NASA STTR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 T8.02-9849
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Photonic Integrated Circuits
PROPOSAL TITLE: Heterogeneous Silicon Photonics OFDR Sensing System

NAME: Luna Innovations, Inc. NAME: University of California at Santa Barbara
STREET: 301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200 STREET: 3227 Cheadle Hall
CITY: Roanoke CITY: Santa Barbara
STATE/ZIP: VA  24011 - 1921 STATE/ZIP: CA  93106 - 9560
PHONE: (540) 769-8400 PHONE: (805) 893-3939

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. John Ohanian
3155 State Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 6604
(540) 443-3872

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Shirley D Evans
301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011 - 1921
(540) 961-6724

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Photonic Integrated Circuits 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)
Luna will team with Dr. John Bowers of UCSB to develop an Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR) system-on-chip using heterogeneous silicon photonics to enable a minimal weight structural health monitoring system. This system-on-chip will be the building block for distributed sensing interrogation systems that are the size of a deck of playing cards. This lightweight, rugged, and miniature system will enable OFDR-based SHM sensing applications in space, where size and weight constraints are paramount. Phase I will prove the feasibility of using the heterogeneous silicon tuning laser chip developed by UCSB to drive an OFDR sensor in the laboratory, culminating with a distributed strain measurement in a composite part. During Phase II, Luna will develop a full OFDR system-on-chip, demonstrating the miniaturization and weight savings necessary for deep space SHM applications. Overcoming technical hurdles in laser tuning, polarization control, and delay line length are critical to successful commercialization of the innovation for SHM sensing, and will provide advancement in the state-of-the-art of silicon photonics and structural health monitoring.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Luna's proposed innovation will address the four chief technical challenges of deep space travel: mass reduction, reliability, affordability, and radiation hardening. The reduction of volume/mass/power of electronics and elimination of copper wires will maximize the science return for future missions. CMOS fabrication of optical networks will allow for ruggedization and increases in reliability as well as reductions in cost. Radiation hardening of a continuous wave tunable laser will provide a reliable building block for future missions such as Discovery, New Frontiers, Mars, and Europa-Jupiter. Applying OFDR to structural health monitoring will benefit launch vehicles, space stations, and inflatable habitats. Implementing OFDR as a photonics system-on-chip for SHM will achieve the size, weight, and power requirements for these innovative space applications. Teaming with UCSB (part of IP-IMI/AIM Photonics) adds credibility to achieving a viable OFDR-based photonics product for structural health monitoring.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The successful commercialization of an OFDR system-on-chip will revolutionize the fiber optic distributed sensing market. Attaining the unrivaled spatial resolution of OFDR in a miniaturized, lightweight, and low-cost package will enable many new sensing applications. Distributed fiber optic sensing is a perfect fit for embedding strain sensors in composite structures in aerospace and automotive vehicles. This innovation will be the first step to achieve in-flight, online SHM of aeronautical and space launch vehicle structures. The high-definition sensing of OFDR can identify defects, delamination, and stress concentrations that traditional strain gage sensors miss. The reduction in cost and size, weight, and power (SWaP) enabled by this research will be crucial to successful implementation. Advancing the state-of-the-art in structural health monitoring will increase safety and efficiency in aircraft and automotive transportation, and can also be adapted to benefit civil infrastructure like bridges and buildings.

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)
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:45