4300°F Thermocouples for Re-entry Vehicle Applications – Part I 630359
This paper discusses work performed in research, design, and development of sensors for measurement of local dynamic surface temperatures on re-entry vehicles. Included are discussions of the basic requirements and related system design factors, the transducer concepts and sensor assembly configurations considered, and the materials investigations and engineering tests conducted. Design requirements are presented for the twin-lead thermocouple probe temperature sensor chosen as the most feasible concept for early implementation. The most promising thermocouple materials and fabrication processes are defined and the additional precision testing and development requirements for final design are outlined. Information not previously reported in available literature includes preliminary data from tests up to4300°F showing (1) excellent oxidation resistance of Iridium, and (2) oxidation protection of thermocouple elements in “gas tight” sheaths of thoria and zirconia. Work performed in the final development phase is discussed by Mr. R.A. Pustell in a paper of the same title, Part II.