NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 T4.03-9948

NAME: Innosense, LLC NAME: Case Western Reserve University
STREET: 2531 West 237th Street, Suite 127 STREET: 10900 Euclid Avenue
CITY: Torrance CITY: Cleveland
STATE/ZIP: CA  90505 - 5245 STATE/ZIP: OH  44106 - 7015
PHONE: (310) 530-2011 PHONE: (216) 368-2009

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Uma Sampathkumaran

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1 to 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This Phase I STTR project will develop a highly reflecting, broadband, radiation resistant, low-stress and lightweight, membrane integrated into an electrostatically actuated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device for wavefront control applications in space telescopes. The underlying technology builds on nanomaterial coatings and electro-optical modeling competency of the company. InnoSense LLC (ISL) will collaborate with Dr. Harold Kahn, Research Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, to integrate the low-cost, flexible nanocomposite membrane mirror into a MEMS device. The Phase I project would demonstrate: (a) a membrane mirror capable of high broadband reflectivity; (b) deflections > 20-30 micron; and (c) large temporal bandwidth at frequency > 1 KHz. The focus of Phase II will be optimization of the reflecting membrane, refinements to the design of the deformable membrane mirror (DMM) device, accompanied by extensive evaluation of prototype DMMs for their ability to correct for large wavefront aberrations at high frequencies to mitigate the effects of atmospheric turbulence, and enable high fidelity imaging capability. To ensure success of this project, ISL has assembled a technical team with a cumulative 70 person-years of experience in nanomaterials coatings, MEMS, mechanical and electro-optical modeling.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is one of NASA's planet-finding missions, whose primary goal is the direct imaging of an Earth-like planet orbiting near a star. Planets that that orbit stars other than our Sun are also known as "exoplanets" or "extra solar planets". The challenge to the direct detection of exoplanets lies in the huge contrast between the planet and the star it orbits. It is comparable to looking for a firefly next to a searchlight. To detect light from a faint source that is scattered and diffracted by atmospheric turbulence requires an extremely high resolution imaging system, with excellent performance in terms of both contrast and detector's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The issues associated with wavefront control sensing for space imaging are addressed by ISL's highly reflecting, flexible, nanocomposite membrane mirror integrated into a MEMS device.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The market sector for optical systems, components, information processing equipment such as telescopes, optical communication systems and displays is comparable to the high-end military and scientific sectors. According to a soon-to-be-released and updated technical market research report, the global market for MEMS devices was worth an estimated $5 billion in 2005, and will increase to $12.5 billion through 2010, an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of more than 20%. Collectively, they account for over 78% of that segment of the market, of which, optical MEMS accounted for nearly 20% of the market in 2004 and MEMS pressure sensors over 18%. According to a technical market report issued by BCC Research (Wellesley, MA), the U.S. market for optical systems of ceramics and glass is expected to reach $500 million by 2011 at an average annual growth rate of 8.7%. The global market for its products in 2006 was $1 billion; this is forecast to increase to $1.4 billion by 2011 with an AAGR of 6.3%. ISL projects its market share in five years after market launch at .001% or $1.4 million.

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
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Optical & Photonic Materials
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:52