Kulite was a Gold Sponsor and exhibitor at the 2023 Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest IREC – Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition for student rocketry teams. With over 5,913 Rocketeers, representing the best and brightest from 80 national teams and 78 international teams, participants got the opportunity to compete at the world class Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert. Students launched solid, liquid, and hybrid rockets to target altitudes of 10,000 and 30,000 feet. Spaceport America is located between the cities of Las Cruces, New Mexico and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The Jornada Mountain Range separates Spaceport America from White Sands Missile Range. Sharing the controlled airspace allowed the student rocketeers to soar their rockets to unprecedented heights.
Along side other sponsors like Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and Northrop Grumman, Kulite’s Senior Design Engineer, Scott Goodman and Senior Project Engineer, Jing Bao, met with almost every rocket team in attendance at opening day at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Students were eager to discuss technical questions on how to incorporate Kulite pressure transducers into their programs. The rest of the week was spent at the spaceport supporting the teams in the hot desert with refreshments and cooling towels. Students also had the opportunity to network there and learned about Kulite sponsorship opportunities and potential internships. Currently, Kulite sponsors over a dozen collegiate teams worldwide. With a great exhibit spot directly behind the viewing stands, Kulite had an awesome view of the launches. Kulite was thrilled to support this event and be onsite for all the competition and excitement! Congratulations to the event organizer and all the teams on their incredible, successful missions.
By Steve Carter
Over 5,000 engineers and scientists were on hand last week in our nation’s capital for the world’s largest aerospace research, development, and technology event hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). These aerospace professionals arrived from 44 countries and all 50 states. The 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum was the largest in the history of the 60-year event and continues to grow every year. Nearly everyone in attendance knew the Kulite name as we have been supporting the aerospace community even longer than the SciTech Forum.
Approximately 1,500 students who are actively involved in aerospace research are included in the attendance numbers. In addition to exhibiting, Kulite was also noted in nearly all the technical sessions as either the studies’ primary measurement device or the foundational reference for the computational pressure modeling. Kulite engineers Scott Goodman and Steve Carter were at the booth to introduce dozens of university students to the miniature transducer product line. With 80+ years of combined experience, Scott and Steve were able to assist them with immediate answers and suggestions so they could begin preparations for their aerodynamic research. Kulite pressure transducers are present at every level of aerospace career and product development by providing the key scientific discovery data behind hundreds of advanced degrees awarded each year.
The theme of the SciTech Forum was “Ignite the Future: Explore the Frontiers of Aerospace.” We had a long conversation with the Artemis 1 flight test analysts from NASA Langley and NASA Marshall. They are currently interpreting the data from the launch last November. They reported that dozens of CTL-190S-25A and LLE-17DC-500-25A transducers purchased in 2014 and distributed on the surface of the rocket provided critical launch data to ensure the safety of future flights. The transducer durability has been outstanding as the Artemis rocket core assembly began right after the Kulite delivery and was subjected to repeated acoustic simulations, shaker table testing, cryogenic conditions, fueling operations, and test fires at NASA Stennis prior to lengthy salt air exposure at Cape Canaveral. The aerodynamic data collected using the Kulite transducers on the unmanned Artemis 1 flight will significantly increase the safety of flight on future manned missions to the moon later this decade and eventually to Mars.
The Research & Development Council of New Jersey honored Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., Dr. Martin Sanzari and the other winners of the 2022 Edison Patent Awards, the state’s highest recognition for inventors and innovators, during the 43rd Annual Edison Patent Award Ceremony on November 3, 2022 at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. Kulite was honored in recognition of the significant contribution it made to the advancement of science and technology while successfully bringing innovation from the laboratory to the marketplace. During the ceremony each award winner was featured in a special tribute film premiered in their honor.
Winners were selected by a team of R&D Council researchers who evaluated patents for the significance of the problem, utility/socio-economic value, novelty, and commercial impact. All winning patents needed to have at least part of the technical and scientific work completed in New Jersey. This recognition program is a foundation to the Council’s mission to collaborate among industry, academia and government to grow and strengthen STEM in education, innovation and the economy. “The Edison Patent Awards is once again uplifting the inventors and companies that make New Jersey a global innovation leader,” said Dr. Kevin Campos, Chairman of the R&D Council Board of Directors and Vice President. “Thomas Edison’s legacy lives on through the 57 honorees who are driving innovation and changing the world right here in the Garden State.”
