High-Speed Thermal Imaging of In-Service TBC Blades

Period of Performance: 09/24/2012 - 09/23/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


ABSTRACT: The Leadership Agreement signatures on this Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) project Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Technology Transition Plan (STTP 2011-51) formalize an agreement to develop the technology maturation and transition strategies, and pending funding and direction, plan and prepare the transition strategy described. High cycle temperature requirements in Air Force advanced fighter engines require advanced thermal protection systems on turbomachinery. Currently unavailable to the Air Force and their prime advanced engine manufacturer is the needed capability for real-time verification that the in-service thermal barrier coating (TBC) allows high cycle temperatures and conserves component durability life. Therefore, the transition objective is to advance the SBIR technology through product development to result in a functional high-speed, high-resolution thermal imaging system for TBC surface temperature mapping and condition monitoring during ground-based development testing of advanced gas turbine engines. The Air Force and their prime advanced engine manufacturer will gain the significant information from within operational engines where the combined thermomechanical stresses are severe, as are the consequences of failure. The transition effort will result in a high level of technology maturation, provide the Air Force with new measurement capability, and position the technology and product for commercialization. BENEFIT: This project will result in a product that will benefit the military and military aircraft industry and also find dual use by benefiting the commercial aircraft industry and power generation industry that utilize gas turbine engines. Engine development programs will be expedited thus bringing new engines to production sooner. The product could also be used on production engines as a condition/fault monitor for improved safety and reduced maintenance.