NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II A5.04-8190 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023809 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ground Testing of Rocket Engines
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wireless Ethernet-based Data Acquisition System (WEBDAS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Invocon Inc.
19221 IH 45 South - Suite 530
Conroe , TX   77385 - 8703
(281 ) 292 - 9903

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Eric Krug
19221 I-45 South, Suite 530
Conroe , TX   77385 - 8746
(281 ) 292 - 9903

The feasibility of extremely low-power wireless RF sensors has been demonstrated by Invocon, Inc. and others, but the application of the technology to broader applications, particularly ground test systems, has been limited. Ground test facilities must be capable of providing reliable, laboratory grade instrumentation capabilities as part of a reconfigurable architecture in sometimes extreme environments, while simultaneously considering purchase costs, maintenance and operations costs, and upgrade costs. The proposed system shall enable the use of existing Ethernet hardware and Web-based IT resources for the configuration, acquisition, transmission and display of sensor data from extremely low-power RF sensors. Standard facility and experiment monitoring functions such as set points, alarms, data logging, and status displays will be provided, as well as the capability to integrate wireless sensor data into existing third party data acquisition and analysis tools available at the NASA ground test facilities. Configuration of individual sensors will be via a Web browser, and sensor output will be available anywhere with Internet access. By providing widespread access to miniature RF sensors, this system will enable the creation of a highly flexible, scalable, robust, wireless instrumentation backbone, which can be integrated with the existing resources of NASA rocket engine ground test facilities.

This system could benefit many NASA ground test facilities, including wind tunnels, environmental chambers, and biological chambers. Monitoring of launchpads and other Orbiter processing facility resources could be enhanced and further automated with the proposed system, eliminating labor-intensive data logging activities currently employed. The International Space Station, which is already outfitted with wired and wireless LAN, could potentially benefit from this development through the utilization of environmental and vehicle sensors, crew health monitoring sensors, and payload monitoring and control. Finally, significant benefits to the 2nd Generation RLV Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring system or payload systems could be realized.

Potential Non-NASA applications include industrial facility monitoring, building monitoring and automation, and industrial process control systems. Recent efforts to capitalize on the low cost and trained workforce associated with Ethernet-based networks for factory monitoring and automation have been successful, and would benefit from the ability to utilize low-power RF sensors within that framework. The successful development of a standard Ethernet-based access point with the associated network software could be the enabling technology that leads to the widespread application of RF sensors within the industrial market.

Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34