NASA STTR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-II T8.01-9921
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NNM04AA92C
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Realistic non-nuclear testing of nuclear systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Advanced Fiber-Optic Instrumentation for Early Flight Fission Research

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 360
CITY:Blacksburg CITY:Blacksburg
STATE/ZIP:VA  24060-6657 STATE/ZIP:VA  24060-0000
PHONE: (540) 552-5128 PHONE: (540) 231-9390

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Roger Glenn Duncan
submissions@lunainnovations.com
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
By properly characterizing the thermo-mechanical activity within non-nuclear test articles, nuclear operation can be more accurately controlled and confidence in thermo-mechanical simulations will be high. However, the ability to characterize non-nuclear test core simulators is currently limited by the lack of instrumentation options available for measurements of parameters of interest such as temperature, strain, and pressure. The key to obtaining sufficient data lies in distributing large numbers of sensors throughout the core to monitor these parameters in real-time.

Unfortunately, this type of measurement is not currently feasible. RTDs and thermocouples provide only single point measurements and, because of logistical problems associated with limited physical accessibility, cannot be used in any significant numbers and therefore serve to limit knowledge of the dynamic and complex thermal system represented by the test core. In the pursuit of early flight fission, more detailed measurements are needed for modeling the behavior of the core during operation. To address this need, Luna Innovations proposes to develop fiber-optic instrumentation sensors capable of high temperature operation based on Luna's unique distributed sensing technology, which uses fiber Bragg gratings as the sensing transducers for temperature, strain, and pressure measurements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The initial application of this technology, for NASA, will be to provide advanced metrology capability to facilitate research in early flight fission. This technology has already proven a valuable asset to NASA for the monitoring of non-nuclear core simulators and this is expected to continue to be true moving forward for programs such as Prometheus.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
In addition to being a powerful supplement to NASA's metrology toolbox and an enabling technology for space-based nuclear reactors, the proposed fiber-optic sensing technology is expected to find wide commercial appeal. The proposed technology could provide oil producers with a more efficient means to monitor their extraction operations, increasing production of a commodity that is vital to this nation's national security. The proposed technology would also be highly valuable by enabling condition based maintenance of airframes and industrial motors. By providing means to monitor temperature in a distributed fashion, the generators may be operated at optimal efficiencies, extending service life.


Form Printed on 01-25-05 19:05