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OSRR-1074-Quantitative Measurement of In-Situ Burn Efficiency and Rate

Office/Division Program
Project Number
Research Initiation Date (Award Date)
Research Performing Activity
Applied Research Associates (ARA)
Research Principal Investigator
Paul Panetta
Research Contract Award Value

The objective of this proof-of-concept study is to develop and test methods to directly measure the volume of oil burned and the burn rate in real time during in-situ burns (ISB) by integrating the direct thickness measurements using acoustic methods and surface area measurements derived from visible and infrared images.

The project will consist of the following overall tasks:

Task 1: Acoustic thickness measurement of burning oil: This task will include determining the speed of sound gradient as a function of temperature through the oil slick through direct measurements and modeling of the temperature gradient of burning oil. The effects of surface modulations caused by waves from various sea states or turbulence produced during burning operations will be determined. Thickness will be measured as a function of time. Task 2: Image Analysis: Image processing algorithms to improve the accuracy of surface area measurements will be investigated to enable rapid, automated measurements including the effect of waves on the surface area measurements. Surface area of the burning oil will be measured as a function of time. Task 3: System Integration: Thickness and surface area measurements will be integrated to calculate the burn efficiency and rate in real time. Task 4: In-Situ Burning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: The methods developed in the preceding tasks will be tested on larger-scale burns (1 meter diameter burn pans). Task 5: In-Situ Burning at the United States Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL): Tests to further develop the methods to measure ISB efficiency and rate of oil in ice will be performed in an outdoor facility. Task 6 (Optional): In-Situ Burning in the Arctic: This optional task will be to determine the effects of real-world conditions on the methods developed to measure ISB efficiency and rate.

Latest progress update

The final report is complete and posted below.

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