NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 A1.07-9387
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Efficient Propulsion & Power
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature "Smart" P3 Sensors and Electronics for Distributed Engine Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sporian Microsystems, Inc.
515 Courtney Way, Suite B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8821
(303) 516-9075

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Kevin Harsh
515 Courtney Way, Suite B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8821
(303) 516-9075 Extension :12

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Mike Usrey
515 Courtney Way, Suite B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8821
(303) 516-9075 Extension :19

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Efficient Propulsion & Power is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Current engine control architectures impose limitations on the insertion of new control capabilities due to weight penalties and reliability issues related to complex wiring harnesses. NASA in collaboration with Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has been conducting research in developing technologies to enable Distributed Engine Control (DEC) architectures. Realization of such future intelligent engines depends on the development of both hardware and software, including high temperature electronics and sensors to make smart components. NASA is particularly interested in the design and development of these applications for assessing the benefit they bring to the engine system. Compressor discharge pressure measurement has long been a key aspect of turbine engine control to manage stall margin. Given that, there is a need for a high-temperature, smart P3 sensor as a key building block for distributed engine controls. Given the current limitations of high temperature electronics, the business case for smart control elements (sensors and actuators) can be made in the fan/compressor section of the engine. The long-term objective of the proposed effort is to advance high-temperature P3 sensor technology for DEC applications through working with OEM partners and industry working groups to: (1) to iterate the current technology toward DEC formats/functions, (2) advance the digital electronics design/firmware and high temperature electronics, and (3) (through demonstration and stakeholder collaboration) present the viability (technical and business case) of the proposed sensor.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed sensor directly supports NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) research thrusts including vehicle safety, efficiency and carbon emission reduction. The sensor is also directly applicable to a planetary exploration mission to Venus since a high temperature sensor that does not require cooling will significantly reduce payload weight, volume, and complexity. Space propulsion systems, including chemical rockets, nuclear thermal propulsion, launch and station keeping, all exhibit high temperatures and would benefit from the proposed technology. Energy generation systems such as Stirling engines and fuel cells also have high operational temperatures that could be monitored by the proposed sensor. In situ resource utilization systems utilize high temperatures and pressures and would benefit from the proposed technology. Derivative sensor technology could potentially be applied for sensing conditions in thermal protection systems for alloy and ceramic matrix composite structural components.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aero propulsion turbine engines, communally used in commercial and military jets, would benefit significantly by having a non-invasive, small mass, on engine component sensor allowing for visibility of the conditions in the turbine engine. The technology and sensor product described in this proposal would allow exactly that, while existing sensors fall well short of the application's demand. The conditions in this application are harsh, and sensors must be able to withstand high temperatures, high pressures, high flow rates, jet fuel, and exhaust. In order for existing and future aero propulsion turbine engines to improve safety, reduce cost, and emissions while controlling engine instabilities, more accurate and complete information is necessary. The technology described in this proposal would allow the next boundary in sensing technology to be achieved: direct measurement from the point of interest within the turbine. Commercial applications abound for the successful results of this proposal in commercial and military turbine engine industries, which are made up of companies such as GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Additional potential market areas include: marine propulsion, rail locomotives, land based power generation turbines, automotive, oil and gas refining, government and academic laboratories.

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.)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37