NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A1.06-9979
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensing and Diagnostic Capability
PROPOSAL TITLE: Three-dimensional health monitoring of sandwich composites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Extreme Diagnostics, Inc.
2525 Arapahoe Avenue / Bldg. E4 #262
Boulder, CO 80302 - 6746
(303) 530-1248

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert B. Owen
2525 Arapahoe Avenue / Bldg. E4 #262
Boulder, CO 80302 - 6746
(303) 530-1248

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR project delivers a single-chip structural health-monitoring (SHM) system that uses the impedance method to monitor bulk interiors and wave propagation methods to assess surfaces. This Three-Dimensional Health Monitoring (3DHM) unit supports nondestructive evaluation (NDE) systems and evaluates hard shell composites that include sandwich structures.

Implications of the innovation
Increasingly demanding weight and performance needs move manufacturers to the use of composite materials. New systems are needed to detect incipient damage in composites and identify aging-related hazards before they become critical. Three-dimensional health analyzers that actively examine both bulk interiors and large-scale surface areas address a major problem domain; however, no practical system exists. We address this deficiency by building on our existing SHM system.

Technical objectives
3DHM leverages our previous NASA research in SHM. Our current prototype takes the form of a single custom printed circuit board, and is a TRL 5 unit. We have demonstrated bulk interior and limited surface area coverage in Boeing thermal protection system (TPS) tests and on wind turbine blades—both feature composite materials. We extend our surface coverage by adding wave propagation SHM. Our sensor validation includes computer modeling that generates virtual (simulated) data.

Research description
Phase 1 establishes feasibility for a single-chip approach that combines the impedance method and wave propagation, and demonstrates damage detection on a model composite. Phase 2 completes, validates and demonstrates single chip operation, and delivers an operational unit.

Anticipated results
Phase 1 establishes 3DHM feasibility by developing a detailed chip development and verification roadmap. Phase 2 delivers an operational unit that monitors and assesses bulk interiors and surfaces of hard shell composites that include sandwich structures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
3DHM directly supports NDE systems for safety assurance of future vehicles—specifically those making heavy use of composite materials and sandwich structures. There is a major effort within NASA, the FAA, and the military to develop integrated vehicle health management technology that utilizes SHM information for computer controlled recovery actions aimed at avoiding catastrophe. 3DHM provides enabling technology for this effort. 3DHM supports the NASA Engineering and Safety Center by providing tools for independent testing, analysis, and assessment of high-risk projects. 3DHM applications include on-wing SHM of various aircraft components including static structures (e.g., containment components, ducts, vanes, nozzles, etc.) as well as rotating components (e.g., disks, blades, and shafts). 3DHM in situ SHM technology is needed to improve aircraft safety and reliability by verifying structural integrity and nondestructively inspecting, monitoring, and assessing aircraft and aerospace propulsion systems for damage. 3DHM is applicable to the next generation of turbine engines. These advanced propulsion systems will use revolutionary materials and structures. Structures based on such materials must withstand severe stresses and hostile aero-thermo-chemical environments, while weighing less and operating at higher temperatures than current engines.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA commercial applications include Homeland Security structural analysis to mitigate threats (preparedness) and assess damage (response), smart structures, and SHM of civil infrastructures, land/marine structures, medical devices, and military structures. Civil infrastructure includes bridges, highway systems, buildings, power plants, underground structures, and windmills. Land/marine structures include automobiles, trains, submarines, ships, and offshore structures. Medical devices include implants and health monitoring devices. Military structures include helicopters, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and others. SHM is an emerging industry driven by an aging infrastructure, malicious humans, and the introduction of advanced materials and structures. SHM applications are also driven by a desire to lower costs by moving from schedule-based to condition-based maintenance. Government customers include NASA and the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Energy. Non-government customers include energy companies, and other crucial-structure custodians. Westinghouse Electric Company (Nuclear Services Division) is our civilian commercialization partner. WEC sees 3DHM applications in nuclear power plant SHM, and provides engineering and marketing support at no cost.

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.

Aircraft Engines
Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Pilot Support Systems
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Power Management and Distribution
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50