NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 01.07-9217 (Chron: 991932 )

PROJECT TITLE

Spin-Dependent-Tunneling Sensors for Non-Destructive Evaluation


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The proposed innovation is a two-axis spin-dependent-tunneling (SDT) sensor which detects small magnetic signals for use in non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of defects in metallic materials and structures. The proposed SDT sensor offers several advantages for NDE eddy current detection methods: (1) High sensitivity. The ability to resolve fields of 10 nOe/root Hz or better, yet operate at room temperature, and have a broad band frequency response. (2) Two-axis magnetic field sensing. This allows vector determination of the magnetic signal in the plane of the detector. (3) Sensor arrays. Fabrication of the sensors uses silicon-based techniques, and therefore the sensors are small--roughly 2 mm on a side. Compact sensor arrays are possible and offer advantages for defect recognition and spacial determination without requiring the sensor to be scanned. Phase I will develop an innovative approach for fabricating a two-axis sensor on a single chip. The proposed sensor is suitable for many types of eddy current detection methods as well as suitable for position sensing. Phase II will use the sensor in the development of a sensing array for an eddy current NDE system.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The sensors developed in this program can be used in a wide variety of applications including NDE eddy current detection methods for metallic structures of interest to NASA as well as aircraft and ships for military and commercial use. The sensors are not limited to NDE use but would be suitable for position sensing and a range of low-field applications such as the detection and identification of buried metal objects.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address,

City/State/Zip)

Catherine Nordman

Nonvolatile Electronics, Inc.

11409 Valley View Road

Eden Prairie , MN 55344 - 3617


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Nonvolatile Electronics, Inc.

11409 Valley View Road

Eden Prairie , MN 55344 - 3617