NASA STTR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-T7.02-9859 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 030141)
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Non-Destructive Evaluation, Health Monitoring and Life Determination of Aerospace Vehicles/Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Non-linear Ultrasonic Bond-Strength Monitor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Luna Innovations Incorporated NAME:Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ADDRESS:2851 Commerce Street ADDRESS:460 Turner Street, Suite 306
CITY:Blacksburg CITY:Blacksburg
STATE/ZIP:VA  24060-6657 STATE/ZIP:VA  24060-0000
PHONE: (540) 552-5128 PHONE: (540) 231-5281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Joseph    Heyman
heymanj@lunainnovations.com
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
To date, bond strength is considered one of the ?holy grails? for NDE. Preliminary data indicates that the Luna Nonlinear Ultrasonic Bond Strength (NUBS) monitor will permit a nondestructive evaluation of bond strength for many classes of adhesives and bond configurations. The technology is based on high-resolution ultrasonic measurements that extract nonlinear parameters of the elastic bond properties. Working with Professor David Dillard, a recognized international expert in adhesion science at Virginia Tech., the Luna team will validate the NUBS concept using butt-joints and shear-lap joints with a family of adhesives and surface preparations. The tests will help Luna optimize the device electronic design while determining the range of use for quantitative assessments.

The result of this R&D if carried to the Phase II will be a cost-effective field instrument that has wide applicability for one-sided bond assessment testing. This is especially critical for NASA as aerospace structures rely more and more on adhesives for beneficial design characteristics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Nearly every aerospace structure includes bonded elements. For many structures, the bonds are crit-1, such as for the SRM insulation, the ET SOFI, and the Shuttle tiles. Many aircraft utilize bonding and then add mechanical fasteners as back-up. It is possible that the Luna NUBS will provide added confidence in predicting bond strength to alter the design paradigm as well as enhance vehicle safety. This is an opportunity to evaluate an innovative approach to an important problem for the Agency.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The potential market for this device is enormous, estimated conservatively at greater than $40M in the first five years. Validation testing through a NASA STTR will provide the archival data necessary for giving the technology the visibility and credibility to make it to the commercial sector. Data from a leading university center of excellence combined with Luna?s track record for commercialization provides a jump-start for a spin-off company focused on this product. Applications abound: aerospace industry, auto industry, sports industry, furniture industry, medical products to name a few areas.