Survey of Fire Detection Technologies and System Evaluation/Certification Methodologies and Their Suitablity for Aircraft Cargo Compartments.
Survey of Fire Detection Technologies and System
Evaluation/Certification Methodologies and Their
Suitablity for Aircraft Cargo Compartments.
Cleary, T. G.; Grosshandler, W. L.
NISTIR 6356; 50 p. July 1999.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Order number: PB99-165169
aircraft compartments; cargo space; fire detection;
evaluation; certification; smoke detectors; predictive
models; aircraft fires
As part of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) initiated program on global civil
aviation, NIST is assisting the Federal Aviation
Administration in its research to improve fire detection
in aircraft cargo compartments. Improved fire detection
includes both fast (early) fire sensing and immunity to
nuisance alarms caused by environmental conditions and
hardware faults. Aircraft cargo compartment detection
certification methods have been reviewed. Current
methods are not capable of evaluating the performance of
multi-element detectors, nor detectors based on sensing
fire signatures besides smoke; they must be upgraded for
that capability. Component testing of detectors that
sense chemicals, heat, smoke, or combinations and that
might employ complex signal processing algorithms is a
challenge. The Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator (FE/DE)
has been designed to evaluate fire detection
technologies such as new sensors, multi-element
detectors, and detectors that employ complex algorithms.
The FE/DE is a flow tunnel that can reproduce velocity,
temperature, smoke, and combustion gas levels to which a
detector might be exposed during a fire. It is being
upgraded to include low temperature operation and
moisture variations found ins aircraft cargo
compartments. In addition, environmental sources such
as dust and humidity can be produced to assess the level
of immunity to nuisance alarms. A scientific literature
survey and patent search have been conducted relating to
existing and emerging fire detection technologies, and
the potential use of new fire detection strategies in
cargo compartment areas has been assessed. In the near
term, improved detector signal processing and
multi-sensor detectors based on combinations of smoke
measurements, combustion gases and temperature are
envisioned as significantly impacting detector system
performance. Because of the required conversion of most
Class D cargo compartments to Class C, a three-fold
reduction in nuisance alarm rates will be required to
maintain the status quo. If, in the future, detectors
employ advanced signal processing with more robust
sensing, the resulting nuisance alarm rate reduction
would accomplish this and more.