b Rotor Blade Sensor 2285128 For various special measurements on turbine
engines, e.g. for the measurement of blade oscillations, very precisely timed trigger pulses or position signals are required from the moving blades of the turbine engines while these are running at comparatively high speeds of rotation. For this purpose optical probes are used: the blades pass through a light beam suitably optically processed by the probe and the trigger pulses are obtained from the light which is reflected partly diffusely and partly directionally from the blades at respective defined surfaces, e.g. of the end faces of the blades. The growth or decay in the signal that can be depicted by means of an optoelectronic receiver is obtained from the time that a is defined section of the blade requires to cross the light beam.
To obtain a signal with steep flanks when using a probe of conventional design which includes imageforming optics only a relatively small, practically punctiform spot of light is produced on the defined blade surface. While characteristic signals with relatively steep flanks are indeed obtained by this means from the reflected light received, it is a substantial deficiency that the signals displayed are highly structured and differ markedly in form from one revolution of the rotor to another, so that only trigger signals having a poor temporal association with the blade position can be derived from them. The formation of optical images by means of lenses in the receiving branch of the probe leads to the effective solid angle within the cone of reception of the reflected light being comparatively small. The effective solid angle is also shielded to a considerable extent shielded by lenses in the transmitting branch, and is thereby further reduced.
The extremely small, punctiform spot of light leads to the direction of reflection of the directional reflected light being highly variable and non-reproducible, particularly since even slight displacements of the spot of light on the blade on each revolution are already enough to make it traverse different surface structures. In order to obtain the necessary small diameter of the spot of light a coherent light source is used. However, interference gives rise to an intensity pattern (speckle pattern) in the reflected light which is likewise dependent on the surface structure and consequently varies both in space and with time. For these reasons radial and/or axial displacements of the rotor relative to the housing, and consequently relative to the light beam, for example due to operating conditions, lead to pronounced changes in the form of the signal.
German Patent application no. 37 00 777 is concerned with a device with which the state of rotation or movement of an object is to be measured with high precision. The device consists of a reference position detector (Ist/rotation detector) and a so-called "encoder" with which the position of the object is measured relative to the reference positions. The encoder operates with a diffraction grating which is firmly attached to the object. The reference position detector operates according to the following principle:
A rectangular reflection mark fitted to the object is illuminated by a convergent pencil of light rays of which the spread in the region of the mark is about twice as large as the mark itself. Because of the convergence of the pencil of light rays the reflected light passes through a certain angular region while the mark passes through the pencil of light rays. Two suitably arranged photoelectric cells therefore see the reflected light displaced in time, and the reference position is defined as the position of the mark at which the two photoelectric cells indicate the same intensity.
Inter alla, a cylindrical lens is used in order to display on the reference mark a similarly shaped elongated scanning spot, the reflection mark being elongated at right angles to the direction of movement.
This principle of operation assumes that the reflection mark is flat and. gives a mirror reflection (angle of incidence equal to the angle of reflection). This assumption would not be met in particular in the case of end faces of blades with their grinding structures. Here the light would be more or less diffuse and, as a result of the surface structure (scratches, scores), would be scattered in directions varying greatly from place to place. Polishing the end faces would involve an additional cost-intensive working process. Besides, it must be expected that after rubbing of the blades on running- in coatings on the housing when in operation (as often is happens, e.g. in the case of compressor pumps) heavy abrasion marks would again be present on the end faces.
A device known from German Auslegeschrift 14 63 050 is concerned with opto-electrical scanning of cutting lines, analogous to the reflection or reference mark scanning of German Offenlegungsschrift 37 00 777. Here the light beam is widened in one direction, parallel to the cutting lines (crack edges) of a glass strip that is to be detected, in order to emphasise the cutting lines on the moving glass strip relative to structures, e.g. dust or streaks in the glass, that may be present. A cylindrical lens is arranged in front of a straight-line light surface used as a light source, and a photoelectric cell is associated with a light guide plate (light guide).
United States patent 5 201 227 relates to a device for measuring the blade oscillations of rotating moving blades of a gas turbine propulsion unit. For this purpose a probe is adapted to be fixed to the turbine housing so that the radially inner end of the probe is located with its end face spaced radially above the tip of the moving blades. The scanning of the moving blade is performed using an illuminating optical fibre arranged axially centrally in the probe and a receiving optical fibre arranged concentrically therewith. The illuminating optical fibre includes, at the relevant end of the head of the probe, a small diameter lens which is followed, axially spaced in the sending and receiving branch, by a lens of large diameter. A cover'plate situated on the probe end face serves simply for protection. The arrangement leads to the solid angle of incidence which the probe covers over the respective moving blade being relatively small.
