This NASA Phase I SBIR program would develop ultra-wide bandwidth, conformal nanomembrane based strain sensors for nondestructive evaluation applications, using silicon on insulator techniques in combination with nanocomposite materials. The team has recently demonstrated the conformal strain sensors with a frequency response from DC to 5MHz. The team will perform synthesis of sensor skin materials with optimized transduction, hysteresis and environmental properties, specifically for structure health monitoring of aerospace structures such as multi-wall pressure vessels and micrometeoroid shielding. The team will fabricate patterned two-dimensional sensor arrays and internal electronics using optimized materials. Calibration of sensor elements will be conducted. Support electronics will be developed to acquire, multiplex, store and process raw sensor array data.
The anticipated initial application of the ultra-wide bandwidth strain sensors for nondestructive evaluation applications is for NASA’s aerospace structure monitoring. The commercialization potential of the proposed technology lies in four areas, namely 1) single strain sensor, 2) conformal strain sensor arrays for nondestructive evaluation applications, 3) broader strain sensor arrays, and 4) data analysis module.
Primary customers would be university, government laboratory and industry researchers. Use of developed ultra-wide bandwidth strain sensor technology first by NASA, and then by the broader research community, as well as the developers and users of aerospace, hydrospace, land vehicle, civil structure and biomedical flow systems, is envisioned.