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The Novosibirsk scientists develop new methods and instruments for optical diagnostics of processes in different branches of industry, on transport and in power engineering. Dmitry Markovich, deputy director in scientific work of the Kutateladze Institute of Thermal Physics, corresponding member of the RAS Siberian Branch told about the made progress to Firyuza Yanchilina, correspondent of the Poisk newspaper. He stressed that apart from his team the following research bodies took part in the said research headed by Vladimir Meledin, chief research assistant of the same institute, Oleg Potaturkin, deputy director in scientific work of the Institute of Automatics and Electrometry of the RAS Siberian Branch, Yuri Chuguy, director of the Technological Institute of Scientific Instrumentation of the RAS Siberian Branch (all Drs Sc. (Tech.)). Due to the instrumentation developed by them it has become possible to efficiently control multiphase and reactive flows of liquids and gases in scientific and industrial plants, parameters of cold- and hot-rolled mill products in metallurgy and even to monitor mounted wheels in railway transport on a real-time basis. What are the suggested design works in substance and what are their performance capabilities?

Markovich explained: "Optical instruments which we are developing make use of electromagnetic emission in different wave ranges from infrared to ultraviolet and even X-ray for determination of the studied object parameters.

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The main physical principles are based on the scattering laws working on tracers either artificially brought into the flow or on natural ones. We managed to create tomographic measuring systems which enabled us to achieve high-precision spatial distribution of velocities and structures of liquid and gas flows. Image processing by the software-and-algorithmic complexes of digital tracer visualization requires enormous datasets and application of parallel computing technologies and supercomputers, but on the other hand the received experimental physical information is significant and unique."

Another class of the suggested optical methods is based on molecular tracers. Owing to them it becomes possible to determine a wide set of values including a chemical composition and temperature distribution in liquid and gas flows which is important both in scientific studies and in industrial production.

All these approaches are realized by the joint research team in the form of various instruments for contactless and exact optical diagnostics. The measuring systems of the series POLIS, LAD-0 and Korvet for diagnostics of kinematics and structure of flows are used in creation of new technologies in power engineering, aerospace industry and for the needs of fundamental metrology in the national primary standard of the air-flow rate unit. They are introduced into a number of enterprises, research institutes and universities.

As regards power engineering, when diagnosing the processes of hydrocarbon fuel combustion we manage to provide fuel saving and reduce polluting emissions. Recording and analysis of important physical parameters allowed on-line and selective control of combustion modes and substantial increase of efficiency, ecological properties and safety of technologies.

Markovich continued: "In cooperation with the Moscow Power Institute we first in the world equipped large-scale laboratory plants and simulation processes in steam turbines with control devices. Discussions on introduction of similar diagnostic systems at enterprises producing such turbines is under way now. It is a highly difficult technical problem. To deal successfully with this problem one should carry out a long chain of laboratory research, mathematical modelling, manufacture of prototypes and tests on a semi-industrial scale followed by realization and implementation. No single link can be withdrawn from this chain. Complex and large-scale physical effects forming the basis of industrial technologies often prevent from a direct transfer of laboratory experiment results to them.

Hydropower engineering is a case in point. Laboratory models of hydroturbines equipped with advanced diagnostic facilities can provide information on different processes, phenomena and regularities such as, for example, initiation of cavitation which destroys turbines. It makes possible to assess basic characteristics of non-stationary turbulent flows and verify mathematical models and computer codes."

With reference to hydropower engineering Markovich told of his plans for restoration of a high-pressure laboratory at the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power plant. It is a unique construction put in operation in the 1970s, which includes several hydrodynamic channels in which liquid moves under action of natural water differential

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(about 100 m). The laboratory potentialities are vast, and in case of its repeated creation there will start a real-time modelling of processes for the needs of not only hydroelectric engineering but also defense applications.

Transport is an individual topic. Optical methods are irreplaceable for diagnostics of processes in combustion chambers of gas-turbine and internal-combustion engines. The control of flow of blades in power and transport turbine plants and optimization of work processes using mathematical modelling provide increase of engine efficiency and substantial reduction of the hazardous emission level and acoustic noise of turbines and airplanes.

As we have mentioned above, diagnostics of wheel pairs of railway cars is an important part of the work of the research team. The method of contactless diagnostics of moving three-dimensional object geometry was a breakthrough in practical application of science intensive optical-and-information methods and technologies realized for the first time by specialists of the Design and Technological Institute of Scientific Instrument Manufacture and the Institute of Thermal Physics. In cooperation with the Western Siberian Railway Administration they created on its basis and brought to full-scale production the all-weather laser system Kompleks for automatic control of geometric parameters of wheel pairs of freight cars of a train moving a speed of 60 km/h. Non-observance of the said parameters is a serious risk factor of train derailing. Abrasion of even one wheel threatens with a catastrophe. Until recently hand control and measuring equipment of the contact type on the basis of templates or clamps was used for solving this problem. Such method is subjective and unproductive; it requires a lot of time for setting-up of the measuring instrument and does not allow to control train wheels in motion. The research team created brand new contactless and automatic equipment of dimensional control providing diagnostics during movement of the train, moreover with a high accuracy, i.e. the error is below 0.5 mm.

Software records parameters of each wheel, and at the next station the railway personnel receives accurate instructions in which car which wheel pair should be replaced. Kompleks is adapted to severe climatic conditions of Russia. Contrary to foreign analogs it is stable in heat and frost, in snow drifts and in rain. For more than 10 years the equipment of this system is successfully used on all railways of Russia, thus preventing accidents and providing safe railway traffic. Economic effect is assessed at many milliards of rubles.

With reference to competition at the world market, there, of course, similar products are available. But the systems from Novosibirsk, created on a fundamental scientific basis and oriented to specifics of particular industry and the climatic characteristics of Russia, surpass the best foreign analogs by a number of parameters.

Firyuza Yanchilina, Are Accidents Cancelled? Original Works of Siberian Scientists Help Prevent Accidents,-"Poisk" newspaper, No. 25, 2014

Photo supplied by Dmitry Markovich

Prepared by Sergei MAKAROV


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