NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Automated On-Line Health Management and Data Analysis
PROPOSAL TITLE:Aircraft Sensor-Logger with Power Replenishment Capabilities

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
222 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142-1735
(617) 661-5616

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Seth S Kessler
222 Third Street
Cambridge, MA  02142-1735
(617) 661-5616

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Traditional instrumentation of an aircraft is a complex and time-consuming chore. Once the sensors are installed, long wires for power and data must be routed through to a central data collection location where several large off-the-shelf electronic components reside, adding weight, cost and increasing the probably of introducing noise or faults into the testing system. All of this necessary infrastructure leads to prohibit the use of some types of sensors and limit the total number of sensors used so save on time, cost, complexity and resources. During the course of this Phase II SBIR research, Metis Design Corporation (MDC) proposes to develop a standardized data acquisition hub for aircraft testing sensors dubbed a "sensor-logger". The sensor-logger would essentially serve as a durable sensor infrastructure node capable of autonomously facilitating local testing for multiple sensors of various types. Controlled wirelessly by PC or PDA, data could be displayed in real-time, or logged internally for up to 40 hours. The second half of the proposed research would then tie together the sensor-logger with the Phase I research, developing a power-replenishment device to attached to the sensor-logger to extend its operating capabilities. Finally both devices will be flight tested in true aircraft environments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Key factors to the device marketability is its versatility; the ability not only to be integrated into new applications, but also retrofitted into existing system. There are several areas of potential NASA applicability. The first is for experimental aircraft programs. This device will give the ability to collect more data, with less complexity cost and risk to the testing program. Next, another important aerospace market would be for expendable launch vehicles (ELV) to help facilitate launch/no-launch decisions. Of probably greatest importance, this device could be a key technology for reusable launch vehicle (RLV) for quick turn around times, to avoid lengthy manual tear down inspections. Long duration spacecraft, such as satellites and deep space exploration vehicles, could also benefit from cheap, simple and light monitoring systems for launch or deployment. Lastly, these devices would also be useful for various components of the space station to help guide wear and maintenance.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Beyond NASA space applications, there exists a broad commercial market for a reliable sensor infrastructure system. MDC has had prior work with the NRO, who would use this technology for DoD ELV's. UAV's would also be good platforms since they may be stored for long periods of time before being deployed. Airlines that chose to use these systems would be able to reduce the number and time of required inspections, which would also give them the opportunity cost to capture profit due to more up-time. In this capacity, MDC has currently sold more than 400 prototype sensor systems to Boeing (commercial and military air), Honeywell and GE for aircraft application evaluation. Once SHM technologies have been proven in aerospace applications and have been around long enough to reduce their cost of implementation, systems such as these will likely be utilized in many naval, automotive and civil infrastructure applications soon thereafter.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Energy Storage
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Power Management and Distribution
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Testing Facilities
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04