Dr. Martin Sanzari is a Director of Engineering Physics at Kulite. His patent titled Thermally Stable High Temperature Pressure and Acceleration Optical Interferometric Sensors, U.S. Patent 9,810,594 B2, assigned to Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc. was selected as a 2022 Edison Patent Award Winner in the Aerospace category. This patent is the cornerstone of the high temperature optical pressure sensor being developed in the Advance Sensor Laboratory on the second floor of building 400 of the Kulite campus. This technology uses the principles of lasers, fiber optics and advanced optical materials to enable the measurement of pressures at high temperatures. The pressure sensors are being developed for use in jet aircraft engines. The engine cores are hostile environments and experience both high temperatures and pressures. In addition to Dr. Sanzari, Brendan Wilder and Noah Stiesi also contributed to this engineering project.
Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., located in Leonia, NJ, was founded in 1959 and is globally recognized as the leading name in pressure transducer technology. With over 360 patents, Kulite has developed high-performance, state-of-the-art, custom and stock products, including transducers for extreme and harsh environmental conditions. Kulite’s ongoing investment in research and development has led to the pioneering of new sensing technologies in the aerospace, automotive, military, marine and process control industries around the world. In addition to his research and development work at Kulite, Dr. Martin Sanzari is the Director of Engineering Physics Program at Fordham University. He received his PhD in Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Photo 1: Dr. Martin Sanzari – 43rd Annual Edison Patent Award Ceremony, November 3, 2022
Photo 2: From left from Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc. – Joseph VanDerWeert, Dr. Martin Sanzari, John P. Hilton, Ph.D., Noah Stiesi, Brendan Wilder, Lou DeRosa, Jean Declama, Martin Sanzari – 43rd Annual Edison Patent Award Ceremony, November 3, 2022
Below, click “Learn More” for The Research & Development Council of New Jerseys 2022 Edison Patent Award – Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc. Tribute Video
Steve Carter and Bud Coleman attended the Turbomachinery and Pump Symposium from September 13th through 15th in Houston, TX. Attendees included design, operations, and maintenance personnel working with rotating equipment for the production of fluid/electrical power and transfer of material in the oil & gas, petrochemical, power generation, aerospace, chemical, and water industries. Kulite has a relatively small presence in the industrial pump and compressor market, but the potential appears to be much larger with new applications being brought in on a regular basis. The visitors to the Kulite booth indicated the rotating equipment business is in a new period of growth including more challenging measurement requirements for which Kulite offers a wide range of solutions.
Customers were interested in the sensing technology to measure pump pressures on a new robotic paint sprayer, high-temperature hazardous area chemical processes, gas combustor acoustics, and high-speed compressor discharge pressure. All of these applications had been seen as high-risk efforts until the Kulite solution was presented. There were also several companies looking to improve their current process measurements and monitoring capability with the identification of advanced pressure measurement technology. Several companies are now considering Kulite transducers for inclusion in new products they are developing.
JP Hilton, Scott Goodman, and Brendan Wilder attended the 2022 TETS Symposium. TETS brings together around 900 participants from the Turbine Engine industry including OEMs, academics, and government employees. TETS is a relatively small show but has a high concentration of decision-makers and researchers. Kulite engineers met with potential new clients and existing customers including one who stated how happy they are with their BME-88/89 products and miniatures. Overall, our clients relayed to us that Kulite is the first and best name in pressure transducers.
At the Symposium, many papers were presented regarding varieties of “pressure gain combustion” including rotating detonation engines (RDEs). RDEs are a challenging measurement environment for a variety of reasons – they require high speed (>5 kHz) high temperature (>500°C) pressure measurements that would accurately reproduce the time-domain pressure pulses. At the Kulite booth, discussions included device designs for reaching measurement goals, high-temperature products and making RDE measurements. Commonly discussed parts included water-cooled units (WCTV, EWCTV), water-cooled jackets (WCJ), high-temperature units (XTEH-10L, XHTL), and remote measurement systems (DWPP-040, KSIT-040-190). Also, 5th-wire measurements were discussed, and multiple contacts found this approach desirable both for temperature accuracy and because they wanted to reduce their overall instrumentation count by replacing temperature transducers with 5th-wire outputs.