NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A1.05-8130
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensing and Diagnostic Capabilities for Degradation in Aircraft Materials and Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Path Guided Wave Imaging for Inspection and Monitoring of Large, Complex Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Hidden Solutions, LLC
463688 State Road 200, Suite 1-#437
Yulee, FL 30297 - 0304
(904) 335-8634

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Hall
463688 State Road 200, Suite 1-#437
Yulee, FL 30297 - 0304
(904) 335-8634

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 0
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
There is a well-recognized need within NASA and the aerospace community at large for rapid and reliable methods for inspection of large, complex structures. This need is particularly evident for built-up aerospace components that contain multiple features such as stiffeners, ribs, cut-out and fasteners, all of which complicate existing inspection methods. Application of ultrasonic guided waves holds promise because even in such complex structures these waves have been shown to travel long distances and remain sensitive to damage. A sparse, or spatially distributed, array of simple sensors is perhaps the most effective implementation of such waves, both in terms of cost and capabilities, but the primary problem is the complexity of received signals. This complexity is caused by the unavoidable presence of reverberant, multi-path echoes that are difficult to interpret, but that also contain much more information about the structure than the simpler echoes present for a structure with few features. The proposed research will leverage the additional information contained in the multi-path signals to not only enable in situ inspection and monitoring of complex structures but also simultaneously improve the ability of a sparse array to detect and characterize damage with fewer sensors. This will be accomplished by performing a one-time measurement of the multi-path wavefield generated by each transducer in the sparse array, using this wavefield to estimate Green's functions for waves propagating from source to scatterer location to receiver, and constructing high-fidelity images by combining scattered array signals with computed Green's functions. This work is high risk but has a high payoff for NASA, the aerospace community in particular, and generally to many other applications that include civil, nuclear and petrochemical infrastructure. Successful completion could enable commercial implementation of guided wave systems for large area inspection.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The ability to perform rapid inspection of large area, complex, plate-like structures is directly applicable to the long-term in-vehicle health monitoring (IVHM) of both manned and unmanned spacecraft and structures. The envisioned end-product will be capable of automated inspection of complex plate-like structures (such as pressure hulls or casings, etc.) using lightweight, permanently attached sensor arrays with on-station or remote data analysis.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The techniques proposed here can be used for the large-area inspection and monitoring of:
- Metallic and composite aircraft components
- Civil infrastructure built up from trusses, beams, and plates
- Marine vessel hulls
- Nuclear infrastructure
- Petrochemical infrastructure such as vessels and complex piping

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Data Processing
Image Processing
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Simulation & Modeling
Smart/Multifunctional Materials
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43