Aircraft Cargo Compartment Fire and Nuisance Source Test in the FE/DE.
Aircraft Cargo Compartment Fire and Nuisance Source Test
in the FE/DE.
Cleary, T. G.; Donnelly, M. K.
NIST SP 965; February 2001.
International Conference on Automatic Fire Detection
"AUBE '01", 12th. Proceedings. National Institute of
Standards and Technology. March 25-28, 2001,
Gaithersburg, MD, Beall, K.; Grosshandler, W. L.; Luck,
H., Editor(s)(s), 689-700 pp, 2001.
fire detection; fire detection systems; aircraft
compartments; cargo space; commercial aircraft;
transport aircraft; fire suppression; false alarms; test
fires; combustion gases; temperature rise; particulates
Commercial transport aircraft cargo compartments require
both fire detection and suppression capabilities in
order to meet regulatory requirements. System
reliability is very important since in many cases the
cargo compartment is inaccessible during flight.
Historically, while there have been few fires reported
in cargo compartments, false alarms are a more frequent
event. A recent study places the false alarm to smoke
detection at 200:1 over the last five years. A
significant fraction of false alarms is thought to be
due to nuisance sources such as condensed water vapor,
and other aerosol sources. The Federal Aviation
Administration requires that each new cargo compartment
design must pass a system test on the ground and in
flight using smoke which may be produced from aerosol
generators, tobacco smoke or other non-fire sources. The
FAA is developing standard flaming fire and smoldering
fire sources that will be more repeatable than the range
of aerosol sources currently in use and will allow other
types of detectors besides smoke detectors to be
qualified. NIST has performed tests in the fire
emulator/detector evaluator (FE/DE) with the same
smoldering and flaming fire source developed by the FAA
in addition to performing other smoldering, flaming and
nuisance source tests. The additional flaming source
tests include a propene smoke and heat addition to
emulate a hydrocarbon or plastics pool fire, and flaming
ethanol-soaked cottton/polyester blend fabric circles.
Additional smoldering sources include cotton smolder
smoke generated by the staged-wick-ignition device, and
wood blocks placed on an electrical hotplate. Nuisance
sources reproduced in the FE/DE include dust exposure,
nebulized oil mist aerosol, and high humidity, condensed
water vapor exposures. Laser light extinction, air
temperature, CO, CO2, and water concentrations were
recorded for each test. The outputs from an analog
output photoelectric, ionization, thermal multi-sensor
detector were recorded. The alarm conditions for a
spot-type and a draw-through photoelectric aircraft
smoke detectors also were monitored during the tests.