During the NASA program, we will transition the semiconductor nanomembrane self-calibrating cryogenic and minimum pressure sensors from their current concept and prototype TRL 4-5 demonstration stage, to near-term instrumentation products of use to NASA’s propulsion system facilities, other NASA instrumentation programs, academic researchers and industrial technologists. NanoSonic will again work cooperatively with our Virginia Tech university partner to improve our current mechanical and electrical models of semiconductor NM-based self-calibrating sensor performance that will allow quantitative optimization of material properties and suggest optimal methods for sensor attachment and use for 1) cryogenic liquid pressure and 2) purge-box minimum gas pressure measurement applications. NanoSonic and Virginia Tech will go beyond Phase I analysis to perform a complete study of sensor cross-sensitivities and noise sources to allow optimization of signal-to-noise ratio and practical sensor sensitivity. We will provide NASA with sensor hardware and software as Phase II deliverables, and be available to provide technical support, should sensor testing on-site at NASA be possible.
The accurate measurement of pressure fluctuations with autonomous self-calibration capabilities in propulsion systems is required. The commercialization potential of the pressure sensor products developed through this NASA program lies in four areas, 1) sensors for the measurement of pressure at cryogenic temperatures, 2) low cost simple pressure sensors for the verification of purge gas pressure inside instrumentation boxes, 3) the data processing and wireless communication modules, and 4) the software apps.
Primary customers would be university, government laboratory and industry researchers. Low frequency pressure measurements in biomedical devices and other systems may have merit. The sensor elements may be used as air flow or water flow devices in systems where either low weight, low surface profile, lack of need for space below the flow surface, or high sensitivity at a low cost are needed.