NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aircraft Aging and Durability
PROPOSAL TITLE:System for Analyzing Microscopic Defects and Defect Propagation Due to Aging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt St
Watertown, MA 02472-4699
(617) 668-6801

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy    Tiernan
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc., 44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA  02472-4699
(617) 668-6800

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
New technology is needed for sensing and characterizing incipient defects, and assessing the effects of aging in aerospace components. Next generation materials, including nickel-based superalloys that are exceedingly difficult to inspect with existing technology are being adopted by designers and manufacturers. The ability to ascertain the remaining life of a spacecraft component, and develop mitigation procedures to improve safety and reliability, are critical.
RMD proposes a revolutionary new imaging technology based on microscopic, solid-state sensors, magnetic imaging and "eddy current mapping". The new nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology will be used to detect, map and characterize nano-scale cracks and corrosion in superalloys and metallic components. The data will be used to develop an accurate model for the prediction of defect propagation resulting from aging.
The NDE technology will improve spacecraft integrity and safety, reduce the cost and complexity of inspection, and characterize incipient defects and defect propagation. It can be used during materials selection and testing and for evaluating components in the field as they age.
The technology taxonomy areas addressed by this proposal include: avionics and astrionics, information, materials, sensors and sources, structures, and verification and validation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology will fill a gap in the NDE capabilities available to NASA, permitting the inspection of minute defects and aging effects in advanced metal alloys that cannot be inspected with existing NDE technology. The proposed NDE technology will be useful for inspecting flight surfaces, engine casings, titanium castings, hydraulic lines and other components that are made of standard or advanced metallic materials. The technology will permit inspection of thick components in 3-D. For materials testing and development, incipient defects can be detected and their propagation monitored and analyzed during aging. Since the technology can be used to improve manufacturing and the selection of materials, and to test finished components and aging systems, it will have a broad impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The advanced magnetic imaging technologies proposed here would enable inspectors to detect extremely small defects with a simple to operate and interpret NDE technology. Eddy current testing is the most widely used NDE technique in the $600M/year NDE market. The proposed NDE system could take two forms: 1. a stand alone turnkey imaging system for inspecting parts; 2. a module that can be retrofitted into existing ECT equipment to enhance the abilities of that equipment without the need for an entirely new instrument. Some of the market areas where the new technology has promise include: spacecraft, aircraft, ship and other transport vehicle inspection, jet engine inspection, pipeline inspection and manufacturing and QA of metallic components.
In addition to NASA, branches of the DOD, specifically NAVAIR and the Air Force, are interested in new NDE technology for both modern and aging aeronautic and weapons systems. For example, NAVAIR has expressed interest to RMD for use of advanced NDE technology for the V-22 Osprey and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Database Development and Interfacing
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Structural Modeling and Tools
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19