbines, downstream crude oil refining, oil shale conversion, and government and academic laboratories.