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Technical Paper

Army Use of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to Estimate Selected Properties of Compression Ignition Fuels

The U.S. Army has long identified the need for rapid, reliable methods for analysis of fuels and lubricants on or near the battlefield. The analysis of fuels and lubricants under battlefield or near-battlefield conditions requires that the equipment be small, portable, rugged, quick, and easy to use. Over the past 15 to 20 years, several test kits and portable laboratories have been developed in response to this need. One instrumental technique that has been identified as a likely candidate to meet this need is near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). To evaluate NIR as a candidate, a set of 280 fuel samples was used. This sample set contained samples of diesel fuel grades 1 and 2, Jet A-l, JP-5, and JP-8. Inspection data were collected on all the fuels as sample size permitted. Each sample was then scanned using a near-infrared spectrometer. Data analysis, model building, and calibration were conducted using a software package supplied with the instrument.