NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

NASA Fire Detector Study.

pdf icon NASA Fire Detector Study. (1584 K)
Davis, W. D.; Notarianni, K. A.

NISTIR 5798; NISTIR 6030; 38 p. March 1996.

U.S./Japan Government Cooperative Program on Natural Resources (UJNR). Fire Research and Safety. 13th Joint Panel Meeting. Volume 2. March 13-20, 1996, Gaithersburg, MD, Beall, K. A., Editor(s), 419-422 pp, 1997.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB97-184204


fire detection systems; fire simulation; fluid flow; heat detection; radiation detection; smoke detection; ventilation; clean room fires; detection time


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, together with the National Institute of Standards and Technology are in the third year of a five year project designed to set guidelines for fire protection in high bay facilities. A high bay facility is defined in this study as any space with a ceiling height in excess of 18 m. NASA has numerous high bay spaces that are used to perform a variety of functions. A survey of NASA high bay spaces was conducted to determine the number of spaces, the use of the space, fire detection and suppression present, geometry and presence of forced air flow or clean room conditions, and special hazards which would pose substantial fire risks. Based on the survey results, a modeling program was designed which would analyze both specific and generic high bay spaces representative of the NASA inventory. The computation fluid dynamics model HARWELL-FLOW3D was used for the modeling. The object of the modeling was to simulate the response of smoke, fusible link, heat, UV/IR, and obscuration detectors to several standard fire scenarios. The modeling was done for both forced air flow and no air flow present in the space. Results of the predicted detector activation times are presented as a function of fire size, ceiling height, and forced air flow.