27 October 2016 Fiber-optic temperature profiling for thermal protection system heat shields
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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 (SPIE)
Richard J. Black, Joannes M. Costa, Livia Zarnescu, Drew A. Hackney, Behzad Moslehi, Kara J. Peters, "Fiber-optic temperature profiling for thermal protection system heat shields," Optical Engineering 55(11), 114101 (27 October 2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.55.11.114101 . Submission:

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