NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 H10.01-9546
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Propulsion Systems Ground Test Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Affordable Autonomous Hydrogen Flame Detection System for Rocket Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Innovative Imaging and Research Corporation
Building 1103, Suite 140C
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 - 0001
(228) 688-2452

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Mary Pagnutti
Building 1103, Suite 140C
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 - 0001
(228) 688-2452

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Mary Pagnutti
Building 1103, Suite 140C
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 - 0001
(228) 688-2452

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Advanced Propulsion Systems Ground Test Technology 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)
NASA has long used liquid hydrogen as a fuel and plans to continue using it in association with their advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology. Hydrogen fire detection is critical for rocket propulsion safety and maintenance. A significant fire at a rocket test or launch facility could be catastrophic to infrastructure or even worse, to human life. Detection monitoring is problematic as hydrogen flames can be nearly invisible during the day. Non-imaging, non-visible fire detection technology has limited range and can suffer from false alarms from sources outside the region of interest. Low-cost visible imagers, commonly used for wide-scale routine surveillance, have limited utility detecting hydrogen fires. Although it has been known for decades that multispectral imaging outside the visible range can be used to detect fires with low false alarm rates, the price of such systems and the lack of processing algorithms and the ability to implement them in real-time has largely prohibited their use. During this project we will develop a low-cost imaging capability that fuses data collected from sensors operating in the (1) solar blind ultra-violet, (2) thermal infrared and (3) visible spectrum, using advanced spectral, spatial and temporal processing techniques optimized to detect and generate alerts associated with hydrogen fires in real-time. This multi-sensor, multi-processing approach will enable us to automate flame detection with extremely low false alarm rates. In addition to control room alerts, we will make use of the wireless communication capabilities found within smart phones and other mobile devices to build an App to alert key decision makers and first responders of a fire detected in real-time. This multi-sensor imaging research could also support NASA's important cool flame microgravity research occurring on the International Space Station.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology has near term direct application for monitoring hydrogen fires within several NASA propulsion test and launch facilities. This capability will enhance the safety of these facilities and potentially facilitate required maintenance procedures. NASA rocket motor testing centers that would benefit from this include SSC, MSFC, GRC-PBS and WSTF.

KSC, responsible for the SLS and Orion launches that continue human spaceflight within NASA, and the Launch Services Program that provides launch operations oversight at several locations including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg AFB would also realize safety and maintenance benefits from this technology.

NASA is currently conducting experiments on flame interaction and extinguishment on-board the ISS. Fire burns differently in microgravity and although our technology is optimized for hydrogen flame phenomenology, it has wider potential use in NASA's cool flame research portfolio and could, for example, be used to support follow-on Saffire and FLEX experiments. FLEX experiments have shown low-frequency flicker that our temporal algorithms could exploit for terrestrial fire detection and discrimination.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Government facilities managed by the Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office, including Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Redstone Test Center (RTC), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) as well as commercial facilities including SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Orbital ATK could all enhance their safety and facilitate their maintenance efforts by employing this technology to monitor hydrogen and other flames.

There are several established markets and applications that incorporate significant amounts of hydrogen gas in their processes that would benefit from our flame detection technology. These markets primarily include petrochemical facilities, heat treating facilities for aerospace and automotive applications, fuel cell production facilities, and potentially thermonuclear power plants.

An emerging application is hydrogen station monitoring. With the advent of fuel cell powered vehicles, hydrogen stations will be required along roadways and at people's homes as a way of storing and refilling hydrogen fuel cells.

Another potential application is auto race car monitoring. There have been a number of horrific events involving either race car drivers or pit crew members engulfed by alcohol flames, detectable with our technology. These flames are difficult to detect and extinguish because, like hydrogen, they are essentially invisible to the eye.

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.)
Image Analysis
Image Processing
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59