NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aviation Safety and Security; Fire, Icing, Propulsion and Secure CNS Aircraft Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:A Fire Detector for Monitoring Inaccessible Areas in Aircrafts

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
En'Urga Inc
1291-A Cumberland Avenue
West Lafayette ,IN 47906 - 1385
(765) 497 - 3269

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jongmook   Lim
1291-A Cumberland Avenue
West Lafayette, IN  47906 -1385
(765) 497 - 3269

En'Urga Inc. will evaluate the feasibility of utilizing reflected, multi-wavelength, near infrared radiation for detecting fires in inaccessible areas within aircraft. The two key issues that will be addressed during the proposed work are: (1) the feasibility of obtaining near infrared radiation signatures from inaccessible areas through multiple internal reflections within the enclosure, and (2) the feasibility of decoding the signatures with sufficient fidelity so as to eliminate false alarms.

Three Phase I tasks are planned to address the feasibility of the proposed project. The first task is to design and fabricate a system for obtaining near infrared radiation signatures within an instrument rack, representative of the inaccessible areas in aircrafts. The second task is to develop a fire detection system that readily discriminates between real fires and false alarms. The final task is to evaluate the system in a laboratory. It is anticipated that at the end of the Phase I work, the feasibility of utilizing reflected near infrared radiation for uniquely distinguishing fires would have been demonstrated. For Phase II work, a prototype, low cost and low weight system will be fabricated and evaluated both at En'Urga Inc. and at the microgravity facilities at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

The primary NASA application for the proposed fire detector is in the prevention of on-board fires in spacecrafts. A false alarm free fire detector that can quickly detect and locate fires hidden behind instrument panels and in cargo bays is crucial to developing mitigating strategies in the event such fires occur. With the ongoing emphasis on space exploration, it is likely that more manned space flights will be required in the future. For such manned missions, even false alarms that sometime occur in current NASA spacecrafts have the potential of leading to disasters, particularly if their frequency is such that they are ignored. Therefore, the proposed fire detector is crucial to NASA for building a portfolio of fire detection technologies that can be readily employed for various missions in the future.

The primary commercial application of the proposed fire detector is in the detection of instrument panel and cargo hold fires within aircrafts. Aircraft fires, though infrequent, can be potentially devastating to the industry. Every year, there are several dozen instances of false fire alarms in civilian aircrafts, leading to flight delays and high costs associated with dealing with the alarms. Any fire detector that is as reliable as the existing smoke detectors and less false alarm prone is commercially attractive to the aircraft industry. In addition to the aircraft industry, the proposed fire detector will be beneficial for various military applications within small enclosed spaces such as inside submarines and ships. The low false alarm feature of the fire detector will also be beneficial to museums, art galleries, and large warehouses, where a single deployment of a fire protection system due to a false alarm has very high monetary loss.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12