Instrumentation, Techniques, and Measurement

Fiber-optic temperature profiling for thermal protection system heat shields

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard J. Black, Joannes M. Costa, Livia Zarnescu, Behzad Moslehi

Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS), 2363 Calle Del Mundo, Santa Clara, California 95054, United States

Drew A. Hackney, Kara J. Peters

North Carolina State University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Building 3, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, United States

Opt. Eng. 55(11), 114101 (Oct 27, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.OE.55.11.114101
History: Received April 13, 2016; Accepted September 2, 2016
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Abstract.  To achieve better designs for spacecraft heat shields for missions requiring atmospheric aero-capture or entry/reentry, reliable thermal protection system (TPS) sensors are needed. Such sensors will provide both risk reduction and heat-shield mass minimization, which will facilitate more missions and enable increased payloads and returns. This paper discusses TPS thermal measurements provided by a temperature monitoring system involving lightweight, electromagnetic interference-immune, high-temperature resistant fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors with a thermal mass near that of TPS materials together with fast FBG sensor interrogation. Such fiber-optic sensing technology is highly sensitive and accurate, as well as suitable for high-volume production. Multiple sensing FBGs can be fabricated as arrays on a single fiber for simplified design and reduced cost. Experimental results are provided to demonstrate the temperature monitoring system using multisensor FBG arrays embedded in a small-size super-light ablator (SLA) coupon which was thermally loaded to temperatures in the vicinity of the SLA charring temperature. In addition, a high-temperature FBG array was fabricated and tested for 1000°C operation, and the temperature dependence considered over the full range (cryogenic to high temperature) for which silica fiber FBGs have been subjected.

© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Richard J. Black ; Joannes M. Costa ; Livia Zarnescu ; Drew A. Hackney ; Behzad Moslehi, et al.
"Fiber-optic temperature profiling for thermal protection system heat shields", Opt. Eng. 55(11), 114101 (Oct 27, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.55.11.114101


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