This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Principal Component Analysis for Enhancement of Infrared Spectra Monitoring




Haney, Ricky

Type of Degree



Materials Engineering


The issue of air quality within the aircraft cabin is receiving increasing attention from both pilot and flight attendant unions. This is due to exposure events caused by poor air quality that in some cases may have contained toxic oil components due to bleed air that flows from outside the aircraft and then through the engines into the aircraft cabin. Significant short and long-term medical issues for aircraft crew have been attributed to exposure. The need for air quality monitoring is especially evident in the fact that currently within an aircraft there are no sensors to monitor the air quality and potentially harmful gas levels (detect-to-warn sensors), much less systems to monitor and purify the air (detect-to-treat sensors) within the aircraft cabin. The specific purpose of this research is to utilize a mathematical technique called principal component analysis (PCA) in conjunction with principal component regression (PCR) and proportionality constant calculations (PCC) to simplify complex, multi-component infrared (IR) spectra data sets into a reduced data set used for determination of the concentrations of the individual components. Use of PCA can significantly simplify data analysis as well as improve the ability to determine concentrations of individual target species in gas mixtures where significant band overlap occurs in the IR spectrum region. Application of this analytical numerical technique to IR spectrum analysis is important in improving performance of commercial sensors that airlines and aircraft manufacturers could potentially use in an aircraft cabin environment for multi-gas component monitoring. The approach of this research is two-fold, consisting of a PCA application to compare simulation and experimental results with the corresponding PCR and PCC to determine quantitatively the component concentrations within a mixture. The experimental data sets consist of both two and three component systems that could potentially be present as air contaminants in an aircraft cabin. In addition, experimental data sets are analyzed for a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) aqueous solution mixture to determine H2O2 concentrations at various levels that could be produced during use of a vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP) decontamination system. After the PCA application to two and three component systems, the analysis technique is further expanded to include the monitoring of potential bleed air contaminants from engine oil combustion. Simulation data sets created from database spectra were utilized to predict gas components and concentrations in unknown engine oil samples at high temperatures as well as time-evolved gases from the heating of engine oils.