NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 A2.08-8599
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Experimental Capabilities and Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Innovative Self-Powered and Self-Contained Sensor Array for Separation Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rolling Hills Research Corporation
420 N. Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245 - 2822
(310) 640-8781

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael F Kerho
420 N. Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245 - 2822
(310) 640-8781

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation is a self-contained, self-powered, robust flight test sensor array for the determination of separation. The proposed system uses off-the-shelf, currently available technology to create a reusable distributed sensor array, which requires no external wiring or power source. The system is based on tufts attached to individual bimorph piezoelectric sensors. A distributed array of bimorph tuft sensors is embedded in a flexible, self-adhesive backed sheet of polymide substrate. The proposed separation sensor array will provide real-time, accurate determination of separation across a wide range of flight conditions. The self-contained blanket array can be quickly and easily applied to aircraft surfaces in question. No wiring, external power, or remote viewing is required for acquisition. After testing is complete, the system can be quickly removed and reused. Additionally, the system could be miniaturized for use in ground test facilities or other types of vehicles. The bimorph tuft based separation sensor array promises to provide a realizable, accurate, efficient, and cost effective measurement system. Results produced during the Phase I program have shown that the concept of a piezoelectric tuft sensor is a viable and robust technology, able to provide a reliable and cost effective separation detection system across an incredibly wide range of both flight and ground test conditions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advanced sensing technology in the form of a robust separation detection system for both flight and ground test facilities has significant potential application at several NASA centers and across a wide range of NASA facilities. With the current high costs of flight and ground testing, coupled with reduced design and test schedules, the proposed technology will be highly desirable. The technology developed by RHRC under this program will allow the accurate, efficient, and cost effective detection of separation on aerodynamic/hydrodynamic surfaces across a wide range of conditions. NASA centers and facilities will be eager to exploit the proposed technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The market for a self-powered, self-contained separation detection system is quite wide. The current "energy crisis" of 2008 has reminded many industries of the importance of energy efficiency. An important contributor to efficiency in most vehicles is aerodynamic drag, and separated flow can dramatically increase drag. Although the initial research has been conducted for use on aircraft, the system is also well suited to other types of vehicles from automobiles to trains, buses, and trucks. It could also be applied to more "exotic" applications such as internal ductwork for heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC), aircraft inlets, or even automated yacht sail trimming systems. Nearly any product research that seeks to reduce flow separation to improve efficiency could be a candidate for this technology.

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.

Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Expert Systems
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 08-08-08 10:51