Fire Prevention Element of the Aviation Safety and Security Program (AvSSP)
All-tank, full-time fuel tank inerting to protect against accidental and deliberate fuel tank
ignition. This project seeks to develop more economical gas separation technologies through
higher-temperature hollow-fiber-membrane (HFM) air separation modules (ASM) and
combustion derived inerting (CDI) to reduce aircraft resource requirements.
This project also seeks to apply advanced optical gas sensors (currently under development)
in a closed-loop feed-back control system to provide just-enough intelligent fuel tank protection
to minimize taxing aircraft resource as well as minimizing crew attention.
Fire-safe fuel development to reduce fuel tank inerting load.
Fuel reformulation will be required to meet fuel tank safety during routine operation
as well as controlled crashes. The same advanced fuel will need to have low-sulfur
for fuel cell application as well as satisfying clean atmospheric emission considerations.
Such a fuel will also need to be thermally stable for thermal management while not reducing
its other operational characteristics.
Miniaturized gas sensors will be developed to create a gas sensor array laid out
in inaccessible area in the aircraft to provide reliable indication of on-board fire
to reduce the currently unacceptable high false alarm rate.
Advanced sensors also will be developed or borrowed from other projects to infer
fuel tank ullage flammability states and be used to drive a OBIGGS feed-back system
to provide full time fuel tank protection. Fuel tank safety states will be determined by testing.