NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Flight Sensors and Airborne Instruments for Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE:Dynamic Strain and Crack Monitoring Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Los Gatos Research
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View, CA 94041-1518
(650) 965-7772

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
An-Dien   Nguyen
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View, CA  94041-1518
(650) 965-3459

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Los Gatos Research proposes to develop a new automated vehicle health monitoring sensor system capable of measuring loads and detecting crack, corrosion, and disbonding in advanced aerospace structures using a novel lock-in laser interrogation technique combined with a Bragg grating array (BGA) technology for strain and guided Lamb wave (GLW) sensing. Los Gatos Research's novel sensor instrumentation offers a number of advantages including sensor compactness (0.2mm x 0.2mm x 10mm), lightweight (few grams), remote data acquisition capability, low-cost, and low power consumption. The inherently reliable lock-in laser demodulation technique permit simultaneous measurements of strain, temperature, and acoustic fields with high resolution and high sensitivity. In Phase I, we have demonstrated feasibility by building a prototype instrument capable of measuring static and dynamic strain, temperature, and ultrasonic waves using a lock-in laser demodulation technique and a fiber Bragg grating array sensor network. In Phase II, LGR will deliver to NASA a rugged, compact, multi-channel instrument optimized for vehicle health monitoring studies including strain, temperature, and crack monitoring with high precision, high resolution, and high sensitivity. This dedicated prototype will include an integrated microcontroller, operate unattended, and address the power and stability requirements unique to in-flight studies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Optical fiber technology provides significant advantages for advanced aerospace platforms because they are lightweight, immune to electromagnetic wave interference, rugged, and do not produce short circuits or ground loops. Therefore the development of high sensitivity fiber optic sensors has the potential to increase reliability, enable lower cost, and facilitate more effective health monitoring and nondestructive evaluation of NASA's advanced aircraft and spacecraft components and systems. The Bragg grating array sensor device LGR has demonstrated and proposed to further develop for Phase II will greatly enhance NASA efforts to develop state-of-the-art, compact, low-cost, waveform-based, quantitative strain and ultrasonic wave sensing technology for load, temperature, corrosion, and crack monitoring of advanced structures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advances in high-resolution, high sensitivity, and large dynamic range load and ultrasonic wave sensing technology has immediate applications in civil engineering for monitoring cracks, corrosion, and fatigue in steel and concrete structures such as bridges, freeways, and buildings. High frequency ultrasonic signal detection method development can be utilized in ultrasonic testing, medical imaging, and other non-destructive testing technology. LGR's BGA technology development can be readily incorporated into current fiber optics and optical cross-connect technology for next-generation telecommunication applications.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04