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26 May 2011 POF hydrogen detection sensor systems for launch vehicles applications
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This paper describes the first successful Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) cable and glass fiber hydrogen detection sensor systems developed for Delta IV Launch Vehicle. Hydrogen detection in space application is very challenging; the hydrogen detection is priority for rocket industry and every transport device or any application where hydrogen is involved. H2 sensors are necessary to monitor the detection possible leak to avoid explosion, which can be highly dangerous. The hydrogen sensors had to perform in temperatures between -18° C to 60° C (0° F to 140° F). The response of the sensor in this temperature regime was characterized to ensure proper response of the sensors to fugitive hydrogen leakage during vehicle ground operations. We developed the first 75 m combination of POF and glass fiber H2 sensors. Performed detail investigation of POF-glass cables for attenuation loss, thermal, humidity, temperature, shock, accelerate testing for life expectancy. Also evaluated absorption, operating and high/low temperatures, and harsh environmental for glass-POF cables connectors. The same test procedures were performed for glass multi mode fiber part of the H2 and O2 sensors. A new optical waveguides was designed and developed to decrease the impact of both noise and long term drift of sensor. A field testing of sensors was performed at NASA Stennis on the Aerospike X-33 to quantify the element of the sensor package that was responsible for hydrogen detection and temperature.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Alex A. Kazemi, David B. Larson, and Mark D. Wuestling "POF hydrogen detection sensor systems for launch vehicles applications", Proc. SPIE 8026, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Transportation, and Harsh Environment II, 802602 (26 May 2011);

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