NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 A1.02-8162
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aviation Safety and Security; Fire, Icing, Propulsion and Secure CNS Aircraft Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Wireless In-situ Nondestructive Inspection of Engine Rotor Disks with Ultrasonic Guided Waves

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville ,MD 20855 - 2785
(301) 294 - 5200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George   Zhao
xzhao@i-a-i.com
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20855 -2785
(301) 294 - 5232

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The integrity of rotor disks in engine turbines or fans is vital to aviation safety. Cumulative cracks at critical loading and high stress areas, if not detected and repaired in time, can lead to a catastrophic failure. Traditional inspection methods such as Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) and Eddy current are point-by-point methods and very time consuming. Disassembly of the engine is needed for each inspection, which may generate more problems.

We propose a wireless in-situ ultrasonic guided wave health monitoring approach that can eliminate all the disadvantages of conventional methods. It applies light, thin ultrasonic guided wave circumferential patch transducers around the root of the disk. Guided waves travel in the radial direction and can inspect the whole disk area. The electrical signal is coupled wirelessly to the circumferential patch through a pair of RF antennas mounted on the rotor shaft and a stationary fixture around the shaft, respectively. The inspection can be done even when the disk is rotating. The envisioned system has minimal impact to the rotor performance, can instantaneously provide reliable and quantitative data such as crack location and severity level, can minimize and eventually eliminate the need for structural disassembly, and is able to communicate wirelessly for in-situ engine health monitoring.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The ability to detect and characterize cracks in the engine rotor disks in an early and accurate manner is always critical for improving safety and reducing cost for many NASA aviation vehicle propulsion systems. At the end of Phase 2, we will have a small, light weight, low cost, and robust system with both hardware and software integrated together for cracks detection and localization. The success of such a system will greatly enhance the aviation safety while reducing the downtime due to scheduled maintenance.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
In-situ wireless health monitoring and fault diagnosis is equally important for many military and commercial systems such as aircraft, automobiles, trains, home appliances, nuclear reactors, etc. The system can either perform continuous monitoring for the critical high strength components or switch on-off when needed. We expect the market for this system to be at least 10 million dollars.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Aircraft Engines
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12