NASA STTR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 T2.02-9944
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Concepts for Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Thin Film Transistor Based Ultrasonic Sensor for Aircraft Integrity Monitoring
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC) RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI)
NAME:Intelligent Automation, Inc. NAME:Pennsylvania State University
ADDRESS:15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400 ADDRESS:110 Technology Center
CITY:Rockville CITY:University Park
STATE/ZIP:MD20855-2785 STATE/ZIP:PA16802-7000
PHONE:(301)294-5200 PHONE:(814)865-6185

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chiman Kwan
ckwan@i-a-i.com



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Intelligent Automation, Incorporated (IAI) and its subcontractor, Penn State U., propose a novel system to detect damage in aircraft structures. The system combines novel TFT based thin film actuators and sensors for signal acquisition and a robust software for fault prognosis and diagnosis. The actuator/sensor is known as PVDF-IDT (Polyvinylidine Fluoride Interdigital Transducer) that is integrated into a TFT switching circuit. It is low cost, compact, flexible, and has great potential for wireless interrogation. PVDF-IDT sensor has been proven to be useful for sensing cracks in rivet holes as well as other structural defects such as corrosion, delamination, and fatigue cracking. The second element of the system is an automatic fault prognosis tool, which consists of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Learning Vector Quantization (LVQ), and Hidden Markov Model (HMM). PCA is a popular neural network tool for extracting useful features. LVQ is used to generate the code sequence. HMM has been proven to be extremely useful in several applications, however, HMM is used here to perform both fault prognosis and diagnosis. Our proposed system can perform continuous monitoring of aircraft structures in both ground and in-flight situations, and the sensors can be easily embedded into the structure.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed approach will be useful for in-situ monitoring of many NASA aircraft and spacecraft. The ability to predict the onset of structural failures is critical for reducing cost and improving safety in aircraft. At the end of Phase 2, we will have a system with both hardware and software for structural failure prognosis and diagnosis. The system will perform continuous monitoring of aircraft structures in both ground and in-flight situations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed system can be useful for commercial aircraft as well as military aircraft in the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force.