NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Test Measurement Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Retroreflector Array for Test Environments (RATE)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Research Support Instruments Inc
4325-B Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD 20706-4854
(301) 306-0010

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John   Kline
4325-B Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD  20706-4854
(732) 329-3700

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Research Support Instruments, Inc. (RSI) proposes to develop the Retroreflector Array for Test Environments (RATE), an innovative technology that will non-intrusively measure pressure on aerodynamic surfaces in NASA ground test facilities with high sensitivity and bandwidth. The signal from RATE units will change locally due to pressure changes. Pressure sensitive paints, in comparison, have serious drawbacks: they must applied to a rigid surface, are specific to the flow species, and do not retroreflect. Because RATE will be independent of the flow species, and applied as a very thin, flexible, adhesive material, it will be able to measure the aerodynamic pressure while minimizing changes in the flow field. The Phase I RATE program will involve design, fabrication, and test of various candidate designs in order to select the most promising approach for Phase II. RSI will use its experience in microfabricated structures and pressure sensors to employ a highly innovative technology in order to non-intrusively measure aerodynamic pressure in NASA ground test facilities. The result will be a product that will address a critical NASA instrumentation need.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA will use the technology for non-intrusive wind tunnel diagnostics; there is a need for a pressure diagnostic with high sensitivity, ruggedness for survivability during wind tunnel startup, and that will not alter the flow field. In addition, NASA can employ the RATE sensors in flight tests because the retroreflector divergeance will provide high signal at long ranges; the sensors will be useful for NASA flight vehicle monitoring for the same reason.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition, several non-Government applications are possible. Pressure sensors have a lucrative commercial market in manufacturing (for process monitoring) and medical diagnostics, as well a healthy market in scientific applications. Sensors that can be applied as an adhesive patch to existing devices will be very attractive, particularly if they are thin, sensitive, and robust.

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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Control Instrumentation
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Portable Life Support
Propellant Storage
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Testing Facilities

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19