NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aircraft Aging and Durability
PROPOSAL TITLE:Magneto-Thermography and Hybrid Methods for Composite Life Management

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
JENTEK Sensors Inc
110-1 Clematis Avenue
Waltham, MA 02453-7013
(781) 642-9666

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrew   Washabaugh
110-1 Clematis Avenue
Waltham, MA  02453-7013
(781) 642-9666

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposed program will focus on life management needs for new and emerging composite material systems and built-up structures in "young" aircraft. Both wide area inspection of fuselage and wing structures and characterization of adhesive bonds in built-up structures are addressed. JENTEK will develop both (1) hybrid methods in which spatially registered, digital images, produced by two or more sensing modalities are combined, and (2) a new method called Magneto-Thermography, invented by JENTEK, which offers both wide area inspection advantages and potential for characterization of adhesive bonds in built-up composite and metal structures.

In one implementation of a hybrid method for graphite fiber/epoxy composites, the MWM-Array could sense and locate fiber damage and fiber movement under loads, while thermography could sense both fiber and matrix damage, allowing discrimination between fiber breakage, fiber/matrix disbonding, matrix cracking, and disbonding in built-up structures.

Magneto-Thermography will use the demonstrated capability of the MWM-Array to monitor temperatures of buried fibers and to monitor temperatures at buried interfaces to replace IR cameras with MWM-Arrays in thermographic methods. This will enable both wide area inspection of thick composites and enhanced characterization of adhesive bonds in built-up structures, for foam layers, and other aerospace and space applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Magneto-thermography and hybrid methods have the potential to provide revolutionary capabilities for condition assessment and life management of composite components and adhesive bonds. Composite components and adhesive bonds will play an increasingly important role in aircraft and spacecraft. Effective life management will require advances in nondestructive test methods to provide information on composite component health and usage states. Magneto-thermography and the hybrid methods proposed here have the potential to enable significant advances in life management for composites for both aircraft and spacecraft, reducing life cycle costs and increasing safety margins.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advanced life management tools for composite aircraft components will play a major role in fleet life cycle management practices. These will include advances in (1) sensing material condition, (2) modeling material behavior and predicting future behavior, and (3) decision support tools. Magneto-Thermography and Hybrid Methods can provide a more complete picture of composite condition. Both commercial and military fleets will require advanced inspection and life management tools for controlling life cycle costs and maintaining safety margins. We consider the commercial potential to be significant and expect it to increase substantially as composite aircraft components and structures continue to displace metallic components and structures.

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.

Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19