Mixed-Phase Fluidic Devices
FTL has extensive experience developing payload systems for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) including extensive fluid modeling of the flow and mixed-phase environment surrounding a moving submarine. This has included unique calculations, models, and experimental testing of large bubble plumes in pipes, pools, and open ocean. In particular, FTL has investigated the existence and use of pressure effects from bubble plumes and moving vessels detected by custom undersea pressure sensor arrays, and verified through computational fluid dynamics calculations.
FTL personnel have a long history of fluid monitoring both for DoD and industrial clients, with expertise in flow system design, fluid-dynamic analysis, optical access, and data acquisition. Working for the Army, Airforce, and Navy, FTL has shown in-flow detection and discrimination of sediment, water, and wear particles.
For the OilEye project, we designed isokinetic flow cells and custom AI classifier software capable of combining thousands of frames of imagery to extract particle size distribution and other parameters necessary for process monitoring. FTL uses parallel processing to enable classification of thousands of particles against training sets from tens to hundreds of thousands of test cases in seconds.
FTL has developed a forward-deployable wastewater solution for the Air Force. FTL’s “ElectroSeptic” technology is aimed at reducing both energy use and footprint for rapid-setup, air-drop water treatment systems.
The core of the ElectroSeptic technology is a novel microbial fuel cell that could break down organic carbon molecules in wastewater using microbial thin films grown on a semi-permeable aerated membrane. Waste particulates in the effluent are digested by “electrogen” microbes with severely reduced O2 input need, thus saving significant air pumping related costs.
Challenges have included optimizing aeration bubble size and delivery and minimization of particulate biomatter build-up. The pilot project was a collaboration with municipal and academic wastewater treatment facilities and included optimization of accurate and automated water monitoring.