NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE:SMART Tape For Structural Health Monitoring of Rocket Engines

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Acellent Technologies, Inc.
155 C-3 Moffett Park Drive
Sunnyvale ,CA 94089 - 1323
(408) 745 - 1188

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Amrita   Kumar
155C-3 Moffett Park Drive
Sunnyvale, CA  94089 -1323
(408) 745 - 1121

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Acellent Technologies, Inc. proposes to develop a SMART Tape system that can be used to perform rapid non-destructive evaluation in real time and provide long-term monitoring of pressure vessels in liquid rocket engines. Based on Acellent's existing SMART Layer technology, this innovative system combines a sensor network, dedicated signal processing and data analysis software to allow for real-time in-situ monitoring and long term tracking of structural integrity of pressure vessels (such as ducts, manifolds and combustion chambers) in rocket engines. Specifically, the proposed structural health monitoring system will have the following unique features:
-Survive harsh environments and missions
-Inspect inaccessible areas without disassembly
-Ability to detect cracks and monitor crack growth in real-time
-Prevent imminent and catastrophic failures in rocket engines
The proposed innovation is important as it will address the need for safe as well as reliable advanced space exploration vehicle/propulsion systems. Acellent has been sub-contracted to develop the Structural Health Monitoring system as part of an Integrated System Health Management architecture development for Exploration Systems Research and Technology. The architecture will also support work that is currently on-going to define design solutions for NASA's proposed Crew Exploration Vehicle.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Acellent is developing the foundation of a revolutionary, breakthrough technology in the field of structural health monitoring. Acellent's integrated family of SMARTTM Technology products - SMART LayersTM, Smart SuitcaseTM and diagnostic Software ? will have the potential to provide a wide range of structural analysis, evaluation and maintenance requirements such as:
- In-service structural analysis/evaluation
- Real-time structural analysis/evaluation
- Reduced/eliminated structure/vehicle downtime for inspection
- Substantially reduced costs for analysis/evaluation
- Improved public safety from failure avoidance
- Reduced life-cycle costs from improved maintenance scheduling
The structural monitoring and functionality evaluation can be performed while the structure remains in service.

The system could potentially lead to significant savings related to the labor-intensive scheduled maintenance costs in the spacecraft propulsion industry and could enhance the reliability of the rocket structures and sub-structures and improve the efficiency and reusability of propulsion systems and launch vehicles. Once developed and installed, the system can be applied at any time to automatically monitor the condition of the any piping structure of reusable rocket engines. The system is cost-effective and more reliable because of minimal human involvement.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The potential users of the SMARTTM technology include a wide range of companies and government bodies within the United States such as:
- Commercial launch rockets and boosters
- Chemical piping
- Pressured vessels and pipes
- Oil drilling platforms and drill risers
- Nuclear power plant containment vessels
- Civil infrastructures
The key to achieving a wide range of applications is the development as discussed above. Once developed, the system will be available in a complete package including the SMART TAPE, the portable diagnostic unit, and diagnostic software. The turnkey feature of the system will make it easy and ready to apply for any end-user.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52