NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 A4.02-8405
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Flight Test Techniques and Measurement Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Robust, Self-Contained and Bio-Inspired Shear Sensor Array

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 Extension :23

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation is a robust, bio-inspired, and self-contained sensor array for the measurement of shear stress. The proposed system uses commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) components to create a distributed sensor array for the measurement of shear stress in either a flight or ground test environment. The reusable sensor array requires no external wiring or power source. The bio-inspired system is based on mimicking the sensitivity and response of a single hair fiber/receptor neuron to sense flow velocity very near a surface. An array of the hair cell inspired shear sensors are embedded in a flexible, self-adhesive backed sheet of polymide substrate, which also contains a self-contained, battery operated acquisition system. The self-contained blanket array can be quickly and easily applied to aircraft or vehicle surfaces in question. No wiring, external power, or control is required. After testing, the system can be quickly removed and reused. In addition to measurement of shear stress, the sensor array should be able to determine laminar/turbulent boundary-layer transition locations, laminar/turbulent separation and reattachment lines, and shock locations. The proposed bio-inspired shear sensor array promises to provide a robust, realizable, accurate, efficient, and cost effective measurement system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A robust shear stress measurement system for both flight and ground test facilities has significant potential application at several NASA centers, and across a wide range of NASA facilities. The ability to produce reliable, robust and cost effective shear stress measurements is an important goal for NASA. By being able to determine boundary-layer transition and separation locations, the proposed system can be used to validate transition prediction and multidisciplinary analysis and optimization tools. The system could be used in boundary-layer ingestion and optimization efforts. In a more permanent set-up, the robust measurement system could be used as input for vehicle adaptive control in uncertain environments or adverse conditions, or for closed loop flow control for aircraft, rotorcraft, or high lift technologies. Accurate, robust, and cost effective shear stress measurement is a necessary and compelling technology. NASA centers and facilities will be eager to exploit the proposed technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advanced sensing technology in the form of a robust shear stress measurement system for both flight and ground test facilities will provide RHRC with a unique and highly marketable product. The ability to measure laminar/turbulent transition and both laminar/turbulent separation locations will be of significant importance to both test engineers and researchers. With the current high costs of both flight and ground testing, coupled with reduced design and test schedules, the proposed technology will be highly desirable in military, government, and civilian testing markets. The technology developed by RHRC under this program will allow the efficient and cost effective measurement of a fundamental aerodynamic quantity on vehicles across a wide range of applications other than aircraft. These include automobiles, hydrodynamic, and civil engineering applications. RHRC will be able to provide complete sensor systems. The technology can also be easily licensed.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12