NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Non-Destructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring
PROPOSAL TITLE:Embedded Structural Integrity Sensor

NAME: Luna Innovations Incorporated NAME:Pennsylvania State University
ADDRESS:2851 Commerce Street ADDRESS:110 Technology Center, 200 Innovation Blvd.
CITY:Blacksburg CITY:University Park
STATE/ZIP:VA  24060-6657 STATE/ZIP:PA  16802-7000
PHONE: (540) 552-5128 PHONE: (814) 865-1372

Mark   McKenna

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this work Luna Innovations in partnership with Pennsylvania State University proposes to develop a new thermo-ultrasonic technology for the real-time in-situ monitoring of critical metallic, composite and bonded structural health parameters during space exploration missions. The potential applications of the proposed technique include characterization of component response to loading, monitoring load distribution, and identifying stresses exceeding design in a variety of structural materials and geometries. Another important usage area is assessment of the effects of structural defects on the system's performance, early detection of damage, and prediction of the remaining service life of critical components. The technology will utilize sparse networks of built-in or surface-mounted miniature lightweight ultrasonic sensors with low power consumption levels suitable for space deployment. A combination of specially designed sensor excitation mechanism and accurate velocimetry yields very high sensitivity to critical structural performance parameters. In Phase I we will demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach on laboratory specimens subjected to load, and verify the results against mathematical models and FEM simulation. In Phase II we will develop a full-featured prototype unit and demonstrate all the benefits of the new technology on a representative flight component.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential direct NASA applications include monitoring of structural stiffness of large-area telescopes, integrity evaluation of crew return vehicles for recycling purposes, load distribution mapping over the skin of spacecraft, bond assessment for in-flight damage management, in-flight assessment of impact damage, monitoring of fatigue and UV degradation. In addition to their intended mission, embedded ultrasonic elements may also serve as regular acoustic emission sensors and be used for air and fuel leak detection from spacecraft and metal/composite pressure vessels, as well as for triangulation of impact damage and delamination in composites. If placed in critical areas around fasteners, these sensors can be used to detect early onset and development of fatigue cracks.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
These include but are not limited to monitoring of load-carrying capacity, structural stiffness, and structural performance of bridges, cranes, masts, radio transmission towers, airplanes, pressure vessels, composite radomes, and other critical structures. The system can have direct application to assessing the condition of bonded structures as to effects of defects on performance. A scanning implementation of the proposed technique can be used for non-contact residual stress and load mapping of small parts, materials characterization including evaluation of structural anisotropy and elastic moduli.

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.

Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Printed on 09-09-06 13:11