NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A1.06-9274
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensing and Diagnostic Capability
PROPOSAL TITLE: Time Domain Terahertz Axial Computed Tomography Non Destructive Evaluation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Picometrix LLC
2925 Boardwalk Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 - 6765
(734) 864-5600

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Zimdars
dzimdars@picometrix.com
2925 Boardwalk
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 - 6765
(734) 864-5639

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to demonstrate key elements of feasibility for a high speed automated time domain terahertz computed axial tomography (TD-THz CT) non destructive evaluation (NDE) system which would provide true three dimensional images of aerospace composite structures. Traditional time domain terahertz reflection tomographic imaging captures only a single view of an object, generating images of laminar structure similar to an ultrasound "B-Scan". This reflection tomographic imaging is limited, however, in revealing only the laminar structure which presents a clear specular reflection from each interface. Furthermore, traditional time domain terahertz reflection tomographic imaging has substantial difficulty in determining the layer index of refraction an absorption properties without ambiguity. We propose to overcome these limitations by utilizing true computed axial tomographic reconstruction of the images. This method acquires not one view, but many radial axial views, generating a sinogram which can be used to reconstruct images using a derivative of standard X-Ray CT filtered back-projection. The sinogram can be generated by the transmission absorbance, transmission time of flight, and, in principle, reflection measurements. The reconstructed TD-THz CT images are 3D maps of the absorption coefficients and/or the index of refraction of the subsurface material.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed TD-THz CT NDE imager will be valuable in characterizing the aging and durability of aircraft and spacecraft materials and components. Material examples include Kevlar, Zylon, and other non-conductive polymer matrix composites. Example NDE applications where these materials are used include inspection of soft shell fan containment, thermal protection systems, and composite overwrap pressure vessels. These materials are in systems in which the 3D internal examination of new construction for flaws (voids, disbonds, inclusions, improper geometry and dimensions, and incomplete curing) may be critical. It will be critical to periodically inspect systems for damage, fatigue and chemical degradation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Polymer matrix composites are used in automobile and ships and many other consumer and industrial products. TD-THz CT 3D imaging applications can include inspection of automobile dashboards, imaging inspection for delamination of printed circuit boards, inspection of pipe insulation, as well as with manufactured parts such as pure plastic and paper products. TD-THz CT imaging benefits homeland security applications under development such as personnel and luggage inspection for concealed weapons and explosives (in luggage, shoes, etc.). TD-THz CT imaging and spectroscopy can inspect items in shipment such as mail, cardboards packages, and plastic and wood crates.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Ablatives
Aircraft Engines
Airframe
Airlocks/Environmental Interfaces
Ceramics
Composites
Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Erectable
Inflatable
Kinematic-Deployable
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Microwave/Submillimeter
Modular Interconnects
Optical
Optical & Photonic Materials
Photonics
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Structural Modeling and Tools
Suits
Tankage
Thermal Insulating Materials


Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50