Detectors collect data for NASA droplet combustion experiments
DEXTER, Mich. – A new and more effective radiometric diagnostic device will enable the International Space Station (ISS)
to collect data for droplet combustion experiments, thanks to two small infrared
thermopile sensor detectors.
Along with the 2.9 tons of mission-
An instrument used for microdroplet combustion in
microgravity. It includes two each of the ST150
and 2M thermopile detector models from Dexter
critical supplies of food, fuel and other necessities sent to the ISS in early November
2011, Dexter Research Center sent its ST-
60 and 2M precision noncontact IR sensors for NASA’s Combustion Integrated
Rack (CIR), which is used to perform
combustion experiments in microgravity.
The CIR can be reconfigured easily in
orbit to accommodate a variety of combustion experiments. It includes an optics
bench, a combustion chamber, a fuel and
oxidizer management system, environmental management systems, and interfaces for science diagnostics and experi-ment-specific equipment. Five different
cameras are available for diagnostic.
The custom sensors help the instrument
to characterize droplets of “fuel” to develop a model of droplet combustion in
microgravity, according to Victor Banta,
technical sales and applications engineer
at Dexter Research.
Banta explained that the research is
purely scientific at this stage. The main
goal of the experiment is to collect data
using the sensors to develop a model of
how combustion occurs in microgravity.
The findings could later be used by others
to develop models for whatever they
dream up, he said.
Ashley N. Paddock
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