Applying Infrared Thermography as a Method for Online Monitoring of Turbine Blade Coolant Flow

Eric DeShong, Benjamin Peters, Kamran Paynabar, Nagi Gebraeel, Karen A. Thole, Reid A. Berdanier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


As gas turbine engine manufacturers strive to implement condition-based operation and maintenance, there is a need for blade monitoring strategies capable of early fault detection and root-cause determination. Given the importance of blade cooling flows to turbine blade health and longevity, there is a distinct lack of methodologies for coolant flowrate monitoring. The present study addresses this identified opportunity by applying an infrared thermography system on an engine-representative research turbine to generate data-driven models for prediction of blade coolant flowrate. Thermal images were used as inputs to a linear regression and regularization algorithm to relate blade surface temperature distribution with blade coolant flowrate. Additionally, this study investigates how coolant flowrate prediction accuracy is influenced by the number and breadth of diagnostic measurements. The results of this study indicate that a source of high-fidelity training data can be used to predict blade coolant flowrate within about six percent error. Furthermore, identification of prioritized sensor placement supports application of this technique across multiple sensor technologies capable of measuring blade surface temperature in operating gas turbine engines, including spatially resolved and point-based measurement techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111009
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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