Sensatek Propulsion Technology, Inc., is a Starter Studio Seed Funded company founded to commercialize innovative wireless sensing technology from the University of Central Florida. Sensatek was founded in November of 2015 as a C-Corporation and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Sensatek works with investors, government agencies, universities, and original equipment manufacturers to develop and market wireless sensor systems for continuous and real-time measurement of harsh environments within propulsion systems used for power generation and aerospace markets.
Damage from undetected hot-spots in turbine engines as a common industry problem, whereas costs in repairs, maintenance, and unplanned downtime are substantial. It was discovered that a gas turbine engine overheated, costing $1.9 million in unscheduled maintenance and turbine downtime of 10 days. Industrial gas turbine production is expected to increase over the next 14 years. These turbines will operate at much higher temperatures to achieve higher efficiencies, thereby being prone to more incidents that involve overheating.
Hotspots go undetected because thermocouples are not capable of being placed in pertinent areas and because of bulky cables that restrict placement inside gas turbines. Over the life cycle of a turbine engine, it has the potential to overheat at least once, leading to a commercial impact of $114.7 billion based on the forecasted production of gas turbines over the next 14 years.
Sensatek’s core technology is funded by the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide reliable long-term sensing to increase the efficiency, improve the operational reliability and increase performance. A temperature sensor using dielectric resonator structure, a low-profile reflective patch temperature sensor, and a pressure sensor based on evanescent-mode resonator structure, were demonstrated up to 1300oC. These sensors are made of high-temperature-stable and corrosion-resistant ceramic materials which are suitable for harsh-environment applications. The fundamental science for the temperature sensors is in that the dielectric constant of ceramic materials monotonically increases versus temperature. Therefore, by designing the sensor as a microwave resonator and by wirelessly detecting its resonant frequency, the temperature of the sensor can be extracted from the resonant frequency.
On the other hand, the pressure sensor uses an evanescent-mode resonator structure, in which an air gap dimension decreases when the external pressure increases, causing a decrease in the resonant frequency. Located in the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Research Park, Sensatek leverages more than 120 years of combined experience in materials science, propulsion systems, and electrical engineering in addressing customer needs. Sensatek has 4 full-time employees, 6 advisors, and 4 patents. and received numerous awards and featured in: Daytona Beach News-Journal “Startups power growth at Embry-Riddle’s MicaPlex in Daytona Beach”, Orlando Business Journal “Here are Florida High-Tech Corridors 2018 ‘Faces of Technology”, VentureWell Innovator Spotlight – Meet Reamonn Soto, Embry-Riddle Lift Magazine “Igniting Entrepreneurship”, Embry-Riddle News Room: “Worldwide Student and Tech Startup Owner Wins State Business Competition and Worldwide Student Wins Launch Your Venture Competition”.