NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Transportation Test Requirements and Instrumentation
PROPOSAL TITLE:Wireless Integrated Microelectronic Vacuum Sensor System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Invocon Inc.
19221 I-45 South, Suite 530
Conroe, TX 77385-8746
(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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The efficient utilization of ground test facilities and launch sites is critical for the success of NASA's New Vision for Space Exploration. The development of an innovative Wireless Integrated Microelectronic Vacuum Sensor System for monitoring vacuum-jacketed pipelines is proposed that would address the need of NASA for measurements of the insulating capability of cryogenic lines for ground testing, flight vehicles, and launch facilities. Recent advances in both MEMS vacuum gauge technology and low-power, long range radio frequency transceivers has enabled the development of a low-cost, miniature device with sophisticated capabilities. The complete, self-contained, battery operated system would fit within the volume of the current vacuum gauges only and provide periodic, continuous monitoring of vacuum conditions throughout the entire facility. Such a system would reduce operations costs and increase vacuum jacket reliability by eliminating the need for human intervention, reduce package, wiring size and weight, and provide constant network reporting and monitoring of the facility from any Internet enabled computer. Beyond this application for vacuum monitoring, the long-range wireless sensor networking capabilities developed under this program would be applicable to a vast array of other sensor types and control applications throughout Stennis Space Center and other NASA facilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications include monitoring of vacuum jacketed fuel lines and other vacuum systems throughout ground test facilities, launch sites, and on flight vehicles, both during certification testing and while in space. Applications also exist for monitoring the vacuum levels between multiple panes of glass on windows for space habitats, as well as atmospheric science measurements on high-altitude balloons and Mars exploration systems. A large number of applications for widely distributed wireless monitoring devices throughout NASA rocket engine test facilities for general parameters such as temperature and vibration have also been identified.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential Non-NASA applications include vacuum jacket monitoring for gas production facilities and liquid natural gas facilities. General wireless vacuum sensors are also needed for industrial facilities such as chemical processing plants where vacuum levels must be monitored. Many vacuum systems currently require personnel to physically travel around a facility and connect a handheld meter to a vacuum gauge to perform a reading. An autonomous system with data logging features and notification capabilities could reduce reaction times and improve facility safety, while reducing costs.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04