A High Temperature, Conformal, MCM for In-situ Sensing in Turbine Engine Applications

Period of Performance: 10/19/2012 - 01/26/2015

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

ABSTRACT: There has been a strong desire in the turbine engine and thermal protection systems communities to measure surface parameters (such as temperature/pressure) in tight spaces within the engine system using conformal sensors. This type of sensor, prescribed in areas such as turbine and compressor blades would provide unprecedented information to the engine community. New sensor and high-temperature electronics technologies are being developed to address these deficiencies, but many of these technologies are based on discrete elements and semiconductor fabrication processes not inherently compatible with conformal application to aerospace components. Thus an adaptable conformal high-temperature packaging and installation methodology is needed. The ultimate goal of this proposed effort is to develop a high-temperature conformal packaging and installation technology to realize a conformal capacitive pressure sensor/sensor interface module for in-situ turbine engine monitoring applications. Further, the resultant conformal sensor interface module could be ultimately used with a range of commercial sensors with minimal additional development. Phase I included initial proof of principle demonstrations of all key process steps, and Phase II will encompass working with OEM partners to: complete process/design development, prototyping, and culminating in the demonstration of a prototype device in OEM/relevant environment test systems. BENEFIT: Aero propulsion turbine engines, commonly used in commercial and military jets and rotorcraft, would benefit significantly by having non-invasive, small mass, conformal, on-engine component sensors, allowing for visibility of the conditions of the turbine engine. To enable such sensors, novel packaging technologies must be developed to interface the sensor with the sensed environment and with engine control and health monitoring systems. The conditions in this application are harsh, and packaging must be able to withstand high temperatures, high pressures, fuel and exhaust. The packaging technologies described in this proposal would allow exactly that, allowing 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.