Consequently the probe will only be able to receive a small proportion of the light reflected from the end faces, and in addition - by reason of the above-mentioned surface structures of the moving blades - it would be possible to receive light reflections that were "going wildly back and is forth", which would deliver comparatively unclean signals.
Because of the design of the probe described the light spot on the blade is circular. This leads to the following disadvantages: If the diameter is very small, on account of the surface structure of the turbine blades highly structured signals changing from revolution to revolution are obtained, with corresponding disadvantages for the precision of triggering. If the diameter were to be greater, information could be given about the structures, but at the same time the flanks of the signals would become shallower, likewise with disadvantages to the precision of triggering.
It is an object of the invention to provide a signal device for gas turbine engines with which, more particularly through the form and arrangement of an optical probe, signals can be produced by means of the moving blades while the engine is running which are extremely reproducible from revolution to revolution of the rotor and are extremely uniform in respect of operational influences and requirements.
The stated object is achieved in accordance with the invention by providing a sensor device for producing is precisely timed signals corresponding to the passage of the blades of the rotor of a turbine engine through a predetermined circumferential location with respect to the housing, having a probe which includes optical fibres for the transmission of a focused light beam radially towards the rotor from a position on the housing spaced opposite the free end faces of the moving blades, characterised in that the probe is adapted to transmit a light beam having an elliptical cross-section such that an elliptical spot of light is projected on to the end face of the blade, the major axis of the spot being aligned substantially parallel to the pressure- side or suction-side edges of the end faces, and the signals are produced from the light reflected from the end faces. By means of the device in accordance with the invention signals having, inter alia, the following advantageous characteristics can be made available: they are weakly structured, that is to say, the form of the signal is very largely unimpaired by the surface structure of the moving blade surfaces due to their material and possibly to their mechanical working (grinding) or wearing down (on running-in coatings); they are reproducible from revolution to revolution; they have steep signal flanks; the fluctuations in their intensity as the distance between the probe and the blade varies within a defined and relatively large range are small. A preferred use of the device in accordance with the invention is on axialflow compressors or turbines of turbine propulsion units - particularly gas turbines. The optical probe is fixed in a radial bore of the compressor or turbine housing at the desired distance of preferably 0.5 to 2.5 mm from the end faces of the blades. According to the invention, on each revolution of the blade an elliptical spot of light is displayed by the light beam on the respective blade end face. Before fixing to the housing the probe only needs to be rotated circumferentially so that the major axis of the elliptical light beam is aligned locally parallel e.g. to the pressure- side edge of a blade end face and consequently the minor axis of the ellipse (smallest diameter of the beam) is transverse to the said edge. This assumes that the probe is constructed so that the illuminating optical fibre - in particular a single-mode fibre - is aligned in the direction of the axis of the probe. The growth or decay of the signal is thus determined by the time required for the pressure-side or suction- side edge of the end face of the respective blade to traverse the elliptical light beam.
The widening of the beam parallel to the edge is concerned leads to a great reduction in the influence of the surface structure of the blade on the signal received which is obtained from the reflected light, without the rate of growth of the signal which is aimed at being adversely affected. The focusing of the light beam transverse to the edge concerned, as described, gives probe signals with short growth times.
The form and arrangement of the cover plate in the receiving part or branch of the probe (claim 2 or claim 4) makes a large solid receiving angle possible, since light reflected from the blades can be received by a relatively large plate surface. As a result of the widening of the light beam parallel to the edge, as described, the advantageous construction claimed in claim 3 is possible (adjustment of the optical fibre for the probe illumination). Furthermore, claim 5 gives an advantageous optical separation of the transmitting and receiving parts or branches of the probe through the arrangement and form of the tubular shield within the recess, which in turn despite the shield - is capable of being illuminated extremely uniformly by the light received.
Further advantageous embodiments'of the invention are apparent from the features of claims 6 to 13.
The invention will now be further explained, by way of example, with reference to the drawings, in which:
Fig. I is a diagrammatic perspective view of the optical probe on a portion, partly broken open and broken off, of the housing of a turbine engine, showing the radially outer end face of part of a moving blade associated with the light beam of the probe so as to display an elliptical spot of light on the end face, and including the direction D of relative rotation of the blade or rotor, Fig. 2 is a longitudinal central section through the optical probe in end face association with a part of a blade, broken off at one end, showing the basic principles of the probe construction, Fig. 3 is a partial cross-section through the turbine engine housing and associated moving blades on the rotor and an associated optical probe on the housing, which is coupled with a light source for the production of the light beam, with an optical receiver and with a trigger unit, all illustrated diagrammatically, Fig. 4 shows the detailed construction of the optical probe shown in Fig. 2, likewise as a longitudinal central section, and Fig. 5 shows an alternative way of securing the probe on the housing relative to a moving blade, this alternative being shown as a longitudinally sectioned part of the housing, broken off on both sides, in connection with a portion of a blade, likewise locally broken off.
