NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 O2.02-9732
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ground Test Facility Instrumentation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Universal Smart Sensor Interface

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Research, Inc.
4415 Euclid Avenue, Suite 500
Cleveland, OH 44103 - 3757
(216) 649-0399

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mike Willett
4415 Euclid Avenue, Suite 500
Cleveland, OH 44103 - 3757
(216) 649-0399

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Ground testing of propulsion systems requires highly accurate and precise sensor systems. Setting up such systems can be more time consuming than the test. The myriad of analog connections are subject to environmental noise. The ability to effectively calibrate sensors, digitize the signals in closer proximity to the sensor itself and to send real-unit data with sensor identification and time stamps is critical. IEEE1451 provides specification for "smart sensors" of this type.

Sensor fidelity and reliability are enhanced when the electronics are closer to the sensor. This is difficult in propulsion systems because of the ambient temperatures. High temperature electronics improve performance of such systems. Orbital Research previously demonstrated electronics that drive sensors, digitize the results and provide data analysis using a high performance, high temperature microprocessor. The system has a common bus for transmitting the data. The demonstrated system interfaces with any one of 8 sensor types.

During this program the system will be refined and expanded to enable multi-variate calibration, sensor identification, and time stamping. Ensuring adequate resolution for the ground test sensors is also a key objective. It will also require software development to accomplish the identified smart sensor functionality. All developments will be compliant with IEEE1451.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a number of applications within the NASA Technology Taxonomy. The targeted integration point is the effective instrumentation of rocket engines for system development. The USSI as developed will be equally applicable to instrumentation and test for turbine engines, including VAATE engines, as well as many other high temperature systems. Such systems include instrumentation of sun-side structures or test structures as well as hypersonic aircraft structures. The system can also be reconfigured with a wireless bus system for use in sensor webs and distributed sensor systems. All of the systems can also be adopted for use in flight-time sensing systems for both monitoring and control.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The non-NASA applications are quite similar to those targeted within the NASA milieu. Department of Defense applications are essentially identical to those for NASA. Rocket engines, turbine engines and various other propulsion systems can be very accurately and precisely instrumented. On-wing systems, as well as propulsion systems aboard ships and land vehicles can also be thoroughly and accurately monitored for diagnostics, prognostics or control. Commercial applications for the USSI include instrumentation of nuclear reactors, chemical plants, refineries, and the like.

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.

Data Input/Output Devices
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56