Cabin Fire

Fire detection

Detection and suppression technologies are perceived to be mature and often operating in an optimal manner. Nevertheless, additional studies on smoke detectors and extinguisher systems are still necessary and will be performed in the frame of the AicraftFire project.

Nevertheless, the technologies involved and the information derived from detection systems remains consistent among applications. In general terms, most of the detection systems used measure the presence of smoke, temperature and carbon monoxide. Some advanced detectors might include flame emissions and other combustion related species. The information obtained is mostly used directly and as a function of alarm thresholds, with the exception of some advanced systems where complex algorithms are used for the purpose of speeding detection times and minimizing nuisance alarms. New multicriteria smoke detection systems, which are used in Airbus A380 cargo compartments, are capable to enhance the immunity of false alarms due to dustor cargo condensation by the generation of multiple detection data (and the subsequent data processing using a multi-criteria detection logic). Then, the number of aircraft turns backs, emergency landings, evacuations and Halondischarges could be reduced. Nevertheless, in all cases detection is associated only to an alarm that defines the presence of a fire and in some cases (common to aircraft) provides some indication of the location of the fire. With the exception of flame emission, modern detection systems do not define the nature of the fire and in no case they are linked to the burning materials. Thus, the role of fire signatures is very broadly addressed by means of detection.


Reviews of the different detection and suppression systems applicable to aircraft are compiled by Grosshandler:

Grosshandler,W.L. "Proceedings of the 1995 Workshop on Fire Detector Research," NISTIR-5700,Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1995;

Grosshandler, W.L., "Progress Report on FireDetection Research in the United States," U.S./Japan Government Cooperative Program on Natural Resources (UJNR), 13th Joint Panel Meeting, March13 – 20, 1996, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Vol. 2, Beall, K.A., Ed., pp. 363-369,1997.

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