What is described and illustrated is a signal device for turbine engines which, when the turbine engine is running, delivers signals precisely at the times at which the moving blades 1 pass through a defined circumferential position relative to the housing 2 of the turbine engine. For this purpose an optical probe 3 is used which transmits a focused light beam 6 (Figs. 1 and 2) towards the rotor 5 (Fig. 3) which is traversed-by each moving blade 1: the signals are cbtained from the light reflected from the moving blades 1. As can be seen from Figs. 1, 3 and 5, the probe 3 is secured to the housing 2 with the end of its head part 7 radially spaced above the end faces 4 (Fig. 1) of the free ends of the moving blades. The way in which the probe is secured and arranged on the housing 4 is shown diagrammatically in Figs. 1 and 3. Fig. 3 shows by way of example the securing of the probe by means of a surrounding collar 8 on the outside of the housing 2, the head part 7 being seated in a radial bore 9 passing through the housing is 2. A particular alternative way of securing the probe 3 to the housing 2, which is preferred in practice, will be described in detail later in connection with Fig. 5.
As shown in Figs. 2 and 4, the probe 3 comprises a transmitting optical fibre 10 for the transmission and several receiving optical fibres 11 for the reception of light, a cylindrical lens 12 and a partially scattering cover plate 13; the probe 3 is constructed and arranged on the housing 2 in such a way that the lens 12 contained therein focuses a pencil of light rays 131 issuing divergently from the central optical fibre 10 in a plane and thereby produces the light beam 6. As can be seen from Fig. 1, an elliptical spot of light 14 is thus displayed on the end face 4 concerned, the major axis of the ellipse being aligned substantially parallel to one or both of the two pressure- or suction-side edges K, K', the minor axis of the ellipse consequently running transverse to the line of the edge of the end face 4 of the blade. A part TL (Fig. 2) of the light reflected from the end faces 4 of the blades in the solid angle region L is coupled by means of the predominantly diffusely scattering cover plate 13 into the receiving optical fibres 11. These can be distributed -g- uniformly around the circumference and be arranged spaced radially from and parallel to the axis of the probe.
In order to make it possible, when fitting the transmitting optical fibre 10 into the insert 23, to align the light beam parallel to the longitudinal axis of the probe, the transmitting optical fibre 10 can, as can be seen in particular from Fig. 4, be guided eccentrically relative to the position of the lens 12 and of the longitudinal axis of the probe in a sleeve 15 of the body of the probe, which sleeve is capable of being rotated circumferentially and secured in position. For this purpose an eccentric bore is provided through the sleeve 15 in the longitudinal direction, and one end part of the transmitting optical fibre 10 is secured within the is eccentric longitudinal bore through the sleeve 15 by means of an insert member 16 (Fig. 4).
The cover plate 13 (Fig. 2) covers a housing recess 17 formed in the head part 7 of the probe 3 and open on the end face of the probe, and is formed so that, outside a central, optically polished portion 18', the plate is diffusely scattering. The light beam 6 focused by the lens 12 passes through the recess 17 within a coaxial tubular shield 18, which terminates with its front end a short axial distance in front of the central portion 181 of the plate, through which the light beam 6 passes. The tubular shield 18 prevents crosstalk between the transmitting and receiving branches at the head part 7 of the probe 3. The recess 17 can be illuminated substantially uniformly by means of the light reflected from the moving blades 1 and received from the diffusely scattering portion of the cover plate 13 within the solid angle region L: part of this light gets into the solid angle region TL and is coupled into the respective receiving optical fibres 11 which terminate at one of their ends at the base of the recess 17.
As the light source 19 (Fig. 3) A laser can be employed, the light supplied being coupled on the side remote from the cylindrical lens 12 into the transmitting optical fibre 10. Preferably this transmitting optical fibre 10 can be in the form of a single-mode optical fibre.
The light coupled sequentially into the receiving optical fibres 11 (Fig. 2) can, at the end of the probe 3 remote from the head part 7, be passed on to an optical receiver (Fig. 3) and converted by means of a trigger unit 21 coupled with the receiver 20 into the electrical signal corresponding to the defined circumferential position.
