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Novel Ultralow-Weight Metal Rubber Sensor System for Ultra Long-Duration…

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NanoSonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Pembroke, VA 24136-3645
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Novel Ultralow-Weight Metal Rubber Sensor System for Ultra Long-Duration Scientific Balloons
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CD66P
Award Amount: $100,000.00


NanoSonic proposes to develop an innovative, ultralow mass density, and non-intrusive sensor system for ultra long duration balloons that will operate in the most extreme environmental conditions. Specifically, the sensors would be integrated onto the load bearing seams and/or outer balloon mesh surface of the pressurized balloon system to accurately and continually measure axial loads. Large axial load forces and wide/extreme temperature ranges (-90oC to >450oC) are typical for planetary balloon missions, therefore a durable, flexible, and thermally stable sensor material. NanoSonic would use its highly flexible, low-modulus Metal RubberTM (MRTM) materials as strain/pressure sensors that are capable of large cyclic deformation without failure. MRTM is a free-standing nanocomposite material produced by the layer-by-layer combination of high performance polymers and electrically-conducting metal nanoparticles that provide durability and recoverability for sensor transduction, and a wide thermal operation range. Importantly, MRTM can behave like a rubber band in that it can be folded and compressed for stowage and then can be deployed and continually pressurized and stretched without failure during operation. Also, because of the very low amount of metallic nanoclusters in the system (<0.02 volume %), the sensor system is extremely low-weight and would not alter the performance of the balloon.

Principal Investigator:

Andrea Hill
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Lisa B. Lawson
Contracts Administrator
Small Business Information at Submission:

Nanosonic, Inc.
1485 South Main Street Blacksburg, VA 24060

EIN/Tax ID: 541877635
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No