NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 A1.02-8576
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensing and Diagnostic Capability for Aircraft Aging and Damage
PROPOSAL TITLE: Automated NDE Flaw Mapping System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ryan O'Grady
727 Airport Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA's Aircraft Aging and Durability Project (AADP) aims to ensure the safety of both commercial and military aviation aircraft. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques are integral to this effort. In particular, NDE techniques are used to a) detect and characterize damage to aircraft and b) validate models of materials through iterative testing. The costs associated with the acquisition of major aircraft require a long usage period in order to obtain a good return on investment. The commercial and military aircraft fleets are inspected and maintained to produce a long operational life. However, many of the NDE techniques are slow, tedious, and costly. Interestingly, the technologies used to inspect aircraft to detect flaws are quite sophisticated, but tools for keeping track of these flaws, their location, and evolution over time are haphazard and inspection-specific, so they are not easily generalized to inspections in general.
We propose to leverage our machine vision technology to help automate portions of the inspection process to greatly reduce the time and cost associated with the inspection task. In this approach, machine vision is used to localize the sensor scan information gathered during inspection so that it can be viewed and manipulated in the context of a 3D CAD model of the inspected object. This then helps support the prediction of flaw propagation and structure life. The system allows maintainers to accurately collect information about flaws and accurately integrate them into CAD models. The models can then be leveraged in finite element analysis tools to help predict flaw and material behavior.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology is initially being developed to support the non-destructive inspection of large aerospace structures, such as aircraft and spacecraft. The technology will allow maintainers to more rapidly complete inspections of large surfaces and record the data for historical perspective and future use. The system will help identify the specific location of where flaws exist on the test object and integrate the flaw data into the 3D CAD model so that the flaw data can be used within finite element analysis programs to predict flaw propagation and material life.

The system will be applied to aid in the prediction of how aircraft and spacecraft components age and can be applied to testing of failed aircraft components to help identify root causes of crashes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology can also be applied to use in the commercial and military aviation markets. The average age of military aircraft is actually older than the average age of commercial aircraft and is therefore an ideal target for the proposed system. Therefore, we will leverage our existing contacts in the DoD to find potential end users for the technology.

Commercial airlines also have a requirement to inspect aircraft. Therefore, we will also target commercial airlines as a potential application space.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29