NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H7.01-8531
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: NDE for Ablative Thermal Protection Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
JENTEK Sensors, Inc.
110-1 Clematis Avenue
Waltham, MA 02453 - 7013
(781) 642-9666

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Andrew Washabaugh
110-1 Clematis Avenue
Waltham, MA 02453 - 7013
(619) 421-8139

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joni Hatem
110-1 Clematis Avenue
Waltham, MA 02453 - 7013
(781) 373-9706

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Ablative Thermal Protection Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This program addresses the need for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods for quality assessment and defect evaluation of thermal protection systems (TPS). Novel linear drive eddy current methods are proposed for NDE of carbon-based TPS materials, such as felts, rigid materials, and three dimensional woven fiber composites. Using a combination of physics-based models of layered media, including an eddy current micromechanical model extension for composites, multivariate inverse methods, high resolution imaging, and innovative sensor array constructs, the developed methods will independently measure the material characteristics of interest. In Phase I, the focus was on adapting methods developed for carbon-based composite structures and laminates and demonstrating feasibility of these methods for felts, rigid materials, and three-dimensional woven composites. In Phase II, the focus is on maturing this method, including the instrumentation hardware, models, and sensor designs, to provide scanning assessment and in-situ monitoring capabilities for TPS material condition assessment. JENTEK's MWM-Arrays have a linear drive that permits both scanned type imaging and permanent installation for monitoring of anisotropic properties, temperature, and stresses at multiple depths. The projected depth of the magnetic field into the test material can be adjusted through the sensor dimensions and excitation frequencies; this enables inspection of materials more than 1.0-in. thick and supports measuring far-side surface recession in ablator materials. JENTEK delivered the MWM-Array solution used by NASA KSC on the Space Shuttle Leading Edge to detect damage of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) thermal protection tiles; thus JENTEK is well-positioned to deliver a practical TPS NDE solution.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
If the program is successful, it will demonstrate the capability of the MWM-Array technology to measure relevant material properties and structural damage in the advanced materials in spacecraft thermal protection systems. This technology will be suitable for flexible and rigid carbon-based materials. This type of analysis tool for detection of damage may be useful for the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV's), exhaust nozzles, and other critical composite structures. NASA customers that may benefit from these analysis tools include the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) spacecraft manufacturers and other interplanetary programs such as science exploration mission vehicles and human crew vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous applications in which NDE measurement and analysis tools are needed to verify design requirements or structural integrity during usage of advanced carbon-based composites, such as three-dimensional woven materials. These include applications for commercial aircraft, wind turbines, land vehicles and composite repairs for pipelines and structures. Examples are inspection of commercial jet engine blades and fuselage components, wind turbine blades, land vehicle frames and liquid natural gas fuel pressure vessels and other structures where proper woven fiber orientation and defect free structures are critical for strength and fatigue life. It is expected that this technology could also be transitioned to support military aircraft fleets which contain substantially composite structures.

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.)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38