NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X7.03-8643
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Instrumentation for Ground and Flight Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Fiber Optic Continuous Liquid Sensor for Cryogenic Propellant Gauging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Broadband Photonics Incorporated
11 Bradford Rd.
Winchester, MA 01890 - 1110
(781) 640-4186

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Wei Xu
11 Bradford Rd.
Winchester, MA 01890 - 1110
(781) 640-4186

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Broadband Photonics Incorporated proposes to develop a patent-pending fiber optic continuous liquid sensor for low-thrust level settled mass gauging with measurement uncertainty <0.5% over fill levels from 2% to 98%. The fiber optic liquid sensor has significant advantages over the existing liquid sensors, including Delta-P pressure sensors, capacitance probes, ultrasonic sensors, and silicon diode point sensors in terms of gauging accuracy, reliability, simplicity, and maintenance. The proposed sensor is able to replace silicon diode point sensors currently used for propellant gauging without any modification on the tank. In Phase 1, we will prove the feasibility of the liquid sensor, including demonstration of 1 mm liquid level spatial resolution and development of the robust sensing fiber for cryogenic temperature applications. In Phase 2, we will further develop the prototype of the fiber optic liquid sensor.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Direct NASA application of the innovation is for reliable and accurate mass gauging of cryogenic propellant. The successful development of the proposed fiber sensor can meet the massive data sampling needs of on-orbit mass gauging, thermodynamic condition monitoring, and liquid/vapor distribution detection. Other NASA applications indirectly form the innovation can be an in-space propellant leak detector and an optical fiber monitor of structural health management for space vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA commercial products of the innovation include a number of high-quality fiber optic sensors, such as distributed fiber optic liquid level sensor, distributed fiber optic temperature sensor, distributed fiber optic strain sensor, distributed fiber optic gas or liquid leak sensor, and distributed fiber optic multi-functional sensors. These sensors have wide ranges of applications in fuel storage, chemical industry, chemical liquid processing, oil exploration, oil and natural gas pipeline monitoring, electrical power cable operation monitoring, construction health monitoring, and smart materials.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56