As shown in Fig. 4, the probe 3 comprises a cylindrical housing 22 with an insert 23 which can be secured coaxially therein and which is provided with a central axial bore 24 for the circumferentially rotatable sleeve 15. The insert 23 is also provided with bores 24 spaced radially from and extending parallel to the sleeve for sleeve-shaped insert members 25 in which the receiving optical fibres 11 are led and secured within the probe 3 (see here also Fig. 2).
The recess 17 in the head part 7 of the probe 3 is formed by a portion of the cylindrical housing 22 which projects axially beyond the insert 23. The part of the recess 17 which can be illuminated is bounded axially by the predominantly diffusely scattering cover plate 13 arranged at its end and by a plate 26, seated on an end face of the insert 23, which at the same time serves to carry the tubular shield 18 which passes axially through the recess 17. The tubular shield 18 communicates by way of a central bore 27 in the plate with a portion of the axial central bore 24 for the sleeve 15, in which the cylindrical lens 12 is arranged. The plate 26 has openings 28 arranged to coincide with the locations of the respective ends of the receiving optical fibres 11.
As can further be seen from Fig. 4, the plate 26 with the tubular shield 18 and the predominantly diffusely scattering cover plate 13 are retained axially spaced withinthe recess 17 by means of a spacing ring 29, the cover plate 13 being supported along a bevelled outer end face on a rotationally symmetrical projection 30 of the cylindrical housing 22 at the head part 7 of the probe 3.
The cylindrical housing 22 is connected at its end remote from the head part 7 of the probe 3 to a siliconejacketed metal hose 31. After local nipping-in, as with pliers, of the housing 22, which is provided in this region with an internal screw thread 32, the silicone jacket forms a formfitting connection with the housing. Bores 33 prevent the mechanical strains which arise from the crimping process from spreading into the front region of the probe housing (7, 8). For the nipping-in a crimping is iron can be used of which the jaws are shaped to the desired local geometry of the probe housing. The insert 23, the plate 26 and the spacing ring 29 can be stuck to the cylindrical housing 22 of the probe 3: for the local supply of the adhesive the cylindrical 20 housing 22 is provided with radial through bores 35, 36, 37. The sleeve-shaped insert members 25 for the receiving optical fibres 11 can also be stuck to the insert 23 inside the respective bores 241, the insert 23 having radial through-bores 361 for the supply of an adhesive. The construction shown in Fig. 2 and/or Fig. 4 provides a probe of relatively small dimensions. For example, the length scale given in Fig. 4 corresponds to an actual length scale of 5 mm. Also, especially as shown in Fig. 4, a compact, easy-to-assemble and vibration-resistant construction is obtained with relatively few component parts.
Fig. 5 shows a practicable, simple-to-use means for mounting and securing the probe.
In this case the probe 3 is inserted from outside the housing 2 into a radial through-bore 9 which is narrowed to a smaller diameter at the inner side of the housing 2. A portion A of the bore with the smaller diameter passes through a running- in coating 38 for the moving blades 1, which extends axially of and around the circumference of the housing 2 on the inner side. Within the axially substantially longer portion B of the through bore with the large diameter the probe 3 is seated with the collar 8 on a spacing ring 39 which partially axially surrounds the probe 3 at its outer circumference. On the side remote from the spacing ring 39 the probe 3 is axially supported by the collar 8 on a retaining ring 40 in the portion B of the through bore. The retaining ring 40 is penetrated by an axial recess of the size of the diameter of the siliconejacketed metal hose 31. Fixing of the probe is effected by means of a securing flange 41 which is fixed to the housing is 2 from the outside by screws (S) and is seated, under axial pressure, on the retaining ring 40 with a cylindrical portion 42 in the portion B of the through bore. The probe 3 projects with the end of the probe head 7 into the running-in coating 38. Very good signals can be obtained even in the case of extreme changes in the radial gap of the moving blades 1 or in the radial distance between the end faces 4 of the blades and the end face of the probe possibly combined with rubbing of the blades 1 on the running-in coating 38. 25 Particularly good results are obtained for the probe 3 in accordance with the invention with the following characteristics; Optical:
operating distance: 0.5 to 2.5 mm 30 between end face of the probe and end faces of blade 4. Beam diameter: about 50 gm (transverse to the 35 respective blade edge K or K').
about 1 mm (parallel to the respective blade edge K or K').
Variation in signal amplitude:
Background signal (distance > 30 mm) max. amplitude.
Consequently the probe 3 delivers weakly structured, stable signals with steep flanks, with great depth of field and negligible background signal from the blade roots.
Dimensions: Diameter = 8 mm, length = 22 mm.
< 2 0% Amplitude <2% of the