NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A1.02-9028
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensing and Diagnostic Capability for Aircraft Aging and Damage
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultrasonic Guided Wave Simulation Toolbox for Virtual Inspection of Composites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20855 - 2737
(301) 294-5221

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George Zhao
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400
Rockville, AK 20855 - 2737
(301) 294-5232

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Ultrasonic guided wave nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques are being used to detect flaws and damage in fracture critical structures such as composites. In order to provide early detection of aging and damage processes in composites, we propose to develop a "virtual inspection" simulation toolbox specifically for ultrasonic guided waves. This toolbox will be able to evaluate ultrasonic guided wave NDE methods for its feasibility as part of the design process for critical system components, and it would include modeling the changes in critical material properties as indicators of material aging and then quantifying the levels of detectability of these material properties with the guided wave NDE technique.

This computational tool will be able to accurately model the interaction between the changes in the material properties and the probing energy of guided waves to allow the development of the inspection parameters needed for application on a particular structure.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Substantial budget expenditures and schedule delays are often required to develop and demonstrate effective NDE techniques for critical components not designed for inspection. To avoid such problems as NASA moves forward in the Constellation Program to develop the CEV, CLV, and follow-on spacecraft and habitat structures, it is essential to provide design tools that will enable rapid assessment of the feasibility of NDE methods as part of the design process for critical system components (thermal protection systems, pressure systems, composite structures, etc.). Computational NDE methodologies will help to predict the response from a variety of NDE methods (ultrasonic, radiographic, thermographic, electromagnetic, optical, etc.) in complex aerospace structures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NDE and structural health monitoring is also important for many military and commercial systems such as aircraft, automobiles, trains, home appliances, nuclear reactors, etc. A computational NDE tool will help the maintenance staff and Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs) for better design the structures and inspection practices to ensure the structure integrity. The success of such software toolbox will greatly benefit the NDE community for enhancing the structural safety while reducing the maintenance costs.

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.

Simulation Modeling Environment
Structural Modeling and Tools

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