NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X5.04-9915
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spaceflight Structural Sensor Systems and NDE
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Ultra-Miniature Flexible Videoscope for On-Orbit NDE

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Xigen, LLC
11001 Sugarbush Terrace
Rockville, MD 20852 - 3240
(301) 637-6828

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Geng
11001 Sugarbush Terrace
Rockville, MD 20852 - 3240
(301) 910-9788

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Conventional videoscopes for NDE suffer many shortcomings, including large diameter, limited flexibility, inadequate image quality, high cost and lack of 3D imaging capability.
The primary objective of this SBIR is to demonstrate the feasibility of a novel ultra-miniature flexible videoscope (UMFV) that could eliminate all above-mentioned drawbacks and acquire high resolution video image (mega-pixel images at a rate of 30 frames per second), with an ultra-miniature size (~ 1~2 mm in diameter) for NASA's on-orbit NDE applications. Innovations of the UMFV include:
• Ultra miniature size: it is possible to make the entire videoscope probe diameter ~ 1 mm;
• High resolution images at video rate: images with mega-pixels can be acquired at 30 fps speed;
• Full color images: red, green and blue colors of the object surface can be obtained;
• Flexibility of the probe: the UMFV uses only a few fibers and can be made very thin and flexible;
• Wider selection of spectral ranges: UMFV design is applicable to UV (<400nm), visible (400 ~ 700 nm), or near infrared (700 ~1100 nm) spectral ranges;
• Dynamic control of image resolution and field of view(FOV): By controlling the speed, magnitude, and pattern of scanning, image resolution and FOV can be dynamically adjusted
• 3D imaging capability: An unprecedented ability is simultaneous 2D/3D surface image generation.
• SWaP: The UMFV's structure design is ideal to meet stringent requirements on size, weight, power (SWaP) for various space applications - We expect to see at least a 10x SWaP reduction.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA has increasingly used various lightweight structures and materials in existing and transformational spaceflights. As such, there are pressing needs for developing innovative sensors and instruments to perform on-orbit Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) during spaceflight missions. For performing inspections in areas with difficult access in pressurized habitable compartments and external environments, flexible videoscopes are effective tools commonly used to provide direct (or remotely operated) visual images and some quantitative measurements of potentially problematic areas. For areas that are typically impossible to reach by regular tools, a videoscope can be snaked through parts, tubes and behind electronic panels to perform visual inspections and diagnose potential problems.
The novel 3D imaging capability of the proposed ultra-miniature flexible videoscope is especially useful in on-orbit NDE for sizing, diagnosis, registration of current images with CAD model to determine position and location of videoscope, and agile manipulation of instrument in confined spaces when conducting inspection and repairs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to applications to NASA space missions, break-through in ultra-miniature flexible videoscopes technology could also have wide-spread commercial applications in various inspection and medical endoscopy products for diversified markets/segments, such as:
• Ultra-miniature medical endoscopes: to obtain high resolution real-time video via 1 mm probe size for GI track (small intestines), lung, and other sites impossible to access by existing endoscopes;
• Industrial inspections: for performing inspection on the interior of castings, machined parts, aircraft, HVAC ducts, pipe, tubes, welds, automotive components and other parts that were previously impossible to inspect by conventional videoscopes.
• Ultra-miniature LIDAR scanner: to provide 2D scanning via ultra-miniature scanner package.

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.)
3D Imaging
Image Analysis
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Image Processing
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12