NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aircraft Aging and Durability
PROPOSAL TITLE:Cradle-to-Grave Monitoring of Composite Aircraft Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NextGen Aeronautics, Inc.
2780 Skypark Drive, Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505-7519
(310) 626-8384

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Shiv   Joshi
2780 Skypark, Suite 400
Torrance, CA  90505-7519
(310) 626-8360

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NextGen is proposing a simple yet powerful damage identification technique for advanced composite structures. We propose to develop a damage index based on vibration signature comparison with original signatures of the structure. Our approach is to autonomously perform damage detection as well as identification of non-service loading events by minimum number of sensors. We will start with the preliminary work done by Dr. Mal at UCLA and improve upon it to achieve the objective of cradle-to-grave degradation monitoring. The overall goal of the program is to develop an accurate, rapid, inexpensive method for detection of composite internal damage including bonds strength in built-up structures. The objective of the Phase I program is to develop and demonstrate that the proposed technique is accurate and reliable. We will achieve TRL of 2 in Phase I and subsequent technology transition to TRL of 4 in Phase II. NextGen's strength lies in related prior work, an in-depth understanding of damage modes in advanced composite structures, and comprehensive knowledge of damage detection techniques. Dr. Ajit Mal of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UCLA has an exceptional background in structural health monitoring built on decades of cutting edge research in NDE

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to the direct application of health monitoring system to new aircraft using substantial advanced composite materials, other NASA health monitoring applications of the proposed system include X-37 demonstrator, space shuttle, international space station, and the orbital space plane programs. When attached to fuel tanks or other critical structure, this system would provide a lightweight, inexpensive VHM system that would reduce launch turn-around time, increase probability of launch success, minimize life cycle costs, and increase the crew return mission success.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The life cycle cost of new aircraft and aerospace structures can be reduced significantly if continuous and autonomous condition based structural health monitoring systems can be integrated into their design. In addition to aircraft applications, commercial applications of NextGen's health monitoring system include long-term monitoring of nuclear waste storage, pressure vessels, storage tanks, and piping, automated inspection of nuclear power plants, Navy surface ships and submarines, critical engineering 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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19