Microwave Blade Tip Clearance Measurement System PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard Grzybowski, George Foyt

United Technologies Research Center

Hartwig Knoell

Daimler-Benz Aerospace MTU

William Atkinson

United Technologies Pratt & Whitney

Josef Wenger

Daimler Benz

Paper No. 96-GT-002, pp. V005T15A001; 6 pages
  • ASME 1996 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 5: Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Ceramics; Structures and Dynamics; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Education; General
  • Birmingham, UK, June 10–13, 1996
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7876-7
  • Copyright © 1996 by ASME


This paper describes the development of a Microwave Tip Clearance Measurement System for use in the gas turbine environment Applications for this sensor include basic tip clearance measurements, seal wear measurement and active blade tip clearance control in gas turbine engines. The system being developed was designed for useful operation to temperatures exceeding 1093°F, since only ceramic materials are directly exposed in the gas path. Other advantages of this microwave approach to blade tip clearance sensing include the existence of an inherent self-calibration in the sensor that permits accurate operation despite temperature variations and possible abrasion by the rotating blades. Earlier experiments designed to simulate this abrasion of the sensor head indicated that rubs as deep as 1 mm (40 mils) were easily tolerated. In addition, unlike methods based upon phase measurements, this method is very insensitive to cable vibration and length variations. Finally, this microwave technique is expected to be insensitive to fuel and other engine contamination, since it is based on the measurement of resonant frequencies, which are only slightly affected by moderate values of loss due to contamination.

Copyright © 1996 by ASME
This article is only available in the PDF format.



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