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Low-Cost Sonobuoy Geographic Position Locator

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road Austin, TX -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Low-Cost Sonobuoy Geographic Position Locator
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N00024-01-C-4118
Award Amount: $67,914.00


The Navy currently employs a time-based maintenance schedule for its submarine propulsion shafts, in which every 6 or 10 years each shaft aboard the submarine is removed from service, stripped of its protective FRP layer, and inspected for cracks andwall-thinning with magnetic particle and liquid penetrant inspection methods. This represents an expensive investment of time, money and effort on the part of the Navy, but is currently the only proven method of maintaining the readiness of the fleet.TRI/Austin proposes that the Navy shift focus to a condition-based maintenance schedule through funding a research and development effort to build a multi-diameter in-line ultrasonic inspection tool that inspects the propulsion shaft by removing thepropeller and inspecting from the inside. This approach allows the tool to inspect the shaft regardless of whether it is in F-, M-, or A-Condition. The TRI/Austin team's experience in developing commercial multi-diameter in-line inspection tools, coupledwith our triple-redundancy inspection system design, assures complete and total inspection of the entire propulsion shaft and represents a tremendous opportunity in terms of reducing the Navy's cost of ownership and operation of the submarinefleet.Propulsion shafts find widespread use throughout all the vessels in the U.S. Naval fleets, those of her allies, and commercial marine vessels. Our innovative tool design can save millions of dollars world-wide through its adaptation to otherpropulsion shaft designs. We also anticipate a strong response for a multi-diameter in-line tool in the oil and gas industry, nuclear reactor piping in which the pipes are typically thick-walled, and potentially through the inspection of terrestrial driveshafts. Our aggressive technology transfer work is designed to target these and other opportunities towards full commercial development.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Dingus
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Michael Dingus
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

9063 Bee Caves Road Austin, TX 78733

EIN/Tax ID: 742518103
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No