NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X3.03-9825
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Monitoring and Control for Spacecraft Environmental Quality and Fire Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniature Intelligent Wireless Fire Detector System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Integrated Micro Sensors, Inc.
10814 Atwell Drive
Houston, TX 77096 - 4934
(713) 748-7926

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Starikov
10814 Atwell Drive
Houston, TX 77096 - 4934
(713) 748-7926

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The objective of this project is to develop a wireless intelligent dual-band photodetector system for advanced fire detection/recognition, combining UV/IR III nitride material photodiode structures controlled by FPGA portable circuitry, with a neural network identification capability. Spectral range, detector speed, spatial resolution become critical for fast fire detection as well as for avoiding costly false alarms. Current detectors are bulky, have low mechanical and temperature strength, and cannot be easily integrated into networks. Miniature, chip-based dual-color high-temperature visible- or even solar-blind optical sensor system would allow for fast and false alarm-free fire detection and recognition, thus providing a fast and reliable response in separated UV and IR bands with high spatial resolution, and "smart", artificial neural networks based signal analysis Moreover, development of such sensors will promote fabrication of multi-pixel dual-band UV/IR focal plane arrays with a visible- or solar-blind imaging capability. This project will also consider integration the optical sensor system with existing state of the art smoke sensors for detection of smoldering (flameless) fires as well. One of the approaches for such integration is based on placing the remote high sensitivity dual-band UV/IR focal plane arrays integrated smoke detectors in areas that are prone to possible fires, such as aircraft or spacecraft engines and power circuits. These devices will then communicate with one central control system that analyses the nature and type of flame and sound an alarm accordingly. The second approach is to integrate the smoke and the high sensitivity dual-band UV/IR focal plane array detector into a unit controlled by one system, and then place them in a close proximity of possible fire sources.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology targets aerospace applications, where the speed of fire detection and avoidance of false alarms is very critical. Current detection systems are prone to alarm from dust and humidity and are inaccessible by crewmembers for inspection during flight. The Federal Aviation Administration requires that aircraft compartments are equipped with fire detection systems. A false alarm is estimated to occur in the aircraft 100 times more than a true alarm. This results in emergency diversion landings that are costly and that may needlessly compromise the safety of the flight. Current regulations require that the detection systems alarm within one minute of the start of a fire. The overall objective of this project is to develop a viable technology to avoid false alarms in the aircraft compartments by introduction new detection systems. The proposed detection system based on fast and intelligent multi-criteria analysis, will minimize the false alarms by sensing and then comparison of two or more aspects of a fire's signature before alarming. A particular NASA interest is in hydrogen flame detection. During fuel loading operations, a large flare stack flame creates reflections that can often fool other fire detection systems, creating a false alarm. A UV/IR detector can be very sensitive in spotting small hydrogen flames by filtering out the ultraviolet and infrared radiation emitted from the large flare burns and the flame's reflection from surrounding metal.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A large market already exists for photodetectors used in fire detection applications. IMS leadership in this market will be provided by the reduced costs, high quality and reliability, high sensitivity, and suitability for both industrial and residential applications. For example the hydrogen flame detection technology can be used in the oil drilling industry. An oil rig burns off waste gas when drilling, such as the large hydrogen flare stack burns on the launch pad, which can trigger false alarms in the fire detection system. Because hydrogen gas is nonpolluting, the detector is expected to gain in popularity for commercial uses. Other industries targeted as having potential interest in the detector are aviation, research laboratories, gas and electronic manufacturers and power generation. Multi-pixel devices planned in the Phase II project will result in dual-color solar-blind imaging devices, which will extend the application potential far beyond the fire/flame detection devices market. These applications will include advanced object and target detection, recognition, and monitoring for military and space-related purposes. A number of novel devices can be developed including optoelectronic fluorescence and chemical sensors, pressure sensors, miniature cold-cathode electron emission sources, particle detectors, multilayer ceramic capacitors, high temperature devices, and hard coatings.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Input/Output Devices (Displays, Storage)
Data Processing
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Fire Protection
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12