NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 X9.02-9224
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Propellant Mass Gauging and Liquid Acquisition for Low Gravity Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: In-Space Distributed Fiber Optic Hydrogen Leak Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Broadband Photonics Incorporated
11 Bradford Rd.
Winchester, MA 01890 - 1110
(781) 640-4186

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Wei Xu
11 Bradford Rd.
Winchester, MA 01890 - 1110
(781) 640-4186

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Broadband Photonics Inc. proposes development of a patent-pending distributed fiber optic sensor for in-space hydrogen leak detection. Reliable and fast detection of hydrogen leaks is critical to both operational safety and maintenance of propellant quantities for in-space hydrogen systems. Characteristics of the plume formed by a hydrogen leak are unpredictable in low gravity due to lack of buoyancy effects. The proposed hydrogen fiber sensor can detect any flow direction of a hydrogen leak, determine the leak location, and measure hydrogen concentration. The fiber sensor can also detect hydrogen leaks from unexpected locations in space vehicles caused by stress-induced tiny cracks or other various damages. The proposed sensor will have the same fast response speed and high sensitivity in cryogenic environments as in room temperature. Furthermore, the proposed fiber sensor offers several significant advantages, including reconfigurable, lightweight, one feed-through, easy installation, easy maintenance, and capability of working in radiation harsh environments. In Phase 1, feasibility work has been performed. In Phase 2, prototypes of the proposed hydrogen fiber sensor will be produced for field trial and be prepared for commercialization in Phase 3.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA application of the innovation is reliable and fast detection of in-space hydrogen leaks. The successful development of the proposed fiber sensor can meet the needs of operational safety and maintenance of propellant quantities for in-space liquid hydrogen systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The innovation can be implemented as a hydrogen leak detection system for hydrogen manufacturing plants, hydrogen storage stations, and industrial hydrogen users. Another important non-NASA application of the innovation is a hydrogen safety and efficient management system for hydrogen-powered vehicles and aircrafts.

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.

Propellant Storage
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Generated on 08-08-08 10:51