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Structural Sensors for Health Monitoring of Hypersonic Vehicles

Description:

Scope Title:

AdvancedStructural Sensors for Hypersonic Vehicle Structures andMaterials

ScopeDescription:

High-speed programs in the United States focus on vehicledesign, development, and eventual flight testing, with program successoften hinging on the ability to use or adapt limitedcommercial-off-the-shelf technology for vehicle applications. Thelimited amount of data in the harsh environments [Ref. 1] ofhypersonic flight hinders a program effort in at least four ways: (1)limited data hinders a more complete understanding of vehicleperformance in ground/flight testing, (2) it hinders theoptimization of vehicle designs, (3) it limits the ability to assess theflight vehicle's readiness for a following flightquickly, and (4) it reduces the ability to recover frompotential flight test anomalies more quickly.

 

Instrumentation systems arecomposed of sensors and systems, with the sensors being devices thatdetect or respond to a physical property and the systems being thedevices that process and record the sensor response. Bothsensors and systems must be developed that can survive and operate inthe extreme environment of hypersonic flight (e.g., high temperature,vibration, and acoustic environments). 

 

This scope focuses on thedevelopment of advanced sensors (contact or noncontact) for nonablativestructures and materials operating in extreme environments, withapplication to both airframe and propulsion structural systems. Suchsensors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • High-temperature strain gauges for static strains in combinedloading conditions.
  • Temperature sensor integration on advanced materials andstructures.
  • Heat-fluxgauges for severe temperature gradients in anisotropicmaterials.
  • Acousticnoise measurements at high temperature and vibrationlevels.
  • Vibrationmeasurements at high temperature and acoustic levels.
  • Nondestructiveevaluation methods for inspection of large structures made from advancedmaterials.

Ideas are also sought for improvedbonding/adhesion techniques, as well as concepts that may includeintegral sensors and/or “smart” structures.

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of theProject: 2 to 6

Primary TechnologyTaxonomy:

  • Level 1 15 FlightVehicle Systems
  • Level 2 15.2 FlightMechanics

DesiredDeliverables of Phase I and PhaseII:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Prototype
  • Hardware

DesiredDeliverables Description:

For a Phase I effort, the desireddeliverable is a proof-of-concept demonstration of a sensor technologyand a midterm report outlining the progress of the effort. Demonstrationof the proposed sensor in a relevant hypersonic environment is desiredbut not required. A summary report is expected at the end of Phase Ithat describes the research effort’s proof-of-concept testingsuccesses, failures, and the proposed path forward to demonstrate thesensor performance in a relevant hypersonic environment.

 

For a Phase IIeffort, a maturation of the sensor technology that allows for a thoroughdemonstration is expected. Ideally, a delivery of a prototype thatincludes beta-style or better hardware or software that is suitable towork in ground testing and can be proven, via relevant environmentaltesting, to work in a flight environment. This relevant environmentaltesting would satisfy NASA’s technical readiness levelexpectations at the end of Phase II.

 

At the completion ofPhase II and a $1M SBIR investment, there will be a strong pullfrom both NASA and non-NASA organizations to provide resources todemonstrate and mature promising sensor technologies for near-termground- and flight-test opportunities.

State of the Art and CriticalGaps:

Advancements in high-speed vehicle development are possibleif insights can be gained, analyzed, and used to create newtechnologies. New insights will require an evolution of currentmeasurement techniques, as well as novel forms and integrationtechniques.  

 

Known gaps includelarge-area distributive sensing techniques on advanced high-temperaturematerial systems in extreme high-speed environments, advanced techniquesfor capturing all dimensions of system operation and vehicle health(spatial/spectral/temporal), and data analysis/assessment of the vehiclestructure's current and predicted future health.

Relevance / ScienceTraceability:

The technologies developed forthis scope directly address the technical and capability challenges inAeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Advanced AirVehicles Program (AAVP) in the areas of Commercial Supersonic Technology(CST) and Hypersonic Technology (HT) projects and may also supportNASA’s high-enthalpy ground-test facilities, including thosewithin the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC)portfolio.

References:

  1. “Ceramic matrix Composite (CMC) Thermal ProtectionSystems (TPS) and Hot Structures for Hypersonic Vehicles,”David E. Glass, 15th AIAA International SpacePlanes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Dayton,OH, AIAA-208-2682, April-May 2008, https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20080017096
  2. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp
  3. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp/cst
  4. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp/ht
  5. https://www.nasa.gov/aetc

Scope Title:

StructuralDiagnostic and Prognostic Methodologies for HypersonicVehicles

ScopeDescription:

The focus of this scope is the developmentof advanced methodologies that synthesize data from a range of extremeenvironment [Ref. 1] structural sensors into bothreal-time SHM and predictions of component maintenancerequirements and life estimates. Such a capability could be applied notonly to reusable hypersonic aircraft that experience significantthermal, mechanical, vibrational, and acoustic conditions but alsopotentially to high-enthalpy ground-test facilities to guide maintenanceand life predictions of key facility components. Such a methodologycould integrate data from a range of sensor types andlocations—from thermocouple, strain gauge, acoustic, andvibrational measurements on structural elements to heat flux, pressure,and shear measurements of the flow field in and around the vehicle(airframe and propulsion). Sensors may directly or indirectly (e.g., viaoptical measurement) measure environmental conditions. Data may also beavailable from accelerometers or a flight computer/guidance, navigation,and control (GNC) system that can provide load and flight conditioninformation. Data from sensors will likely be received at a wide rangeof frequencies, from tens of hertz to hundreds of kilohertz.

 

The goal of thisscope is to synthesize such information over the full lifecycle ofstructural components into a predictive model that advises on componentmaintenance requirements and useful life estimates. Such methodologiesshould consider sensor noise, fault tolerance, robustness, anduncertainty quantification.

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of theProject: 2 to 6

Primary TechnologyTaxonomy:

  • Level 1 15 FlightVehicle Systems
  • Level 2 15.2 FlightMechanics

DesiredDeliverables of Phase I and PhaseII:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Prototype
  • Software

DesiredDeliverables Description:
For a Phase I effort, at a minimum, a reportdetailing the methodology for diagnostic and prognostic assessment of astructure using a diverse array of structural sensors is desired. Inaddition, a plan that describes the proof-of-concept demonstration andevaluation of the proposed SHM effectiveness for a structure is desired.The demonstration plans should identify sensors, test environment, testarticle concept, and the objectives/plan for evaluating the SHMmethodology.

For a Phase II effort, the desireddeliverable is to mature the technology through a demonstration of theSHM methodology, with relevant sensors, structures, and environments.Ideally, the deliverable would include a prototype that includesbeta-style or better hardware or software that is suitable to work inground testing and can be proven, via relevant environmental testing, towork in a flight environment. This relevant environmental testing wouldsatisfy NASA’s technical readiness level expectations at theend of Phase II.

At the completion ofPhase II and a $1M SBIR investment, there will be a strong pull fromboth NASA and non-NASA organizations to provide resources to demonstrateand mature promising sensor and data analysis methodologies on availableground- and flight-test opportunities.

State of the Art and CriticalGaps:

With the expected development of reusable hypersonicvehicles, there will be a critical need for advanced methodologies thatsynthesize data from a range of extreme environment sensors intointegrated vehicle health management (IVHM) systems that will supportvehicle flight exposure, component maintenance requirements, and lifeestimates. 

 

Known gaps include theeffective use of large-area distributed sensors in extreme high-speedenvironments to understand the condition of a hypersonic vehicle andpredict the remaining life and capabilities of the vehiclestructures.

Relevance / ScienceTraceability:

The technologies developed for thisscope directly address the technical and capability challenges inARMD AAVP in the areas of CST andHT projects and may also support NASA’s high-enthalpyground-test facilities, including those withinthe AETC portfolio.

References:

  1. Ceramic MatrixComposite (CMC) Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and Hot Structures forHypersonic Vehicles,” David E.Glass, 15th AIAA International Space Planesand Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Dayton,OH, AIAA-208-2682, April-May 2008: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20080017096
  2. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp
  3. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp/cst
  4. https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/aavp/ht
  5. https://www.nasa.gov/aetc

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